Studio Escalier

Contemporary Classical Art Center

STUDIO ESCALIER is a studio intensive art school and international arts residency program, designed and directed by master practitioners, dedicated to the contemporary classical study of drawing and painting from life.

Admission to all our 3-month Intensive Courses (drawing and painting) and to our Winter at the Louvre drawing program in Paris is by advance application only.

Anyone may apply, there are no academic or other pre-requisites to apply as a student or as a resident.
It is an open admissions process, based mainly on a review of artwork done from life.

Now offering courses in the heart of Paris and in Argenton-Chateau, France, we are an international point of contact for professionals, emerging artists and beginning art students alike, attracting members of many different North American and European figurative schools and traditions. (NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco; France, UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, and R... [ Read All ]




College Photos (10)

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Our Aims

"C'est en se rendant familieres les inventions des autres qu'on apprendre, dans l'art, à inventer soi-même"

("It is by becoming familiar with the inventions of others that one learns, in art, to invent oneself.")
- JAD Ingres

"The Next Eclectics"

Only light feels like light, and only nature reveals the form of nature.

Studio Escalier has a simple mission, and a traditional one. It is dedicated to the development of enlightened, creative vision and the expression of humanity through form...

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Location and Getting there

Argenton-Chateau is the largest of four contiguous medieval towns that comprise the municipality of Argenton-les-Vallees (population ~4000). It is a pleasant and tranquil market town in the bocage area of Poitou-Charentes.

Poitou-Charentes is a sunny region in southwestern France best known for its medieval art and architecture, and as the birthplace of cognac. It is the region directly north of Bordeaux, and directly south of the Loire Valley.

Today, Argenton-Chateau is the educational center of a 500 km2, wildlife-protected and historically registered "Vallee de Caractere", a verdant spot in the heart of France's "Grande Ouest" economic corridor (Tours, Angers, Poitiers, Nantes).

Argenton-Chateau's schools enroll around 800 students, from pre-school to age 15. The town features an 11th c. Romanesque church (still in service), the eponymous medieval chateau, a small music school, two primary and two middle schools, a public swimming pool with tennis courts, miles of scenic hiking and biking trails, and a small lake (fishing and canoeing).

All the services and businesses of small town life are within wa...  [ Read All ]

Academic Staff and Description

Timothy Stotz - Director/ Faculty
Tutor in Painting and Drawing

is the founder and director of Studio Escalier. He is represented by Paul Toner, 248 Lafayette Street in New York City, and John Pence Gallery, 750 Post Street in San Francisco. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, at the Seattle Academy of Fine Arts, and privately. His work is included in public and private collections across the United States and Europe.

He has been the recipient of many distinguished grants, fellowships and exhibition prizes for his painting. They include an extended Fulbright-Hays Grant for Painting to Madrid, Spain, where he was sponsored by the painter Antonio Lopez Garcia to study the works of Velazquez and Goya; a Vermont Studio Center fellowship, where he worked with the painter Gregory Gillespie; and two grants for classical painting from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, Montreal, Canada.

Mr Stotz (b. 1969) received his MFA degree in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he studied under Andrew Forge, NA. He went to art school in France at the Ecole Albert Defois under...  [ Read All ]

News and Events

2009 AUTUMN INTENSIVE : Aug 27 - Nov 7, 2009
10 weeks, long-pose figure painting, 6 hrs daily

DECEMBER in PARIS - 2009 DRAWING PROGRAM: Nov 30 - Dec 18, 2009

WINTER at the LOUVRE - DRAWING INTENSIVE in PARIS: January 31 - April 2, 2010
Life drawing 3.5 hrs every morning; afternoon drawing at Louvre

2009 SUMMER INTENSIVE : May 20 - Aug 15, 2010
12 weeks, drawing & painting, 6 hrs daily

Intensive Courses - General Overview

Studio Escalier offers two 3-month intensive art courses in drawing and painting per year, in the summer and autumn only.

Entry is by application only. Anyone may apply.

Our intensive courses are offered as non-academic, principles-in-practice studio programs, for art students and artists of an intermediate to advanced level. "Non-academic" here means two things: not characterized by artificial thinking, and not pursued for college credit. "Principles-in-practice" means students will receive real-time coaching and critique at the easel, weekly lecture-demonstrations, and adequate time to study and practice the teaching on their own, in front of the model.

Our p...  [ Read All ]

Student Facilities

The 3-Month Intensive Course Studio - Les Escaliers, Argenton-Chateau

Our 3-Month Intensive Courses are held at Les Escaliers, the private studio-residence of Timothy Stotz and Nicole Michelle Tully, in Argenton-Chateau, France (Poitou-Charentes - 79).

The Intensive Course Studio and Les Escaliers are a private faculty residence, and are not open to the general public.

The 3-Month Intensive Course Studio is available to students Sunday to Thursday, during school hours only (Su - Th, 9am - 6pm). The 3-Month curriculum takes Fridays and Saturdays as its weekend.

The course studio in Argenton-Chateau offers an approximately 900 sq ft (85m2) northlight studio on the third floor (40 steps to walk up). There is ample room for twelve students to work, plus the instructors.

The Intensive Course studio offers hot-water brush sinks, a small study lounge and reading room, a coffee break area, racks and shelves for individual supply storage, and a full bathroom. The studio is well-ventilated, heated and insulated, and its ceiling peaks at 19 feet (6 metres).

High-quality easels, chairs, tall stools, drawing boards and t...  [ Read All ]

Student Support

Scholarships and Financial Aid -Overview

1) Scholarships are available for 3-Month Intensive Programs in Argenton-Chateau ONLY. Scholarships are NOT available for monthly courses, or any courses in Paris.

2) All prospective SUMMER and AUTUMN Intensive students interested in financial aid for 2009 should apply before the scholarship deadlines listed on this page.

3) Please download the appropriate 3-Month Intensive Course application PDF (Summer or Autumn) from our How to Apply page. Then review the additional information about Scholarships and Aid below.

4) You should note which scholarship(s) you wish to be considered for as part of our answer to question #9 in the 3-Month Intensive Course application.

5) Yes, a single applicant may apply for both aid programs, but the total individual award is never more than 50% of course tuition.

6) Housing costs are NOT included in -- and are not affected by -- scholarship awards.

7) Our scholarship programs are now supported by The Daphne Fund for Contemporary Classical Art, a private US non-profit student-aid organization, as well as through the worldwide sales of ...  [ Read All ]

Student Testimonials

"I came here with hopes and expectations, but didn't ever think I would come away with so much." - N. N., 2005 Intensive student

"...more artistic nourishment in my three months there than in years of art, and dozens of other instructors." - F.H., 2005 Intensive student

"Once in a while, one has an experience that feels like a special gift... Thank you!" - E.O., 2005 Intensive student

"You showed me the meaning of beauty... that's all I want to say." - M.S., 2005 Intensive student



Lodging for 3-Month Intensive Students

Program housing is assigned to accepted Intensive students in the order that their course applications are received.

Argenton-Chateau features many large manor houses and villas, as well as townhouses and small apartment buildings of every kind and description, dating from the last 500 years.

In an effort to keep costs low, a variety of furnished housing for Intensive Course students has been arranged in town, within walking distance of the course studio, at a rental cost of 500 to 600 euros per month/ per person (price includes utilities). Every effort is made to provide the best furnished housing at the best price.

The majority of furnished housing currently offered by Studio Escalier are large, loft-like 2BR apartments, shared with another student. A few private houses in town and other accommodations with private studio space are available, for somewhat higher cost. Contact us for details.

Beginning on March 15 (summer intensive) or July 1 (autumn intensive),i.e. after the final registration dates are passed, specific housing options will be assigned to accepted students...  [ Read All ]

How To Apply

All current deadlines and courses open for enrollment are listed below.

APPLICATIONS for the 2009 DECEMBER in PARIS drawing program are now available.

The final application deadline for 2009 December in Paris is September 30, 2009


APPLICATIONS for the 2010 WINTER at the LOUVRE 9-week Drawing Intensive are now available.

The priority application deadline for Winter 2010 is September 30, 2009.


Request a prospectus (Number, e-mail or follow link)

If you have any questions not answered by this website, would like to add your name to our mailing list , or
want to send us your application, please email us at: