the Autumn sunshine
Perfect weather and a great turn out for our day
of landscape painting in the extensive grounds of Bicton House.
It could hardly have been better with a wide choice of locations around the Georgian house, the gardens, arboretum and the lake.
Although there were still a lot of trees retaining their foliage, the colours were on the turn and many had a golden carpet of dry and crunchy leaves beneath them.
The following is a small selection of work and photos taken through the day – and with such a varied selection of drawings and paintings, we’ve been invited to put on an Autumn themed show in the College Library.
More information on this soon.
Our thanks are due to Bicton College, and in particular Sim, for accommodating
us all and, providing the facilities and a most enjoyable lunch in our own room for the day.
Maybe we'll have a return visit next year and catch the trees as they're preparing to burst forth with those wonderful fresh greens and yellows - and of course the daffodils when they're in full bloom.
Finding your mark
Most of the members of our portrait group have by now had the pleasure of sitting as model for the afternoon. For those yet to have the pleasure here’s a taste of what it’s like.
Firstly, take a seat, then choose a position that’s (a) comfortable and (b) is liked by the artists opposite you, after all the idea is for them to paint a brilliant portrait of you and they’ll need all the help they can get.
So all you have to do is keep still for three hours … easy peasy!
Well not quite – three hours is quite a while so think of the time in instalments with tea breaks in between. Firstly, to help you keep still, find a place to focus on so you can keep your head in the same position.
I found this mark on the wall opposite which was at eye level and just the right distance to focus on. Then it’s a question of keeping in the same position for as long as you can – in my case I can hold it for about 45 minutes (on a good day) but anything up to half an hour is really OK. A professional model could probably go for an hour or more but of course it depends how difficult the pose is.
So what to do while you’re watching that mark on the wall?
Well, the brain wanders all over the place so I find it quite a good time to organise things in my mind that I have to sort out and maybe create things for the future. Sometimes the same thoughts just go round and round and round. If that’s going to drive you mad, try taking a download of some music, an audio play to listen to through earphones - or maybe bring along a radio for everyone to hear.
Surprisingly, the time goes by quicker than you might expect. And of course it’s fascinating to see the end results with a variety of visual interpretations of your face and personality. Some you may like, others may not be what you anticipated - but all of them completely absorbing.
If you fancy having your portrait painted, do let us know – we’re always on the lookout for a new subject. And you may enjoy a few hours of quiet contemplation watching that odd mark on the wall.
By John Washington, sitter for the day at the October portrait workshop