Weather watercolour workshop


We blew the cobwebs of our imagination away with an immersive painting workshop, on 31 July, exposed to the elements and inspired by the beauty of Samphire hoe, lying as it does between the cliff face and the sea, made from the chalk marl that was displaced by the channel tunnel.

We had a beautifully sunny day for our weather-inspired watercolour workshop. With the sky, the sea, the cliffs, the views to France and across to Folkestone, Samphire Hoe offers a wealth of choice for a day’s painting and for all of the participants, Joanna and Clare included, it was a chance to enjoy spending time immersed in the moment and the place.

“Wonderful day, so glad I could take part – thank you” (Fiona)

We started with introductions and everyone sharing their reasons for attending:

  • Today is a me day
  • I need the distraction
  • I don’t usually like watercolours but I wanted to give them another chance
  • Something I want to do, could do but, needed the focus of this opportunity

Joanna showed everyone a few ideas of how to use the paints and then everyone was free to experimentfor the next 3 hours. In the afternoon we met up and shared our results and talked about what was difficult, the decisions we’d had to make and the questions we asked ourselves:

  • Do I just fix a form and leave it, even if everything is changing all the time?
  • The cliffs look fixed but even they are changing….
  • What and how much should I include?
  • How can I add detail even with a large brush?

The day ended with a screening of Weathertime the  30 minute film, with works from 30 selected artists from England, France and Belgium: text, colour fields, many in watercolour, quotes and observational drawings each from a specific day in September 2015 are brought together into  a visual diary of the weather across the ‘maritory’ of the Straits of Dover.

mesmerising, hypnotic absolutely lovely film”  Steve Walker, Sampire Hoe

The film is now part of the DFDS Ferries onboard screenings for passengers between Dover and Dunkirk in the premium lounge onboard and in other public areas of the ship, including the café lounges.

The workshop was part of the Up on the Downs Big Summer Festival and photos from the day will be projected onto the Cliffs during the Up on the Downs Big Summer Bash on 7 August, starting at 6pm at Samphire Hoe. All are welcome

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