Friday 28 October 2016

Students stand tall at Higham Hall

A great time had by all at Buttermere painting and drawing...and sharing a joke or three!

What another great group of art students I have the joy to spend a week with teaching at Higham Hall in September.

Mixing great studio days and inspirational outdoor painting days in different locations around the Lake District close to Higham Hall we had a ball!

Atmospheric light at Buttermere - a perfect and popular location for our painting days in the heart of Cumbria close to Higham Hall

Dramatic light at Buttermere

Capturing the dramatic light with expression during my demonstration along the shore of Buttermere

The mixed media painting well underway

That smile says it all! Maureen enjoying the day

Great painting, and another smile that matches the weather!

Painting at Buttermere...just a little different than Manchester ladies!

Painting at Buttermere...just a little different than London!

Look behind you...another inspirational view of Grasmoor Fell seen from the shores of Buttermere

Always a favourite painting spot is Buttermere. The journey through Newlands valley (one of my favourite in The Lake District) and a scenic tour on our return past Crummock Water to historical Higham Hall rounded off the day perfectly for just one of our outings. The work everyone did inspired by the location of Buttermere was outstanding.

Rachel's lovely modern mixed media interpretation of Grasmoor Fell.

Great student results from the mixed media drawing and painting day at Buttermere

Mixed media studio days and evening demonstrations packed a lot in to our art week as well and it was thrilling to see how everyone really loved what they were doing by creating yet more great work.

Wonderful studio mixed media paintings created at Higham Hall. bright, modern and colourful - marvelous!

Classmates enjoying the wonderful 'Indian Summer' weather painting in the studio courtyard at Higham Hall

The Grounds at Higham Hall, being a real inspiration in themselves, provided the perfect opportunity for Rachel to use the great weather and paint a lovely contemporary and modern interpretation of the gardens during our great art week.

Rachel's amazing, modern and colourful acrylic painting of one of the unique intimate garden corners at Higham Hall

It wasn't all busy brushes! Between our friendly and relaxing social evening get togethers we had some time out too to explore the wonderful local landscape close to Higham Hall.

Rachel at the ancient stone circle a short walk away close to Higham Hall
Sharing the joy and special ambience that is...Higham Hall!

A great time had by all with wonderful work created all week at Higham Hall. An absolute joy to teach such a great group in an amazing and unique setting in the unspoilt Western Fells of Cumbria. I hope we all meet again soon!

New 2017 Expressive Mixed media Art Holidays at Higham Hall

Higham Hall - a wonderful top class venue for your art holidays in the unspoilt region of the Western Fells in Cumbria
Three brand new expressive painting mixed media art holidays with me at Higham Hall are now online.

'Garden Impressions' in May '17 will be a real colourful contrast to our landscape themed art holidays. By exploring the grounds in detail with paint and brush at Higham Hall (there is much to inspire) and painting locally at historical Mirehouse (by special permission) close to Higham Hall, this will be a very different art holiday indeed.

Bookings now being taken for all these exciting art holidays in 2017. Limited places only to 12 places maximum. for more details contact Higham Hall on 017687 76276
Office hours 09:00 to 17:00

A magical Autumn Lakeland art holiday at Rydal Hall!

Everyone flowing with creativity at Rydal Falls! Superb mixed media paintings created this Autumn in the inspirational Rydal Hall in the heart of the Lake District

What a great art holiday we have all just had at Rydal Hall near Ambleside in The Lake District this October.

The glorious Autumn sunshine brought all the colours out during our great art week - perfect for all our outdoor painting adventures together at Rydal Falls (Wordsworth's favourite Lake District waterfall) and at Rydal Water itself close to Rydal Hall.
Is that really a 'waterfall' you are painting there Robert? Fun and laughter whilst painting at Rydal Hall - just how we like all like it!
Nitram charcoal takes centre stage. Essential tools of the trade for my mixed media black and white drawings and paintings - every time!
 Mixing versatile Nitram Charcoal (from Canada) with other black and white media being 'right there amongst it' by the tumbling waters of Rydal Beck on the Rydal Hall estate was a magical and wonderful painting experience for all.

The wonderful inspirational setting at Rydal Hall - Rydal Falls. No wonder Wordsworth loved it so much!
The wonderful Rydal Water once again was a true creative inspiration for everyone again with superb pastel paintings being created by everyone at by the edge of the lake in the Autumn sunshine.

Demonstrating in the glorious Autumn sunshine at Rydal Water

The inspirational view of Rydal Water - glorious colours and a magical setting!

Time to look and take it all in. A well earned break during another great painting day at Rydal Water

The boathouse at Rydal Water surrounded by amazing Autumn colour. The scene positively glows!

Mary having a great time creating another wonderful colourful painting at Rydal Water during our great art week together

Susie having a great time painting at Rydal Water - another good one Susie to take back to France with you and impress all your friends!

Autumn's glorious special light in late afternoon at Rydal Water. Perfect for our finishing marks - saving the best to last!

Studio painting days with evening demos and reviews of everyone's great paintings throughout the week helped pack a lot into the art holiday which everyone found so exciting, fun and a rewarding learning experience. 

Here are just a few of the great comments from everyone who just loved the art holiday with me at Rydal Hall this October...

"Brilliant week and a great group. Really feel my work has freed up and moved in new directions."
Wendy Jones

"Fantastic week. Loved every minute and thanks for giving me a push out of my comfort zone - you rock!"
Susie Home

"Thank you for a fantastic break. Learned so much, head spinning with new ideas."

"Thank you for your help and inspiration this week. i feel I have developed and now need to move on to the next stage. Great company. See you in 2017."

(Thanks everyone).

The sun and the moon at Rydal Hall! 

The magic, great staff and high standard of accommodation and creatively inspirational settings make Rydal Hall really special. 

It's personally rewarding to know that my organised art holidays here which continually offering something 'new' and exciting for everyones personal development year after year, season upon season are such a hit!

Rydal Hall really is is a very special place. You'll find out for yourself why if you come next year!

To book your places or to find out more about the art holidays at Rydal Hall call the booking team at Rydal Hall on 015394 32050

Wednesday 26 October 2016

The creative feel good factor at Rydal Hall continues...

This year three great art holidays at Rydal Hall near Ambleside in The lake District have proved, once again, to be real winners!

The inspirational settings for artists and the lovely staff at Rydal Hall and that certain magical ambience of Rydal Hall, help create such a positive lasting memory and experience for everyone.

Together with a well organised art course sharing experiences with like minded people are all all the right ingredients that make such a memorable art holiday for all who come to The lake District to such a great place. 

A relaxed, informative and exciting art programme keeps everyone smiling every you can see

Here's a look behind the scenes at our Summer art holiday showing why Rydal Hall painting holidays are always just so good!

 August 2016

The great team of Rydal Hall artists about to paint and draw in the inspirational woods at Rydal Hall

Bring me sunshine! Superb Summer colours and reflective greens surrounding Rydal Water close to Rydal Hall. Always a popular and inspirational setting - whatever the season.

Team 'A' enjoying their painting and drawing outdoor work in a superb setting at Rydal Water

Team 'B' 'tother side of the big tree enjoying their view down the lake of Rydal Water

The beautiful Summer greens at Rydal Water. What a view!

Outdoor demo on Canson Mi-Teintes 'Touch' 350gsm pastel 'paper'. A wonderful paper that works brilliantly for mixed media too. In action - Derwent XL Graphite Blocks and Graphite pastels, Pip Seymour Liquid Graphite, Graphite sticks and water spray!

It's there, look...that leaf I've just drawn with my extra sharp Graphite!
The demonstration continues with Derwent XL Graphite blocks worked into with Pip Seymour Liquid Graphite
Rydal Beck...

Typical mixed media outdoor equipment.  Left to right - Soft and hard pastels (to include Royal Talens Rembrandt greys, Daler- Rowney soft pastel greys), Nitram chunky charcoal and soft and hard sticks, mixing tray, Ron Ranson Hake brushes, Pro Arte Connoisseur brushes ,Pro Arte Series 101 brushes, 'Wolf' brush by Rosemary's Brushes, black pastels, compressed charcoal, Quink Ink

Sharpening up my act with the amazing and versatile Nitram Sharpening bloc - the finer points of fine art obviously to be achieved...
Making a start using the extra large Nitram Charcoal stick. No other company produces a charcoal this size or as good! All the finer detail comes later, much later...

...the painting well under way. Now its time to switch to the finer details using the extra sharp Nitram Charcoal created using the Nitram Sharpening bloc...

...demonstration done. The expressive mark making in the painting giving a true 'feeling' of the wonderful inspirational setting right there in the woods at Rydal Hall.

Rydal Beck at Rydal Hall. Our creativity in such a magical location just continues to flow, just like the water does!

Comments received from students in August 2016
"A fantastic course. Really enjoyed the demonstrations and now have a greater understanding of a range of mixed media techniques. Rydal Hall accommodation excellent. Staff and food wonderful!"
Jamie Adams

"Thank you all the staff at Rydal Hall for making us feel at home and thank you too Robert for your excellent mixed media art course!"
Anne Shackleton

"Thank you for a really inspiring four days Robert! I learnt a lot. Now I just need to work on developing a new style of art. Really exciting! I will be looking out to do another course with you next year. We were made very welcome by Rydal Hall with lovely rooms and fab food. Thank you."

"Excellent course lots of instruction in the friendly atmosphere. Facilities in the hall first rate."

"Thank you Roberts for a very interesting art week. Watching you produce your work and the method in which you paint has resulted in me wanting to resume my art properly once again - thanks!"
Jane Owen

"Very interesting course and informative - enjoyed it!"
Liz Kearsley

"Excellent tutor. Enjoyed the course. Hope to continue to 'loosen up'. Thanks."
Susan Crackles

"Super holiday. Look forward to my next!"

Monday 24 October 2016

Another successful Autumn art week in North Yorkshire

What a great art week we have all had recently in North Yorkshire painting together!

I've had the privilege to teach and share lots of contemporary mixed media art techniques with a full class of really keen artist recently at Parcevall Hall in North Yorkshire.

We packed a lot into our short 4 day October art break with lots of painting days spent in the unique and mature gardens surrounding the hall - a real inspiration for all of us.

Just one of the inspirational locations at Parcevall Hall - the mature orchard.
All set up and ready to begin...

The loose drawing completed - the first marks begin...

Big brush techniques with lots of very fluid watercolour for expressive painting first layers - love it!
The painting develops with the addition of acrylic inks and stronger applications of Gouache...
The next stage...angling the board for greater control for the mixed media wet in wet washes...

The painting back in the studio showing mixed media in action and big brushes controlled in different ways. Using the brushes to both draw and paint with at the same time shows how all that complex detail is dealt with. Looking forward to developing and finishing this one!

Studio painting days and evening demonstrations in the hall together with exciting painting days in the beautiful gardens at Parcevall Hall filled everyones sketchbooks, painting albums and portfolios with lots of new work exploring lots of different media.
One of the exciting painting demos in action at Parcevall Hall - Gordale Scar being the theme. Painted with mixed medIa to include Liquitex acrylic inks, Royal Talens acrylic markers, watercolour, gouache, graphite and lots and lots of passion and energy!

Here's a few of the kind comments I received from our great art week together...
Thank you Robert for your inspiration and support during our stay at Parcevall Hall.
I feel I've turned a corner and I am now more relaxed and confident with my own skills. 

What a lovely time we all had!

"Thank you so much for giving us such an enjoyable few days. I enjoyed the course very much and have learnt a lot. Encouraging, enthusiastic tutor and beautiful location."
Helen Edwards

"Thank you Robert. Everything is been perfect!"
Ann Hudson

"Many thanks for an exhilarating four days. Lots of food for thought plenty of new ideas!"

"Excellent course – thank you for giving me so much of your time. Most enjoyable."
Jo Graham

"Thanks for your help enthusiasm and patience as usual. A lovely art week."
Mary Middlemiss

"Fantastic course - thank you."
Helen Entwisle

"Thank you for all your help. The course was inspiring and stimulating. Thoroughly enjoyed it and the company."
Jackie Wiglesworth

"Had a wonderful experience watching you and your energy. I loved it!"

"So many new ideas to work on, a really inspiring course. Thank you so much."
Ann Moulson

"A great artist, entertainer and great advice and inspirational tips." 
Edwina Taylor

A more exciting adventurous art holidays with me at different venues for 2017 please visit

Bookings on all of them now being taken - some half full already!