The year 2020 has certainly offered us more options to be creative, travel and see friends and families again. How lovely it was to be able to meet up last summer and venture to some of my favourite painting locations. The Spring course in Sicily was unfortunately still out of bounds, but the later painting weeks in Scotland, Devon and Spain went ahead full steam. Sadly the delightful art school in Olhao, Portugal, had to close down and will be very much missed in my painting calendar. I'd like to say thank you to all my wonderful colleagues in Portugal, who made our many painting weeks such a memorable experience.
Plans for next year are looking different as I am postponing most courses to 2023 when I hope the travel restrictions will be fewer, better organised and of course less costly.
I hope very much that you will keep on painting regardless of restrictions and obstacles and continue to let the paints flow into a kaleidoscope of forms and colours. Below are a few watercolours painted at past painting courses which might spur you on to keep painting, refresh your memory and inspire you to explore your colour palette.
I wish you a wonderful time over the festive season and a very happy New Year,
PS For upcoming courses have a look at the home page or course pages.
We had a wonderful time at Casa Ana in Spain where we painted the inspiring Andalusian landscape and from where we ventured out to whitewashed villages and surrounding hills, enjoyed local Flamenco dancers on the sun-filled terrace and tasted local wines. After getting all the travel paper work sorted and actually arriving at Malaga airport, it was time to relax and think of painting, leaving all worries of the last year behind. It is an easy task when you are greeted by sunshine, blue skies and our smiling host Anne and her team.
After a scrumptious breakfast we set to work the next day and painted in the village square by the old water fountain. While we mixed paints, measured up buildings and decided on shadow colours, Sunday ceremonies with cakes were taking place all around us, not omitting offers of some delicious morsels. The following day was equally social when Dean arrived with his two ‘pack horses’ to take our painting gear and guide us together with Anne to a nearby rocky plateau with amazing mountain views. Our drinking water was gathered from a naturally sparking spring on the way! As always during the duration of my courses I gave daily watercolour demonstrations to get things going and to help with particular painting aspects like perspective, colour choice, working from sketches etc.
Apart from painting the narrow village streets and traditional old buildings with their balconies and wine growing roof top terraces, we also visited the old town of Capileira, where the white buildings with their flat roofs and numerous attractive chimneys cling to the precipitously steep mountain side. A lovely place to sketch, have a leisurely lunch and do some light shopping. The day was suitably finished off with a sip of sparkling wine and two local Flamenco dancers who not only performed for us, but also explained the ancient and colourful origins of this exciting dance form.
On our penultimate day we hopped again onto the minibus and were off to Fondales, another picturesque village a little lower down from Ferreirola. The little square offered views in all directions, down alley ways, into intimate corners amply adorned with flowerpots, narrow entrances with steps leading up to more buildings seemingly on top of each other. Maria’s teashop provided us with snacks and drinks to keep us going until dinner time when we indulged in yet another gorgeous meal. But before we tucked in we had a wine tasting hour, learning all about the wines of the area. Needless to say this was not just educational but also highly enjoyable.
And so our last day arrived - much too soon! After another pleasurable day’s painting we had an informal show of some of our weeks work. It was extremely gratifying for me to see the amount of creativity generated during just one week. We celebrated with a last glass of pre-dinner Champagne followed by our last exquisite evening meal.
With big thanks to Anne who owns Casa Ana, and who made us feel more than welcome and to everybody else who made our painting week so extremely enjoyable.
"Delicious food, great painting locations and outstanding hospitality"
More photos from the course in Spain and all courses on my Facebook page:
Dear Painters and Friends,
What a pleasure it was to be out painting again. This time it was in beautiful Devon, where we spent a blissful week painting mostly outside. The weather was not as its best but we only had one rainy day which we spent in the Coombe’s spacious studio surrounded by inspirational artworks by Paul Riley - Coombe Farm founder - other local artists and by myself.
The courtyard and gardens made the perfect location for day one with archways, farm views and colourful pots and plants to paint. By day two, we were eager to paint further away and headed out to the fantastic gardens and home of the Sculptor Jilly Sutton. There are the most amazing painting views across the estuary of the River Dart. A couple of boats in the foreground made it the perfect composition for a watercolour painting, and a joy just to be there and watch the tide coming in slowly.
While the weather was holding, we ventured out in the opposite direction down to Dittisham where we met the now very wide river again. We settled with our equipment along the edge of the harbour wall and soon had drawings ready to be painted in watercolour. More boats and a couple of beautiful white swans presented quite a challenge, especially for those of us who don’t usually get the chance to observe either.
The next day was a studio day and a chance to finish watercolours from the day before. It was also a good time to do some special watercolour demonstrations of the Burnt Sienna coloured chicken at the top of Coombe. A helpful tool to work out the anatomy of swans and how to capture a moving animal with a couple of decisive wet into wet brush strokes. After practicing this particularly exciting watercolour technic we approached our last day with confidence and the resulting paintings showed that the ‘hard’ work of the past five days had paid off.
We celebrated with a showing of our paintings displayed in the studio. A glass of wine served by Lara and her delightful little daughter Rosa made it a truly sparkling event. Only remains to say a big thank you to everybody who looked after us, and of course especially to Helen and Sarah, the two cooks who spoilt us every day with extraordinary delicious meals.
I am now looking forward to going to Spain – Andalusia – in October for my last course of the year. I very much hope you enjoy painting during the last days of the summer,
Photos from the course in Devon on my FaceBook page:
Dear painters and friends,
The painting week at Brynaport came and went much too quickly. We had such a fantastic time painting outdoors in the gorgeous mountain landscape of the Scottish Highlands and getting to know each other again after a year’s absence. Gillian and Mark Pattinson were as ever the perfect hosts even though the course was non-residential this year. The weather was somewhat cooler than usual but with no rain to speak of we were able to venture out every day.
To start with we painted the view across the glistening Loch Kishorn, looking out from Brynaport house with whitewashed cottages in the foreground. The next day we took the path down to the secluded cove just across the road which features amazing rockfaces, netting poles and a small island nestling in the Loch. Painting the rocks proved not the easiest of tasks but prepared us well for things to come.
The following day we traveled by car - or on foot as preferred- to the nearby village with stunning views towards the Torridon hills in the direction of Applecross, which is situated on the coastal side of this imposing mountain range. On day three, a bit further afield, we drove to an exciting waterfall beyond the fishing village of Shieldaig. Breathtaking rocks and cliffs with cascading water – an absolute joy to paint. It was my first time to paint there and I am certainly going back for more next year. Last but not least we visited Glasnock, a small Loch fringed by reeds and half covered by see roses. From there we had a wonderful panorama of open grassland with the surrounding peaks of the various mountain ranges. Two cottages and some lone trees made the perfect focus in an otherwise distant landscape.
So came a wonderful painting week to a end. It’s hard to put into words how lovely it was to be able to paint again in congenial company and in an exciting landscape far away from all the troubles of last year.
Devon, where I will be next from 15th-21st August, offers a completely different setting for my painting course at Coombe Farm Studios. The hills are lush green and gently rolling, the gardens filled with flowers and coastline and river Dart are equally tempting.
I wish you a very happy painting summer,
PS: I will return to Scotland in June/July 20222 so watch out for the new dates on my website because places will be limited
Dear Painters and Friends,
I can hardly believe it, but I am actually booked to fly to Inverness for the painting course in the wonderful Scottish Highlands! It seems almost dreamlike to be able to travel again after such a long time. Of course I had my two vaccines which made it all possible. Now it’s time to get ready. Cutting water colour paper to the right size to fit into the suitcase, sorting out paint tubes and brushes and last but not least sorting out my wardrobe for outdoor painting. This includes everything from sun cream and bikini for a dip in Loch Kishorn, to sun hat and apron for painting on location, to that warm cardigan for the odd cooler day. And as usual it will be hell to fit it all in. But it will all be worth it, when we are gathered on the lakeside by Brynaport, looking across the Loch and the Corridon Mountains with paint brush in hand. Needless to say, I can’t wait to be there.
And there is more to come in August at Coombe Farm studios in Devon. The course there will run from 15th – 21st August and is already fully booked, but and if you want to join the waiting list in case of cancellations, do drop Lara Lloyd at Coombe Farm a line : firstname.lastname@example.org Later in October, I am planning to finally paint in Spain from 2nd- 9th Oct at Casa Ana in Andalusia. This course had a cancellation and there are now two more places (2 single room) available. To book give Anne a call or email: email@example.com tel: (0034) 678 298 497
I hope very much you are well and have been able to paint despite restrictions and look forward to meeting you again if not this year than perhaps in 2022.
With best wishes,
THE PLAGUE is a group exhibition by THE TUNNEL consisting of work produced
during the pandemic.
PRIVATE VIEW: Friday 21st May, 18:00pm includes performances by Grassy Noel
and Ape and other Tunnel artists.
Show runs 21 -23rd May.
” No one yet had really accepted the idea of the disease. Most were chiefly affected by
whatever upset their habits or touched on their interests.”
ADDRESS: 13 Pearson Street, London. E2 8JD
Please note: that admission will be restricted to 15 people at any one time.
OPENING TIMES: Sat 4-11pm, Sun 12-7pm
The Tunnel are a group of artists, performers and writers based in London:
Noel GrassyMacken, Noga Shatz, Mathew Tudor, Bettina Schroeder, Mark Rathmell,
Alicia Roy, Mandee Gage, Ky Lewis, Monika Tobel, Lawrence Blackman,Tracie Angiolini,
Mervyn Diese, Cassandra Mahoney, Julie Ann, Julia Maddison, Jesper Sundwall, Christina
Lovey, Rebecca Smith, Alexander Short, Rachelle Allen Sherwood, Jamie Stanton,
Dear Painters and Friends, with this spontaneous drawing (done on my iPhone with index finger) I would like to wish you all a lovely time over the Easter Holidays.
May the creative juices flow freely!
Dear Painters and Friends,
Spring is definitely coming and my brushes are getting very restless. The urge to travel and paint further afield becomes overwhelming every day the sun shines. Thankfully there has been some encouraging news: travel restrictions should be lifted by the end of May. This means my June painting week in wonderful Andalusia, Spain is going ahead as planned, but two of my Europe courses had to be cancelled. At least we can now look forward to meeting and painting together again in the summer in Spain, Scotland or Devon, “Road Map” permitting. Until then we still have to be patient and find inspiration closer to home.
Below are a few watercolours painted at past painting courses which might spur you on to keep painting, refresh your memory and inspire you to explore your colour palette.
I wish you a lovely Spring, filled with sketching, painting and plans for the summer,
Dear Painters and Friends,
I hope you are well and have been able to be creative during these ‘grey’ month of the year. At least there is no shortage of colour in our paint boxes!
However, it’s with the greatest regrets that I received the news from my colleague Camilla at Art In The Algarve, that the lovely art school in Olhao has had to close down permanently due to the effect of the ongoing pandemic. I know Camilla has been working hard to keep the school open but in the end had to make the sad decision to close. I am so very disappointed as everybody must you be, who had planned to paint with me in Portugal this year.
Losing the art school is a big blow for all of us painters and tutors, not least because the founder David Clark - Camilla’s father – who felt so passionate about the arts, had anticipated it would go on for many happy painting years to come. I will certainly try and visit Olhao another year by myself, but I am sure I shall miss painting with everybody at the Art School and working alongside the energetic and charming Margarida, her family and colleagues.
With great hopes for a better summer, and that we get another chance to meet, if not in Portugal perhaps in another of my painting locations,
Painting course with Bettina Schroeder
at Brynaport, Scottish Highlands - 11th – 15th July
I hope you have survived the difficult times we have had this year. Although all 2020 courses unfortunately had to be cancelled, we are planning courses for next year with the same inspirational tutors.
We are working on our existing facilities to allow for necessary social distancing and hygiene measures in 2021 and are confident that we will be able to hold courses. Changes include running with smaller group sizes (7 students), and adapting the studio by adding adjacent wash and toilet facilities. The courses will all be non-residential for 2021. We will supply a list of recommended self-catering and B&B accommodation in the village.
Courses will include a delicious lunch individually boxed, afternoon tea and cake. All dietary requirements can be catered for.
We hope you will be able to join us and we look forward to welcome you in 2021 at North West Highlands Art.
You can contact Northwest Highlands Art at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01520 733227.
For further information and prices visit the website. We are currently making alterations to the website to allow for Covid19 restrictions.
These will be available shortly at : www.nwhighlandsart.co.uk