I decided that this was because the reference painting was something that I had produced from the heart. I walk those woods every day and see the way that light plays on the gnarled bark of the tree trunks, the shadows that play on the leaf littered floor and the kaleidoscope of light twinkling through the canopy of branches and leaves. I know those trees, the stumps, the badger sets, the cheeky squirrel that sits on a log teasing the dog. My painting was how I feel as I take my daily constitutional. I see those colours. It uplifts me and inspires me. So faced with something called Expressional Landscapes that was painted by someone else was, I concluded, already going to be a challenge.
My group consists of beginner painters. Those that either enjoyed art at school and want to revisit the feeling of achievement that it brought, and those that were persuaded that they were no good at it. I LOVE these people! I was brought up to believe there is no such this as CAN'T! Only CAN'T BE BOTHERED! So with that firmly in my mind I take my 'students' (a term I use loosely as I don't consider myself a teacher and I am certainly not qualified, being self taught) and break each stage of the painting down step by step. Some take each step literally and some inject a bit of themselves into each stage.
Some have minor tremors at key stages, some just carry on regardless, but each and every one of them has a good time. They are absorbed in their own creation and leave with a sense of achievement. I am so proud of them all and know only too well the benefits of taking time to zone out of every day stresses to concentrate on one thing for a short period of time. My workshops last for two hours. That is long enough to make new friends, relax in a positive atmosphere and try new things in a safe environment. We all support each other and the critique at the end of the session is positive and affirming. Vincent Van Goghs we may not be, but my God we have fun trying!
If you are interested in coming and having a go you can sign up to my newsletter.
I will announce new workshops after Easter as I am taking a short break after my Pet Painting Workshop to run the Association of Animal Artists Exhibition in Frodsham.
Workshops are limited to 8 people to ensure that everyone gets individual attention.