A wonderful painting holiday

Perfect sunny weather and another wonderful painting holiday workshop has just ended. Anne, Jaclyn and Ebeth from JHB together with Maria, Rose and Gloria from DBN, were the enthusiastic participants with me, Colleen, being the teacher/fellow artist. We combine the relaxation of a peaceful ‘Berg holiday with the excitement and satisfaction of sketching and painting in friendly like-minded company. Beginner or experienced artist, or somewhere between, all are welcome. The games room, spacious, light and airy, becomes our studio. Mountains with sandstone cliffs, hills, streams, trees, birds, wild flowers, etc. are limitless inspiration for sketches and photos.

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Discussions with brief demonstrations illustrate the aspects of design and techniques aimed at for the day. Working from sketches and photos in the studio with Jaclyn’s music as background was very pleasant. Loose impressionistic mark-making was encouraged. A variety of tools were used for sketching and painting. Drawings done with sharpened bamboo sticks and ink, which were then loosened with water and jik, yielded some surprises and lovely results. Besides new works, Ebeth, Gloria and Rose brought paintings begun at home to complete. Everyone worked on subjects that they’d chosen with concentrated fervour. They praised and encouraged each other and relaxed together at mealtimes, telling stories and jokes and feelings of camaraderie quickly developed.

The workshop always culminates in an exhibition, to which all guests are invited. It’s amazing how much had been achieved. Rose did two sets of three small paintings. Gloria completed and sold two of her first three oil paintings ever and she showed how well ink works on canvas. Jaclyn painted her favourite lavender fields successfully. She experimented and sold her first ink sketch on canvas to a delighted young couple. Maria had roughly covered an old painting with paint remaining on her palette, meaning to begin anew.. Her daughter saw it in a cellphone photo and wanted it ‘as is’. That eve another couple begged her to sell it to them! She laughed but resisted. Ebeth went home with her many much admired paintings and bought my protea painting too. Anne, who had started the week as a total beginner, had several drawings plus two oil paintings on show, so treated the group to champagne at dinner to celebrate.

Colleen Hamer

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