Open for business!

In the light of the Covid19 situation worldwide it’s difficult to decide what to do. As long as you are well and fit, without any underlying health issues then why not come on a relaxing painting holiday, escape from the world to a beautiful location and paint.
We are still hosting three major international courses this year, The Amalfi Coast in a June, Cork, Ireland in August (full) and Corfu, Greece in September. (full) We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep guests informed of any changes or cancellations as and when they become an issue.
We are also hosting courses at Brambles in a Devon. Allowing for no travel restrictions you are welcome to join us, tuck yourself away in our hamlet and escape the virus madness for a while.
We can paint in the studio, the garden, and at lovely secluded locations nearby. Places where We often paint and never meet a soul anyway.
Dates on our Brambles page or Dates page. Feel free to email janet@bramblesartretreat.com Tel: 01566784359



Religious icons

I recently went to Perugia for a few days and in their National gallery I saw an exhibition of Icon and religious paintings. Wow how beautiful, I’m not religious but I can appreciate the skill, talent and beauty of this work. What really turned me on was the decay, the wear and tear, the fading away of these wonderful pieces.

I have been working with Watercolour, pen, acrylic, gold leaf, and collage on hand made paper. It’s all about the textures, and the distressed effect from ageing.

Exhibited at the Tamar Valley Centre, Gunnerslake, Cornwall

Autumn Courses

Here we are at the end of October and the colours of Autumn are upon us. We have hosted a weekend and five day course with the dominating theme of autumn.
Emphasising the importance of using transparent colours we focused on the gorgeous colours of fallen leaves.
The aim to capture the rich burnt browns, oranges and greens found on the fallen and rotting leaves. Wow did we have fun!

We are hosting two more courses In November, a weekend 8th – 19th and a five day 10th – 15th, we will be continuing to explore the Autumn theme exploring rich strong colour in watercolour.
As we head in to a dramatic winter landscape we use of a Charcoal to capture the lack of colour and drama of Dartmoor, the trees and skies. Fancy a creative weekend? There are a few places left.

Preparation and practice for a large painting.

How do I prepare my ideas and practice my painting before painting a huge canvas?
I don’t want to waste paint, canvas and most importantly my time painting a huge canvas without having some idea of what I want to paint.
In preparation for a large painting initially I go out to my favourite location and absorb the atmosphere, take photos, draw and sketch and add watercolour to the sketches.

I often choose a theme for my latest work, it has been winter snow, reflections in water, iced winter colours. This theme idea comes from my time as s fashion designer when I worked with trends.
I used to replicate my photographs, using interesting painting techniques, I now combine my memories of the moment, and my sketches to capture an essence of the moment in my painting, with the aim that it is not a replication.

I like to prepare a few pages of the simplest of ideas, psint this in my sketch book, the simpler the better as few marks as possible. Or I sometimes like to do really detailed drawings, I like to vary my initial ideas.

I then use small square canvases to 20cm x 20cm to produce a small version of ny idea. Often working on 6 – 8 canvases one after the other to formulate an idea. I also enjoy working on watercolour paper A3 size. I also lie to work on another intermediate size canvas 60 x 60cm.

I produce a collection of about 12 pieces of work and then choose the strongest idea to paint much larger.
The development of the smaller works into a very large pieces changes and takes on a life if it’s own.
The larger piece take more time and more content, the mark making needs to be developed and sometimes the drama and scale of the mark has to be bold and flamboyant. This is tricky and sometimes works bigger and sometines doesn’t.

If I feel work from the previous year us now outdated and I no longer like it I use it as a textural base for a new paintings. This adds another dimension and provides an interesting base for the new work.

Painting large scale needs lots of distant viewing so I am always stepping away, at least 10 feet, to get a fresh look and overall perspective of the painting.