Thursday 7 December 2023

Simply Seashells Class

We had a lovely start to the week with 7 in for a Simply Seashells Class.

Some ladies had bought their own shells with them to personalise their artwork.

After a practice session making gift cards and getting used to the glue and shells, it was time to choose a circle or square template.

Using a really good quality thick paper everyone started to create their patterns or abstract pictures.

Gingerbread, tea and coffee was served.

This was my speediest group to date!  They made excellent pictures,

We finished with some festive creations, I have ALOT of green seaglass!

We will be back for more Simply Seashells creations for Valentines in February.

Thursday 8 February
10am - 12:30pm

Book Here - the date will be on the website soon

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Pen & Wash Class - Lake District

On Monday we welcomed 10 artists for a Pen and Wash Class.

Claire had chosen a lovely bridge in the Lake District near Borrowdale in Keswick as the focus.

Time was spent on the layout and placement of the bridge and setting, before trialling different ways of using the pen, whether it was through lines, cross hatching, dotting and shading, and with different thickness of pen.  It's a very relaxing process.

After lunch, everyone mixed their paints ready to apply gentle washes across their picture.

For lunch we enjoyed a warming Smoky Chicken Stew, from  BBC Good Food Magazine, served with lovely fresh Treetops baked sourdough.  Followed by warm Gingerbread Cake and clotted cream ice cream.

Here is the Gallery of pictures from the day.

Our Spring and Summer Dates are now available to book on the website!

Monday 27 November 2023

Christmas Cookery

We had two great Christmas Cookery Classes on Friday, plenty of delicious and interesting recipes to make for friends and family over the festive period. 

The brie above was very popular!

This is the Jewelled Festive Salmon

As we go through the recipes, you are served tasting dishes of each recipe cooked, so you can taste the flavours, we talk about presentation skills and at what stage recipes can be prepared ahead of time or frozen.

We always make a seasonal cordial and then turn it into a fizzy cocktail, this is always popular!

This was our brie wrapped up in it's puff pastry star studded blanket, freshly out of the oven, oozy and glorious.

We slow cooked a Beef Carbonnade with dijon toasties on the top, we made this first, as this requires a long slow cook and is a perfect dish to make 48 hours ahead of time as the flavours keep on developing.

Thanks to Colline for being my morning class assistant and to Marianna who helped in the evening, I couldn't have done it without them.

We finished with a really lovely gingerbread pudding served with vanilla ice cream.

We made lots of other festive flavoured recipes from side vegetables to a snowy chocolate cake .....

Thank you everyone for coming, enjoy your festivities and cooking this year!

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Autumn Glow Watercolour Class

Last week we enjoyed our Annual Autumn Watercolour Class, this year we did a beautiful autumnal scene with a cascading river coming through some golden woodlands.

A great opportunity to use and mix some fantastic autumnal rich colours.

(If you need to buy any new watercolours, don't forget we sell Claire's own range of watercolours in our Online Shop her Autumn Berry colour in particular was very popular at this class). 

Claire demonstrated the positioning of the trees and river winding it's way back through the picture, then followed this with some masking fluid, mixed with sand, to create the rocks and edges of the river.  We used a Saunders Waterford thick paper which could handle everything we threw at it today!

Whilst everyone was building up their layers of paint and atmosphere I was busy creating lunch, today we enjoyed a crusted cod fillet on a bed of lentils, beans and red peppers served with piles of delicious roasted vegetables.

Dessert was pears cooked in a beautiful rose wine syrup, served with lime, yoghurt and toasted coconut.

Here are the beautiful finished paintings from our Autumn Glow Artists, well done everyone.

Next term's dates will be on the website shortly, ready for you to book.

Thursday 16 November 2023

River Thames - Temple Island Watercolour Class

 Claire joined us on 30 October for a Watercolour Class

Temple Island, near Henley on Thames

Temple Island is an elegant ornamental folly deisnged by the 18th century English architect James Wyatt, commissioned by the Freeman Family and constructed in 11771.  It was designed as a fishing lodge for Fawley Court, a nearby historic house also owned by the Freeman family.

In 1952 the Henley Regatta commitee asked the then owners for first refusal if they were to sell the Island, they tried again in the early 1980s, and in 1986 it was placed on the open market.

In 1987, the future of the island including the Temple was secured through the generosity of local couple Mr and Mrs Burrough.  Their donation made it possible for Henley Royal Regatta to acquire a 999 year lease of the island from the owners, the freehold being vested in The Trustees of Temple Island.

The downstream section of the island was retained as a nature reserve and was extensively replanted with trees.  The Victorian balcony which had decayed was replaced and the wall paintings inside which had deteriorated were repaired and brought back to the colours originally intended by Wyatt.

At other times of year you can hire Temple Island for private or corporate events between April and October, 40 people inside or 120 in a marquee outside it's a stunning spot!

In an effort to precent damage to the Temple or to its garden, visitors are barred from mooring or setting foot on the island without written permission from the Henley Royal Regatta Committee.

Interesting fact: The location was featured in the music video of "Never Turn Away" by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

The drawing and perspectives took most of the morning, before we were able to brush on our masking fluid to protect the white areas.

It was a beautiful autumn day, and we enjoyed a delicious lunch including a steamed pudding, always popular!

After lunch we started with the first wash of colour before building up our painting over the remainder of the afternoon

Thanks everyone for coming, great paintings!