It would be hard not to feel inspired by the beautiful setting of Chateauneuf du Faou, and The Old Bakery Studio is the perfect location to consolidate ideas and work started on location during the week.
The first day is usually spent in the studio. The group have the opportunity to get to know each other and discuss their previous ‘art experience’ / what they would like to get out of the week. This is an important part of the week for all concerned. Not only does it serve as an ‘icebreaker’, but also gives me important information to help ensure I can make my teaching relevant for all (I hasten to add that the main aim of the week is to have fun being creative whilst learning new skills).
The group is then introduced to the work of relevant artists to give them inspiration for the first studio-based practical activity (indeed, everyday starts with a discussion of artist work relevant to the activity to be undertaken. ‘All art is theft’ [Oscar Wilde] and we can all learn much and be inspired by those that have done it well! Paul Serusier (see images below) being a key figure in the artistic and cultural heritage of Chateauneuf du Faou, is the principal starting point for the first studio activity based on a sill-life.
(Using still objects as a subject for art is something that spans the centuries, and there has been surprisingly little change in the type of objects used. But the way they have been depicted has changed, reflecting developments in style and technique). Guests are taught how to compose a still-life and draw objects in proportion using simple drawing techniques, before starting a larger-scale painting.
The remainder of the time spent in the studio during the week, will be devoted to completing work started on location and/or experiencing new materials at the request of the group. Last year two of the guests collected some wild flowers whilst out drawing on location. They then asked if a separate workshop could be offered, that looks at drawing close-up details of natural forms using different materials (see images below).