A day in Lincolnshire

I’ve been busy over the past week or so, running my courses at West Norfolk Arts Centre, and preparing new work for my Christmas Open Studio that will be taking place on the 7th – 9th December. Much more of that nearer the time, but on Friday of last week I travelled up to Unique Cottage Studios near Spalding to tutor a watercolour day for them.
The theme was bringing light into your paintings, and the group spent what was I hope a pleasant day sploshing watercolour freely onto their paper, making lively brush-marks and leaving plenty of light!
I did a demonstration painting during the day and you can see it here. A simple composition, based on one of Rowland Hilder’s paintings, but it included a decent bit of sky, some foreground, barns and trees, so it ticked most of the watercolour landscape boxes.

Demonstration painting at Spalding
Demonstration watercolour which I did at my recent workshop in Spalding

Incidentally, if you’re interested in Rowland Hilder’s style of painting, I will be tutoring a workshop on that theme next year. Friday 15th March 2013, at Windrush near Burford, Oxfordshire. More details on my website Learnwatercolour.com.

Weekend Workshop for 2013

Today I’m planning my 2013 programme of workshops and other events, well thinking about some of them anyway! As before, I’ll be tutoring two weekend courses at West Norfolk Arts Centre, Castle Rising, Norfolk. One of them is a new workshop called ‘Let the Brush Tell the Story’ and it focuses on the work of Edward Seago, the well known East Anglian painter. Seago was a master of both oils and watercolour, but this course will concentrate on his watercolour technique.

Look at any Seago watercolour and you find yourself wondering ‘just how does he say so much with so few brush strokes’? The answer of course, is practise and a thorough knowledge of his materials and of the subject. The true skill lies in Seago’s ‘touch with the brush’, letting the brush and the paper react together and make a mark that truly tells the story of the subject. We might not all be able to paint like Edward Seago, but there are plenty of simple techniques that can be learnt by studying his work. During this weekend art course I will try to show you some of them, and tell you a little of the story of the man himself.

The dates are Sat – Sun 18 – 19 May 2013 at West Norfolk Arts Centre, Castle Rising, Norfolk, PE31 6AG. Cost £220 to include a comprehensive kit of art materials, including paints, brushes and paper of similar type to those used by Seago. Book by telephoning the Art Centre on 01553 631689. The workshop is suitable for artists of all abilities, except complete beginners.

Cottage near Stradsett
Cottage near Stradsett, Norfolk, painted by me in the style of Edward Seago

The New Term Begins

We are safely back in the UK now after our Route 66 road-trip. I’m working on a few paintings of scenes from the Route and will post some of them here soon. Meanwhile, it’s time to get ready for my autumn term of classes at West Norfolk Arts Centre, which start on Thursday 11th October.
It’s always an interesting challenge to come up with new subjects for my students, or at least old subjects presented in a new way. Here’s a taster of the first painting that the two Thursday groups will be tackling. Just a small crop from my ‘try-out’ to whet the appetite!

Improve your watercolours
A crop from the first painting that my Thursday watercolour groups will be working on

At the Grand Canyon

We’ve diverted off Route 66 to return to the Grand Canyon which we visited last year. Despite having been here before the views are still breathtaking. This is one place you must come to if you are a lover of the landscape and even more so if you are a keen walker.
Our hiking has been a little upset by having a puncture in our rental car, which involved a lot of waiting about for someone to change the wheel. Needless to say I tried to do this myself, but could I get the wheel nuts off? Eventually a good ol’ boy in a pick-up truck came and did the job for us. But we will still have to go to Flagstaff tomorrow because now we have no spare tyre. Ah well, just one of those things.
Today, we hiked the South Kaibab trail from the South rim of the canyon down to Skeleton Point. A truly great walk with amazing views all around. At the Point there was just time for a quick ink sketch of the view down to the Colorado river before the plod back to the top. This is about half way on the trek down to the river and it took five hours with stops. Phew! But it was worth it.