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We were blessed with the weather on our May 'Freedom in Painting' course in Port Isaac! As on all our courses in Cornwall, we began the week with drawing on location, the nine artists from around the country gathering on Monday morning in beautiful, inspiring Trebarwith Strand, the skyline dominated by the imposing shape of Gull Rock. The purpose, as always, was to record and respond to the landscape, and its changes over time, and from that process, trigger ideas for painting. 


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After a well-earned lunch at the Port William Inn, we moved on to the different landscape of Bude, with its expanse of sand, jagged rock formations and fascinating meeting of sea, canal and river. The geometric open-air 'Sea-Pool' (below, right) proved a popular subject with the artists. We also took a detour to Bude Castle, to see the exhibition and also my painting of Bude, made during a residency in 2014. 


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BUDE'Bude'  70x50cms  oil on canvas  2014


On Tuesday morning, we met in our studio in Port Isaac Village Hall, starting the day with a simple colour-exercise, taking a shape from one of the previous days drawings. The rest of the morning was spent getting to know our subject through drawing from the harbour and the many magnificent viewpoints around Port Isaac, again looking for ideas for painting. 


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The afternoon painting session included a demonstration and a talk about three different strands of abstraction, with reference to the artists of the St.Ives School: the lineage of colour, the analytical approach of Cezanne, Cubism and Mondrian, and expressive mark-making with its links to calligraphy. Different entries into painting, and over the next three days, as you can see from the gallery below, the artists pursued different routes, with overlaps of course, bringing clarity and personality to their subject.




The course encourages risk-taking and experimentation in a supportive atmosphere. The aim is for the artists is to move their practice forwards: to be creative, inventive, ambitious for their painting and to have confidence and drive (and lots of drawings and studies!) to continue working from the subject when they return home. 

Thanks again, Denise (Hanson) for some great photos.  

(The dates for next years Port Isaac course are Wednesday 13 - Sunday 17 May 2020. While not yet on the website, please get in touch if you would like to reserve a place)




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