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: