Monday, 26 August 2013

Watercolour painting and my teaching experiences in Flavours Painting Holidays in Italy

Watercolour is the choice of the majority of Flavours’ guests while on the painting holidays with me as their tutor in Italy. Watercolour is a portable and versatile medium with the added advantage that it dries quickly.

Italy has been and continues to be an inspirational venue for artists.  It is no surprise then that the regions of Tuscany, Venice and Umbria were at the very heart of the Renaissance producing great artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Titian and Tintoretto.

For the landscape painter the views are spectacular and varied with that special quality of light that demands a palette of colour very different to that we would employ when working in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

The primary aim in my teaching in Flavours painting holidays in Italy is to develop or further develop the guests’ abilities in handling the painting medium, to expand their visual awareness through ways of seeing and to encourage a personal expressive response to the amazing Italian views.  It is also essential you enjoy a stress free holiday.

My experience to date has taught me that once we have met with as a painting group, and we have started enjoying working together Flavours’ painting guests become engrossed and reluctant to stop.With our materials set out beside us, a blank piece of watercolour paper before us and spectacular Italian landscape surrounding us we don’t know whether the end result of our days work will prove to be a success or end up being rejected and binned. 

 My former lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, Sir Robin Philipson RA, described the creative process as being “the sleeping surprise” which perfectly describes the exciting journey we travel when painting.  

Flavours guests who have worked with me in the past will recognise my mantra ‘it is only a piece of paper’!

If we get over apprehensive or intimidated by the blank paper or the painting process our mark making is likely to become ‘precious’, being tight and restrictive resulting in a painting that will more than probably fail.  

If, however, we adopt a free and open approach to the creative process our paintings will only become precious when the last mark is made and the overall result is a successful and true representation of our response to our subject. 

OK this is challenging but it is also great fun.

We welcome all ranges of ability to our Flavours painting holidays in Italy.  If you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since leaving school, don’t worry, your desire to come on a Flavours painting holiday and join our painting classes is the essential starting point. I will support you, as will others in the painting classes, and I will make every effort to ensure you enjoy both your holiday and the painting experience. My hope is you will gain the confidence to continue painting when you return home.

Experience painters can also be confident that they will benefit from their Flavours visit. Inspiration from your subject matter is a given.  I will not attempt to change your style of painting nor will I require you to paint like me.  

I aim to introduce you to techniques and processes in watercolour that may be unfamiliar or new.  I also offer advice and guidance to your established methods and ways of seeing that I trust will enhance your response to the Italian environment.  

Hugh Tuckerman has over 30 years of teaching experience and welcomes students of all abilities to join a Flavours painting holiday

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