Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Week at Dedham Hall

It is always a pleasure to teach at Dedham Hall in Suffolk. I often get people coming back and over the years many of the students have become friends. This year I had 10 lovely students. Two had never been to Dedham before but very soon fitted in the routine.
We start on Saturday afternoon with a cup of tea and some of Wendy's delicious cake at 4pm when we all introduce ourselves and I have a quick chat about the week to come.
On the first evening I always give a talk and demo in the studio.

Clouds at Blakeney, demo. 14" x 16"

Sunday is always busy in town so we stay in the grounds of the hall, there is so much to paint there one really needn't venture further afield. I started everyone off with a quick demo of the glasshouse

Glasshouse at Dedham Hall  8" x 8"

Monday we took advantage of the good weather and went to Woodbridge. It's been a few years since I took a group there. I'd forgotten how good it was. I did a painting while I was waiting for the group to look around and decide what they wanted to paint. The tide was out but coming in fast, by the time I'd finished 1/2 hour later there was no mud to be seen.

Woodbridge 14" x 16"

I planned to go to Pin Mill so that evening I gave a demo on painting the barges which I hoped we would see there.

Barges at Pin Mill 14" x 10"

Demo at Pin Mill

I don't get much chance to do my own painting at Dedham so I often will go into the studio before breakfast. here are two of the paintings that I got up early to paint.

Cherries and Imari bowl 8" x 8"

Quimper jug and Asters with Satsumas 8" x 8"

The weather turned on us a bit on Tuesday so we went to the river to paint before rain set in. Most managed to get at least some sketching done. I got a quick demo of the cows before they disappeared

and then they were gone!!

Study in White 12" x 12"

Another evening I gave the above as a demo to illustrate light against dark in a still life. I thoroughly enjoyed painting this in spite of all those ellipses I had to deal with.

The week seemed to pass very quickly and all too soon it was time to clear the studio and set up the final exhibition. I like to take time and care over this , to display the students work at it's best. There certainly was some good work done. At 6.30 Jim & Wendy come over with drinks for out little PV and after dinner we all head back into the studio where I go round each persons work and give a constructive appraisal. This for me is the hardest bit as I try to be encouraging yet honest without upsetting anyone - so far I think I have got away with it . We'll see if they come back again next year!!