Monday, 8 September 2014

Frances Pickering: Late Summer at Hawkwood

First, I want to say a big thank you to all of you  still following me. I am delighted you are sharing this new journey with me, and I really appreciate all your lovely comments and e-mails.
Now -  having shared my first trials with fabric/art sketchbooks with you,  you can see  how an expert melds these 2  things together! Thanks to what I can only call serendipity - and my very dear friend Alison, I was able to attend a wonderful weekend at Frances Pickering's Late Summer Masterclass, held at beautiful Hawkwood College in Gloucestershire. Let me set the scene.....

 The college is in an idyllic spot and although it was cloudy for much of the weekend,  there were still some beautiful spots of colour in the garden and fields around.




 Hawkwood has it's own natural spring in the grounds.

The surrounding buildings are lovely too - this fabulous old barn now houses equipment for stone sculpture courses.
Crops are grown and these lovely piggies run around happily. We had a long chat and they informed me they are the best fed pigs in Gloucestershire. Having eaten far too much of Hawkwood's delicious organic food for the last 2 days I believe them!

 View from the front entrance  - green, calm and serene.
And here it is in the sunshine!

Beehives clustered under the tree produce Hawkwood honey.
It's such a great place.

Onto the main event.....

Here we are in the big sunny hall working on our books. The workshop theme was 'Black and White and Read all over'. We were limited to using black and white, shades of grey and the use of text which inspired us. This was really challenging - but so inspiring!


Alongside my excitement I was a little apprehensive, as I was very much the new girl among Frances' regular students,  but I was made so welcome by a truly delightful and entertaining group of ladies. Frances is a wonderful artist,  an inspiring and generous teacher, and all round lovely lady. She's supported by her husband, Jim, who amongst other things, manages all her administration, and keeps everyone laughing with his great sense of humour.

Frances had brought along a vast selection of her black and white books to inspire us (Do check out her website to see the beautiful colourful work she does too!) She very kindly gave me permission to take photographs, and I had a very hard time deciding what to take, but  here's the sample I chose to show you.



 So many beautiful books!
 This one is only a few inches big.
 I could live in that nest!
 I couldn't choose a favourite, but this book really calls to me,  the illustrations are so 'me'.



 Frances had also brought  some of her sketchbooks, and this one really caught my attention.


 This tiny book inspired by the Welsh coast is simply exquisite.

She has also made a suite of books to commemorate this years First World War anniversary; they are both beautiful and very moving.




I learnt so much over the last couple of days and I've come away with so many new creative ideas my head's buzzing. I'll show you what I did at the workshop in my next post.


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