My workshops at Higham Hall (near Cockermouth in the Lake District in northwest England) run from the evening meal on the first day to breakfast on the last, with four full days for painting inbetween. Higham Hall is a characterful, historic building on top of a hill, with gardens stretching to either side.
My workshops are held in the studio off the back courtyard, what was once the stables. Here’s a short video of the studio, when I’d set up my painting space and shop but before any workshop participants arrived, to give you an idea of the space. (The plans Higham have to make the studio fully accessible were unfortunately set back by the pandemic lockdown, which saw the funds for this used to keep things going, so it’ll be a few more years before the studio’s step free.)
(If you don’t see the video above, click here to see it on my Vimeo channel)
The first evening session in the studio is getting settled in, doing a little painting, and a chance for me to talk to everyone individually. The days that follow are a combination of exercises on expressive techniques and colour mixing, plus plenty of time to work on your own paintings with my help and to enjoy what everyone else is painting. The studio becomes alive with creative energy and all sorts of paintings emerge.
I did a demo one evening, showing how I’d paint if I started with a coloured ground (rather than white of the canvas) and how much things can change whilst I paint if I follow an impulse (in this instance, moving from stormy sky to sunnier weather). Acrylics on A2-size watercolour paper. This is what the painting looked like at the end of the demo, with the orange still very visible beneath the sea:
And this is what it looked like at the end of the workshop after I’d painted on it some more:
For the dates of my forthcoming workshops at Higham Hall, see my Art Workshops page. You can ask Higham to be put on the list for a forthcoming workshop if it’s not yet open to bookings, which will put you amongst the first to be notified when bookings do start. If you’ve any questions, get in touch.