There’s no denying that the Internet has kept many of us sane over the past difficult year, enabling us to stay in touch with our friends and family.   Another benefit has been the ingenuity of many businesses and individuals in providing opportunities for online leisure activities and personal development.  I have loved participating in these virtual classes and demonstrations throughout the pandemic, but now I’m all internetted out!

So…… it was with a great sense of excitement and anticipation (and a little trepidation) that I ventured off alone to the distant lands of Fakenham on the other side of Norfolk for a real, actual, in-person, three-day painting course.  The topic was Figures and Portraits, the venue was the Norfolk Painting School, and our tutor was the wonderful Fen, ably assisted by Glyn and Hilary.

We were there to learn from the old masters, using both traditional and post-impressionist techniques and we learned about Velasquez, Rembrandt, Clausen, Degas, and Eardley to name but a few.  We were challenged to paint loosely in a very short time frame (15mins to a maximum of 2hrs), which explains why my efforts look so unfinished. The idea was not to produce copies but enable us to go home and apply some of these techniques to our own work.  I already have a large male nude in the pipeline.

We were all socially distanced and wearing masks (of course), but I hadn’t mixed with so many like-minded, real human beings for what seemed like eons.  We chatted, we laughed, we were challenged and critiqued, we improved no end, and all in all had a wonderful time.  Don’t tell Peter but I’m already thinking about another course next year!