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"Just do it, you won't want to go home"

Spring and Summer bookings are up and running. Are you thinking about giving yourself or someone else a treat? Hear from some of our previous participants ...




Long House Studios Interior/Exterior

MARTIN


Where are you based?

Staffordshire


What is your artistic experience so far?

I have no formal art training, but over the years have done a few evening classes/ courses to develop my skills and have recently joined a local art club. Otherwise the extent of my experience is simply taking a sketch pad on holiday and drawing for my own enjoyment.

  

What appealed to you about the course?

I was attracted by the Interior / Exterior workshop and the idea of working outdoors which is where I most love to be. 

Kentmere is a very special place and to discover an artist offering courses here made this workshop an obvious choice.


Which aspect of the course did you most enjoy/learn from?

So many things. The idea of using windows as a focal point and seeing how they could be incorporated into drawings was a simple but effective challenge to start from a different viewpoint - taking inspiration from other artist's work that Louise shared with us.  Using different marks to create texture. The time spent outdoors. And perhaps overall having such a variety of time-limited tasks helped me to develop the confidence to work more quickly. 


Is there anything that surprised you about the course? 

The range of techniques we played with. From creating narrow and tall drawings,  to understanding how to use a more muted colour palette to match the English light and landscape. I was surprised how much we covered in the time - we left with quite a collection of drawings created over the 3 days.


What are the benefits of learning in a small group in a new place? 

The small nature of the group just made it easy to relax and feel less like a classroom environment. Louise was so thoughtful and engaged with everyone equally, irrespective of their experience, meaning that the sessions felt tailored to the group's preferences. The quality of input definitely benefits from being in such a small group. And it was really interesting to see how others interpreted the same drawing exercises and to see the techniques they used. 


What advice would you give to someone thinking of coming on a course at Long House Studios? 

Just do it. You won't want to go home!


Long House Studios Landscape Course

CHLOE


Where are you based?

Oxfordshire


What is your artistic experience so far? 

Fine Art Degree


What appealed to you about the course? 

The emphasis on drawing, and method, and on ways of using paper.

The setting:   Long House Studios is in a secret, blind valley that is spectacularly beautiful and peaceful.  Going there is like going on a retreat.


Which aspect of the course did you most enjoy/learn from?

Louise is so good at creating an atmosphere of focus and calm that at first you don't realise how challenging and exploratory each day is. Louise encourages you to discover what interests you- and it often turns out that this is quite unexpected- something different from what you might have assumed.


Is there anything that surprised you about the course? 

It was all-engrossing and immersive. We drew a lot and walked a lot, and we even drew whilst walking. Everything was done in such a calm and measured way  that we were surprised that we felt physically and mentally done in (in a good way) by the end of each day.


What are the benefits of learning in a small group in a new place? 

Attention and focus.

At home, as a family, we talk and cook a lot and read books and go for walks and meet up with friends, but we spend much too much time on our phones when we are on holiday these days-- it's a bit in, in, in. Being at Long House Studios is all out, out, out. You are getting your ideas down on paper. You are out in the fells getting buffeted by the weather. You are working alongside each other and talking about other peoples work. We found we all had different way of seeing  exactly the same place.

It was great to keep drawing for five days in a row --it felt exciting and exploratory, and I know I wouldn't have managed to sustain this level of focus and attention at home.  

 Louise had enough time to engage with each of us. And we all began to get a feeling of the way each other worked. Also, there was something really good about being taught together with others. It was very levelling.


What advice would you give to someone thinking of coming on a course at Long House Studios? 

Forget all the hassle of airports-- spend a long weekend at Long House Studios, instead-- you will come away motivated and inspired.



Long House Studios Observation to Imagination

PETER


Where are you based?

I am based in North Yorkshire.


What is your artistic experience so far?

I have no practical artistic experience whatsoever beyond school (many years ago!). I am passionate about art however, and love to visit galleries and read about artists and their art. 


What appealed to you about the course?

The course provided by Louise appealed to me as much as anything because of the beautiful setting of the studio and access to nature/landscape/mountains on the doorstep.


Which aspect of the course did you most enjoy/learn from?

The experimental nature of the course appealed - investigating a variety of different ways of making marks on paper - a variety of techniques and media from pencil through charcoal to printing.


Is there anything that surprised you about the course? 

I enjoyed the fact that Louise used a wide variety of stimuli to develop skills including looking at artists works and drawing from film.


What are the benefits of learning in a small group in a new place? 

The small group we worked in allowed us to develop strong relationships over the three days and draw from each others practice. Obviously , the small group setting means that Louise is able to focus on individuals and direct and tutor much more effectively. 

The space we worked in was comfortable and conducive to exploratory practice. Louise is an excellent teacher - guiding practice, positively criticising and offering valuable advice regarding techniques. 


What advice would you give to someone thinking of coming on a course at Long House Studios? 

My advice would be give it a go! I was nervous to spend three days drawing given my lack of experience but the warm and friendly atmosphere meant that I learned a lot and have followed up the course with my own drawing. As a keen runner and walker - I would advise - bring your outdoor kit and spend any time that you can in the local hills around Kentmere! 


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