Over the last month many artists I have been talking to have commented that they have found it difficult to get in their studios and keep a routine of working. There are a whole host of reasons; the distractions of having more people than usual staying at home, the anxiety caused by worrying about all that is going on the world, the call of the garden, lethargy, a lack of courage or even cleaning the house!
It is hard. Yet, as artists, we know that once we are immersed in our work it quietens our minds. It makes us feel calmer, more complete and clearer about what matters. We are a sensitive bunch! We are affected by what is happening around us. We notice the small, the beautiful, the co-incidences - even in the mundane and everyday. The things that make us smile, cry, pause, reflect are the content of our work. They are a reflection of what matters to us and who we are. So interestingly, the enforced periods of time at home - with less rushing around - give us more time to reflect . The quiet gives us the space and time to join up our thinking. We are reminded perhaps of the connectedness of everything - other people and Nature. So when we draw, paint, collage, sew, sculpt, write we are caring for our well-being but also acknowledging, reflecting and celebrating who we are and how we are part of everything. We are in some small way making sense of the world, what matters to us and the part we have to play in it.
Reflections on the first two online Floribunda courses
Thank you so much for the great teaching. I am in complete awe of how you and Luke presented the course. I really appreciated the intuitive way you passed on some of your knowledge in such an articulate and relatable way. You have given me a roadmap for my journey of exploration and I am completely excited to set out again in my studio. (Gilli Bryan)
The first two Online Floribunda courses have been a surprising, inspiring, engaging and remarkable way of working with so many people. Far from being a substitute for face-to-face courses at the Seawhite Studio, these courses have introduced me to a whole new set of creative teaching and learning possibilities.
Every person who signed up for the course had created their own Floribunda still life in their studio, prepared their materials and were ready for the live 2-hour workshop on each of the 4 days. I shared and demonstrated methods of working, looking and the journey that a painting takes (with its highs and lows) as the image appears, changes and re-appears in a new form. For the rest of day we all continued to work in our spaces without interruption and in the flow. The support and kickstart at the beginning of each day seem to create a momentum for everyone working in their own space, listening to their own train of thoughts.
I learned a lot. The really amazing part was hearing your thoughts as you painted. Your approach was really inspirational. As you mentioned at the end, I would not be able to attend such a distant place for a workshop so it’s great having it on line. (Kerry Seifried in Canada)
Image: Emily Ball
You can view the work created over the four days, on each of the courses, in our Course Gallery on the website.
The Next Floribunda Online Course
I will be teaching another Floribunda Online Course from May 26th - 29th. Even though this course is now fully booked, if you are interested in the course, please add your name to the waiting list and you will be contacted first when the next Floribunda Course happens.
Click on the link below to add your name to the course waiting list.
Simon Carter Online:
The Dynamic Still Life - Drawing and Painting Course
Date: 2nd to 4th June
Course fee: £90
Image: Simon Carter
The Dynamic Still Life takes the everyday objects we all have around the house and uses them as characters in the drama of painting. This is a three day online course led by Simon Carter. The course is a celebration of painting and drawing using familiar everyday objects in the setting of your house. The aim is for dynamic, fierce and energetic drawing which will lead to freedom and bold improvisations in paint.
Students on the course will be given live, 2 hour online demonstrations each day on how to approach this seemingly simple subject. Simon will give an approach to the process of making both drawings and expressive paintings. Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the experience of drawing and painting; finding excitement in even the most mundane of objects.
To book your place on this course, click on the course title below:
Holding the Present (Online):
A Painting and Drawing Course
Start a daily practise that becomes a personal project and body of work.
Tutor Emily Ball
Course fee: £70
This course gives you exclusive access to a pre-recorded 20 minute film where Emily shares with you a process that is fundamental to her practice as a painter. Included in the course fee is a one hour, one-to-one online tutorial to help you create and sustain a personal project that you can develop into a substantial body of work. In the film Emily provides practical demonstrations and shares her thoughts and decision making as she works. She talks about the potential application of this way of working and how it can help you open out the possibilities of the subject.
The course is about holding your subject in your hands - either literally or imagining the sensation - and empathising with it. Looking through your fingertips slows you down. It keeps the noisy chatter in your head quiet. It stops you being stuck. The sensations that you are picking up are a gift to add to your visual knowledge of the subject. It helps you invent but still be truthful to your subject. It enables you to feel engaged and focused. It is like a meditation, but more pro-active. The subject opens out but also brings you to the heart of what matters. It generates new motifs in your work.
With practical suggestions Emily provides options to give you a starting point for a small project that can grow into something much bigger. Once you have made some work exploring some of the methods suggested in the course and allowing new things to evolve from it, Emily will help you look at what you have done. The tutorial is designed to help you structure a way forward and recognise the strengths in the work that you have already done.
To book a place, please click on the course title below:
Summer School Online
'Long summer days and outside spaces'
A Painting and Drawing course
Tutor Emily Ball
Dates - June 28th - July 3rd (Sunday - Friday)
Course fee: £160
Image: Emily Ball
In the height of summer the days are luxuriously long. With the dawn at 4.45 am and the sun finally setting at 9.20 pm I always feel that I want to make the most of the light and be outside as much as I can. I wish these long days could continue but Nature has its own pace and rhythm governed by the sunrise, sunset, the seasons and the weather. These long days will shorten and the summer will become a longed for memory again. So while it is here what better way to celebrate and honour it than to make the most of the long days by painting and drawing in those quiet magical times when the birds are waking up or the sun is sinking towards the horizon giving long shadows and rich colours. This summer school is about being immersed in those magical moments. Many of us are having to spend much more time at home, not travelling and staying safe. This means that it is possible to get up early and, whilst still in pyjamas with a mug of tea, go outside and draw before the rest of the world wakes up. If you are more of a night owl than a lark then perhaps your preferred time would be as the day draws to a close. Or both of course.
So what are you drawing and painting in these times of day? Your outside space might be a garden, may be a patio, pots on a balcony, a window box, a borrowed view of trees across your neighbour’s fence, a wild and weedy plot, a well-tended garden full of treasures, a shed and lawn, a haven to sit in, a place to watch the birds, a source of food. The light as the sun comes up or as the day closes is so different that it changes the feeling of the space. The sounds seem heightened. You are drawing and painting about the things that you can see, but selecting too. You are gathering material to compose your visual poem about the early morning, the summer evening, full canopies of trees, deep long shadows, the road, the view from your doorway or window, what you notice, what you like.
What do you do during the day when the sun is high? If you got up that early you may need a siesta by the middle of the day but if not you can continue to enjoy drawing and making studies of your chosen place. On a hot day you can sit in the cool shadows and respond to the sleepy stillness, the extremes of light and shade. Notice the difference from the morning light. Perhaps write and look.
What do you do if the weather is grey and rainy? It may not be so pleasant to sit outside but it is still an inspiring subject. Even if you have to linger in the open doorway or window so you do not get wet. The soft grey light will alter the glow of the colours. The longer you sit and look, draw and re-draw the more you will see. All of the studies you make will be materials for paintings.
There will be 6 live online workshops through the week. Each day of the course there will be a tutorial for either an hour or two hours. On the Sunday afternoon I will introduce the course and get you set up to work on the Sunday evening and ready for Monday morning early start. During the workshops I will demonstrate different processes and exercises so that you can use them to make lots of studies to explore your subject. For the first two days (Monday and Tuesday) you will continue to make studies in your outside space discovering what you notice and what interests you. Then from Wednesday - Friday we will meet in the mornings from 10 - 12 in our studios. I will demonstrate how to use the studies, start the paintings and take you through the stages of a painting. Each afternoon you will continue on your own, in your space applying the processes and making your work. At the end of each afternoon you will email me two photos of work that you have done that day. These will be uploaded to our course gallery so that you can see what everyone has done. I will give feedback during and after the course.
To book you place, click on the course title below:
Artists Support Pledge
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many artists have found themselves without work, teaching, technical support and gallery work. Exhibitions and sales have disappeared. In an attempt to help alleviate some of this stress Matthew Burrows instigated the ARTIST SUPPORT PLEDGE #artistsupportpledge
The concept is a simple one. Artists post images of their work, on Instagram which they are willing to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping). Anyone can buy the work. Every time an artist reaches £1000 of sales, they pledge to spend £200 on another artist/s work. It is proving to be a life line for many artists at this time, and Seawhite Studio tutors Nick Bodimeade, Gary Goodman and Julian Brown are all selling their work through it at present.
To make a pledge, post your work with the #artistsupportpledge and follow the # to see everyone else's work. Keep updated on new opportunities and announcements @artistsupportpledge Repost and tell your friends, colleagues and collectors. Let generosity be infectious.
#supportartists #covid19 #coronavirus #livegenerously
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