Monday, 11 May 2015

Happy Times, Warmer Climes


I'm into my fifth week of tutoring six Tuesday evening sketching workshops in at Alston Hall in Lancashire. It's a rambling Victorian Gothic house and we look out of the studio, through arched windows and across fields dotted with sheep and lambs, to the tree-line of the River Ribble.
This loveliest of settings makes me look forward to my week at Chateau L'Age Baston, another grand house with lovely views from an elevated position. Here, though, I'll be looking towards the Dordogne, over countryside punctuated by terracotta-roofed houses and rimmed by blue distant hills.

I've drawn the ironing board and the washing line, but there's the dovecote and the courtyard with its bright umbrellas, worn stone steps, pretty gates and doorways, drystone walls and deep dark woods studded with wild cyclamen.

If that isn't enough, pet donkeys and sheep roam within the shake of a paintbrush and the breeze ripples, Hockneyesque, the swimming pool's sunlit surface.
In nearby towns, there are markets, bars and riverside chateaux. 

                                                   Piegut-Pluviers, the Market and the Bar

Fellow guests, too, are often happy to sit for a portrait, well, once at least!
                                    Don, drawing in the Studio
 I'll be encouraging students to get lively and loose and to respond to different subject matter in different ways, with different materials. We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain from a week in such an idyllic retreat!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Packing Paints and Brushes

I've been asked to give several workshops this year, both at home and abroad, all of them in the loveliest of venues!

Before my exhibition at the Whitaker-Rossendale Museum and Art Gallery ends on the 22nd February, I'll be giving a half-term workshop for children, having fun using collage and line.

The Whitaker, Rawtenstall

And we plan a sketching afternoon for adults around the same time.

Also at The Whitaker, when the days get longer we'll see a return of last year's popular evening sketching sessions. With a free glass of wine for those who need some false courage!

Alston Hall, Longridge

Further to the North-West, the stunning Victorian Alston Hall in the Ribble Valley is the venue for different courses.

Tuesday evenings through April and May there'll be sketching workshops in the Gothic house and grounds, including an Urban Sketching session in the bright lights of nearby Longridge!

On the 13th June I'll be hosting a whole day's sketching at the Hall.

And! there's a whole week's residential art course from August 10th, which gives the opportunity to learn new skills and be immersed in all things artistic from morning to night, inspired by our surroundings and the world in general!

Chateau L'Age Baston

 For those who love la Belle France, I'm at beautiful Chateau L'age Baston in Poitou - Charentes for a week starting on the 27th June.

Outside the Studio

I've given workshops here for several years and love the house, the food (candlelit dinners in tapestried dining room or in the courtyard!), the beautiful dovecote, and the studio space

It's surrounded by gardens, cyclamen-strewn woods, and there are distant views towards the Dordogne.

I nearly forgot the pool, the heated pool, mustn't forget the pool.

I'm hoping you'll be inspired to join me- let's meet somewhere, sometime!

You can keep in touch with what I'm up to on my Facebook page (Caroline Johnson, Fine Artist and Urban Sketcher)

Watch this space for more detail, and go to individual websites for further information.