Last year I was approached by instagram buddy (Fiona_the_painter) to see if I would be interested in taking my workshops on the road and coming down to where she lives in Cornwall as she had lots of people who would be interested in attending. It was a tough decision I can tell you!
But seriously all of my workshops are hosted by other organisations and I just rock up and deliver them. This was going to be quite different from finding a suitable venue, through to advertising and taking bookings - all done remotely!
I'd not been to this particular part of Cornwall before and as it was over 7 hours drive I was really relying on Fiona to do the ground work for me. But she found a venue in the beautiful village of Coverack and once we decided on the best dates we were ready to advertise.
I had been meaning for years to apply again for a residency in Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall as I had such a wonderful and productive time there and it was on my list to apply again this year. Then I thought well I need to find somewhere to stay for the workshops why not create my own little artists residency by adding on a couple more weeks to my stay in Coverack.
So I booked myself 3 weeks in a lovely little cottage not far from the workshop venue. Little did I know that people had the same idea as me and were going to travel themselves down to this little village and make it a bit of a holiday themselves... or as some called it a bit of an artist's retreat.
I spent my first week on my own driving down with a car boot full of painting materials and used that week to check out Coverack and meet up with Fiona. I then created a little studio space in the cottage, covering everything up with oil cloth to protect it and then painted like a demon for a solid week getting work ready for a couple of exhibitions. There's nothing like a change of scenery to boost your creativity!
My other half then joined me for a bit of a holiday and then we went straight into workshops. I was joined by people who were local to Coverack and Cornwall and others who had travelled far to have a bit of a working holiday.
I ran 2 workshops over 3 days and both were held in Lambeage hall which was just a perfect venue, lots of space and a view to die for. Even better it was a 2 minute walk from my cottage and 5 minutes from the local pub! Win win!
The location really changed the workshops into more of an artist residency both for me and those who attended. With shared lunches out on the lawn and had "debriefings" in the local pub after a hard day of painting. It didn't really feel like work at all.
As I move towards becoming a full time artist this experience has really helped me realise that there are opportunities out there to do what you love doing, exploring new places and meeting and working with like minded people.
I have already booked my return visit to Cornwall next year. Same cottage, same village and in some cases same people. Tweaking things a little so those returning can build on what they learned this year.
I feel so luck to have this opportunity and to get to meet so many lovely people and in some cases develop friendships. And just think this came about through the 100 days project with Fiona cheering me along. Little did we know that it would end up being a thing and we would actually get to paint together!
If you would like to join me in Cornwall next year here are the details of the two workshops:
Exploring oils and cold wax, 2-day workshop, 21-23 April 2023
Advanced oils and cold wax, 3-day workshop, 25-27 April 2023
You can also read my blog for more details about the 100 day project that I completed in 2021. Also check out Fiona's work and her gallery Coast Colour Canvas.