Monday, 12 October 2015

September Painting Holiday - Photos & Update

Port Isaac

Cornwall was really at it's best for our September painting holiday, treating us to an array of both glorious and wild weather  - perfect for capturing our artists imagination in their work made during the course.

Glorious Trebarwith Strand

We were once again delighted to have on board a few familiar faces along with our new artists looking to discover their own personal 'Freedom in Painting' experience -  with Ashley's help of course! The group were a great mix of varying abilities and as well as benefiting from Ashley's group exercises and individual tuition, they were able to learn and engage with each other's work, through group discussion and the sharing of ideas.

As always, everyone excelled themselves and there was was some fantastic work made by the end of the week. Here is an insight in to the week.....

Philippa painting in Port Isaac
Day 1 - The North Coast. Port Isaac was our first point of call. Now famous for the Doc Martin series  - we love it for its multitude of spectacular view points from above and below, its unique fishing harbour and backdrop of dramatic granite cliffs beyond. Ashley began the morning with some quick sketching exercises from different viewpoints to get the group warmed up before the artists were  encouraged to find their own special place to sketch or paint from. He then worked his way round to everyone discussing their sketches and ideas. What luck - we witnessed a seal swimming out to sea and a couple of a rainbows - all in the same morning!

Trebarwith Strand

Lucinda sketching in Trebarwith

It was then on to Trebarwith Strand for a delicious lunch, overlooking the bay at The Port William Inn. Trebarwith never fails to deliver with its wild crashing seas and view of Gull Rock in the distance - it has a special magic all of its own!  Ashley kicked off the afternoon  by taking the group to a spectacular viewpoint for some more drawing challenges and then everyone discovered their own favourite place to work from.


Ashley with Janet in Polperro
Day 2 - The South Coast. Charlestown was to be our original morning location but we had discovered the BBC were filming the second series of Poldark, so rather than risk any unwelcome interruptions, (unless of cause you prefer more figurative painting!) we headed off to the fishing village of Polperro - full of  Cornish charm. Here the group enjoyed the contrast to the north coast's landscape and Ashley got them thinking about putting down ideas for paintings, once back in the studio. By midday everyone had worked up a good appetite and the excellent lunch provided by The Blue Peter Inn was a welcome break.

Amazing skies in Polruan

Lucinda's sketchbook

We then headed down the winding lanes to Polruan -  another favourite spot and the last of our four inspiring destinations. Here Ashley introduced some linear drawing exercises from this amazing panorama and for those who wanted, there was more to sketch and paint, on the way down the hill  and at sea level with the 13th century Blockhouse, harbour and shipyard. Our artists were ready, excited and maybe just a little apprehensive of what Ashley had in store for them in the studio over the next few days!

Days 3 - 4 In the Studio.  Our studio base for the next two days was the excellent Village Hall in St Breward, located high on Bodmin Moor and in Ashley's words 'this is when the holiday ends and the hard work, really begins!' The first morning was devoted to group colour exercises- experimentation and having some fun with colour. After a hearty lunch at The Old Inn Pub, (next door) it was then time to begin work on the artists own paintings.

Ashley Demonstrating

Catherine with her painting in progress
Over the two days Ashley showed the group a wide range of tips and techniques and opened up many new possibilities for working with paint. As well as plenty of demonstrations, there was time for Ashley to discover what each artist hoped to achieve in their work and Ashley set out out to help them achieve this. He also introduced the group to a number of artists that have had a major influence on his own work.

There were plenty of surprises and although the artists were sometimes out of their comfort zone they enjoyed being challenged and seeing a totally different outcome. By day two in the studio the paintings were really starting to take shape and some really exciting work was evolving.

Margarita painting
Malcolm's painting in progress
As always the last studio day ended with an invaluable group critique about the work made with everyone learning and contributing from each other.

Janet's painting
Mandy's painting

Roberta's painitng
Joy's painting

Philippa's painting

Margarita's painting

Our painting holiday finale wouldn't be the same without our celebration meal at the wonderful 'Asquiths ' restaurant in Lostwithiel, (after a swift pint at The Globe Pub beforehand.) It always seems like a fitting end after all the hard work put in by everyone throughout the week!

Christina's painting

Detail of  Lucinda's painting in progress

Lunch at The Old Inn, St Breward

A BIG thank-you to all our artists who signed up - we really hope you found Ashley's tuition and guidance beneficial and also another BIG thank-you to all our contributors, who help to make our painting holidays such a success, as we couldn't do it without you!

Kathleen's Diptych

Muriel's painting

Juliet's painting

Carolyn's painting in progress

Catherine's painting in progress

If you would like to join us on one of our Freedom in Painting holidays in Cornwall next year, the dates are :

9th - 14th May & 19th - 24th September 2016

To find out more about Ashley's art practice, painting holidays and courses see our website here . 

If you would like us to keep you updated, join our mailing list and we can let you know as soon as new details are released along with any special offers available.


  1. amazing! what a tribute to Asheys guidance and talent! just brillaint. very jealous that I could not be there. linda x