'When did you learn to paint?? You didn't do anything like it at school'
She was absolutely right. Although I always liked making stuff I was hopeless in art classes and dropped them as soon as I could. Then a few years ago I found myself looking across the bluest sea to misty mountains, or up at an amazing sky and wanted to capture what I saw. My photography did not cut it, not the atmosphere or the colours.
So, I bought watercolours, brushes and paper and tried to create that mood and those colours. I had mixed results, watercolour is fickle sometimes my efforts went straight into the bin, sometimes the water and pigment worked its magic on the paper and (if I didn't fiddle too much) something beautiful emerged.
My cousin Sharon Verry - years ahead of me and my friend Vandy Massey, several years ahead helped. But what helped most were two things - a bunch of very good day courses and practice.
Lots and lots of practice
Then in November last year Vandy and I began to talk about how nice it would be to clear our diaries for a few days and do little else but paint. The more we talked the more we felt we could and also offer the opportunity for others to join us. And so the Dorset Painting Retreat was born.
Although we will not have a tutor this time Vandy will lead a workshop on creating special effects with different materials, repeating the workshop she gave in the spring at the Exhibition of the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists where she is currently chair
Bookings have already begun and there are just three places left (although if two friends are happy to share there could be up to six). The retreat is over four days (three nights B&B with lunch included at the Philbeach B&B in Weymouth). The booking form is here, where you will also find links to obtain further information.