Emily Ball at Seawhite
Contemporary Drawing and Painting Courses
SUMMER SCHOOL REFLECTIONS
The Seawhite Studio newsletter is back with a wonderful celebration of summer and painting! Emily refllects on the special time spent working and painting together with artist, friend and fellow tutor, Katie Sollohub and the students who joined them at Cuckmere Haven, immersed in the spectacular light and surroundings of this unique landscape.
Summer School 2018
Yesterday’s heavy rain seems to have broken the magic spell that we have been under during the heatwave. I have loved having all the doors and windows flung open to let in the air, allowing the outside in. Very early morning walks have been my daily routine; making the most of the cool morning and celebrating the beautiful light of each sun drenched day.
For 3 consecutive weeks during July Katie Sollohub and I taught our Summer School down at Cuckmere Haven, at the Coastguard's cottage. For both of us it is a high point in our year. We absolutely love teaching together. Working so closely for over 20 years we have a special relationship which provides us with a flow of ideas from our combined teaching experience. We support each other and have a lot of fun along the way.
Walk down to the Coastguard's Cottage
After a restful week I have recovered from the intensity and pace of teaching the Summer School and I have had time to reflect. Looking through the photos; remembering the heat, the heavenly Coastguard's Cottage, the expansive view from the deck, the garden filled with wild flowers, the warm wind making our paper fly, the glitter scattered sea, the imposing white cliffs, the intense green of the sea weed, word pictures, the poems, the mark making, the generosity of paint and of course the cake.
Then back in the Studio at Seawhite the leaps into the unknown by each student while making their paintings. Each learning their own 'Paintish' Language. The sharing and group energy. The inspiring standard of work and growing confidence. As one lovely student put it:
"I feel as you though you have opened the window onto the potential of the creative process. Actually on second thoughts it is not the window, it is more like folding back the roof of my camper van to see the expanse of possibilities".
What is special about these 5 day courses is that we take each student through the many stages of making a painting. From the moment everyone arrives on location we endeavour to create an atmosphere and space where they can feel relaxed, receptive, aware and sensitive to where they are. Then we demonstrate processes that can help each artist make studies that go beyond trying to copy the view; leading them to discover, through the work, what they notice and is important to them. They practise being inventive and playful, not judging too hastily.
"I had a fantastic time and a unique experience with you and Katie. It has been a wonderful experience for me. The course has given me a lot of food for thought and some great techniques to practice. The warm up mark making and small fast black and white sketches I have found of great value and will practice everywhere I go now. I met a super bunch of people on the course. It was a great experience and thoroughly enjoyed the two weeks. To top it all off was the opportunity to work in such a unique setting, I had to pinch myself a few times".
We write and reflect as we go. Then after 2 days working outside we go to the studio with armfuls of studies. We look at them all, select, do studies from studies and gradually over 3 days develop a series of 3 – 4 paintings. Each step of the way we emphasise the importance of exploring the tactility and sumptuousness of the paint, to cherry-pick motifs from their studies and to put aside expectation.
Trudi Foggo's space week 3
On the final week we had Noah Carter (film maker) join us on location in the landscape and back at the studio to film us all at work. He is editing the footage over the rest of the summer and our film should be ready in the early autumn. It will give a wonderful flavour of what it is like to be on the Summer School.
"Thanks to you and Katie for a wonderful week of sunshine and inspiration. I am hoping to work with these for the summer now and get a small series out of it for the solo show. I may revisit the oil pours and see if I can develop the feel of the landscape and then build up with more oil to capture the feel of the garden and grasses. I will keep you posted".
It is has been such a fantastic experience yet again to run the Summer School. I would like to say a huge thank you to my fantastic friend and fellow tutor Katie. How lucky are we to love our job so much?!! Also a massive thank you to all our wonderful students who allow us to guide and coax them into making new and challenging work. You worked and played hard and we hope the exercises and input will help all your future work and practice as an artist.
If you like the sound of this, then Katie and I will be running a similar course in the Autumn at Sheffield Park; Autumn Trees and Landscape. Click on the course title below to book your place.
Tutors: Emily Ball and Katie Sollohub
The studio is resting now. There will be a lot of sorting, cleaning, stock taking, planning and preparation going on now so that we are ready to start up again in September. Check out what courses we have planned on the website: www.emilyballatseawhite.co.uk.
Enjoy the rest of the summer. We hope to see you at the studio soon.
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