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A dramatic 'forest' of paintings from the recent 2-day 'Freedom in Painting' Workshop at the Queens Park Art Centre, Aylesbury!  


In advance of the workshop, the 12 artists were asked to make studies of their own special tree, real or imagined, and were also send a Powerpoint presention of an extensive selection of tree paintings from art history, including works by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Mondrian, Soutine, Joan Mitchell, Frank Auerbach...This ensured everone had a clear focus and direction for the workshop, with possibilities for painting....


ant study900Antonia Glynne-Jones: Tree-study


 After a brief introductory talk, I went straight into a demonstration, making new studies for my Porthleven tree painting, pushing the idea of strength and delicacy with acrylics and a single brush, an exercise which the artists then followed. It was enjoyable to view their studies, as a group, the artists now loosened-up and full of ideas for painting. 


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A second demonstration followed, where, surrounded by studies and possibiliies I made my first foray into painting, on a yellow ground which I 'borrowed' from Cezanne...

What qualities does a tree bring to a painting? Tree as structure, tree as movement, tree as volume, tree as drawing, branch=line... 

During the demonstration, and a third one after lunch, the painting went through many changes, showing perhaps that pre-conception or first thoughts are not necessarily the best solution to a painting!




The artists took these thoughts on board, and over the 2 days pushed their paintings forwards, informed by their studies and memory, but also by new ideas and the exciting things that happen in the process. Also by what the other artists were doing aound them, all with different ideas and approaches. 

The painting-process isn't just about doing - it's about looking, analysing, finding ways to make the painting stronger. Sometimes the changes made were dramatic, other times more subtle: see the quiet strength that Brenda Hurley revealed in her painting, below. 


before and after...


The 'forest' emerged, a strong (and delicate!) set of paintings from a group of committed artists, willing to leave their own comfort zone and go deeper into painting. The workshop finished with an invaluable Group Critique, the paintings a revelation when the studio was cleared. I very much enjoyed the one-to-one tuition and conversations with the artists over the two days and seeing the paintings develop.  A big thank-you to all the participating artists for your hard work and a special thank-you to Antonia Glynne-Jones (and cats) for her hospitality and organisation and to Katy Garrod for taking a series of videos of the demonstration in the workshop. 

 And great to see the artists carrying on with the 'TREE' theme after the workshop - Diane Bedser's latest painting: 


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'Really enjoyed the course and felt I have achieved a step forward in my understanding'  KATE WATKINS

 'What a super group of artists and Ashley's support was fantastic'  HAZEL CRAWFORD

 'The course gave me the impetus to return to oils and to experiment'  CLAIRE ROLLINSON

'Ashley makes time to provide personalised insight into everyone's work'  KATY GARROD

 'Three days would be good!'  DIANE BEDSER & BRENDA HURLEY