This year I taught my first Painting Holiday in France. The luxurious villa was in the middle of the countryside with inspirational views, delicious food and friendly hosts. It was a magical time and I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the joy of painting to others.
The wonderful thing for me when painting is that I step into my own world – a world of colour, imagination and creativity, where anything is possible. I become totally absorbed with the canvas, what I am doing and the amazing thing is I am not thinking.
My mind, which at times runs away with itself at a rate of knots, becomes quiet – it doesn’t even matter as I am totally in the moment, feeling which colour to use next or where to take the brush.
Art Students in France
It can certainly stir the emotions at times too, when suddenly I perceive that the whole thing has gone “wrong”, but it has taught me to let go because when I think I’ve ruined the canvas, I proceed to do all sorts of things that I would not have done previously and most of the time a painting is revealed.
For me, that is the real magic because the painting has painted itself and it has come from somewhere else where there has been no thought process – it has just evolved.
Art came to the foreground of my life when I went on a Painting Holiday in France where they used wet-on-wet Oils. I was immediately drawn to the medium; these beautiful oils which could blend and move into one another – working in a totally different way to traditional paints. It was the colour I was drawn to – vivid and vibrant.
I went home and decided to purchase some paints and experiment – to “see” what happened. I had a great time... me being me, did everything one is not supposed to do – I splatted thinner onto the canvas, allowed liquid clear to run – the whole works.
I even rescued one canvas from the bin, added fresh paint as the mood took me and it was so popular, I had several people who wished to purchase it! And that was the strange thing – there was no “trying”.
I showed the canvasses to family and friends – even the postman – and people were buying them. Some bought several. I felt humbled, but most importantly, I felt excited.
The Painting with thinner splatted on it.
I then went on to learn the Bob Ross Technique so that there was a way of taking others into their own worlds of creativity.
Woodland Painting by an Art Student
So off I went to London and got qualified. That was in 2007. Since then, I have come up with my own images and designs to teach students encouraging them to be confident in their own individual style and creations, creating a format to take them through step-by-step.
There is nothing more satisfying than passing on an opportunity for others to experience the joy of painting. It is an opportunity to discover things inside ourselves which maybe we didn’t realise were there.
I particularly love those who feel they “can’t paint” or have been criticised and subsequently haven’t painted since childhood, because I believe the creativity is inside everyone – it’s just being shown in a way that is right for the person.
There is a Painting Holiday in France organised again for next year for those interested – www.joyfulpainting.co.uk (under the Classes & Exhibitions tab). All abilities welcome.