Thursday, 9 July 2009

Painting Class with Valerie Briggs

A few words from Valerie about her course
"This week sees the start of my summer term of day courses for beginners and improvers in watercolour, pastel and pencils. My classes run regularly throughout the year in the main house in which The Gallery at Bevere is situated.

In the early 1980's I decided to give up work to paint, an easy decision for me and luckily I was fully supported by my husband. As a self taught artist I was quite naive about being self employed and decided to try out college first by taking my art A level, unfortunately due to other circumstances I did not go on to attend a foundation course for fine art at that time.

I was left in a kind of limbo when a kind acquaintance recommended a club for leisure painters and other crafts held on the outskirts of Worcester. I did not really look back after that.

Heather and I can not remember when I started teaching at Bevere, it must of been in the early 1990's, some of my 'students' think that they have been coming to me for that long. In those days we held classes in the Coach House Gallery and upstairs in the well lit attic rooms of the main house. Three flights of stairs carrying half a beach was the norm for me!

These days life is much more refined, working with smaller classes and no stairs. My 'students' are usually mature and range from beginners to experienced artists. I love teaching beginners and have great pleasure watching how they develop over time.

My current classes have no structure and are tailored to the individual students needs, many of whom work from reference material although I do like to encourage them to work outside too.

During the autumn this year I am planning 'Project Tiger' which will probably cover three weeks of the 6 week term. An extra day will be arranged to visit the nearest collection of tigers so that the class can view and sketch from the real thing before attempting a portrait.

One of my class during the spring term agreed to her painting being photographed during the various stages of creation to illustrate one of the various techniques I teach. Lorraine has been painting in oils for years and is a natural artist, she has been getting to grips with watercolour over the last decade.

Lorraine says
"I have been attending Valerie's classes for some years and the time I have spent with her has been very rewarding, with excellent tuition given and above all patience.
I had in mind the picture of the otter and cubs, with Valerie's help with the composition she guided me through the techniques she uses to create a realistic watercolour painting.

Her classes are always enjoyable and companionable, a lovely day out."

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