Normally, I have a pretty orderly desk at Wharf Studio, from where I work and run writing groups/workshops but yesterday, it was transformed for Lynne’s monthly acrylics class.
These 3-hour sessions cost £37, including a free glass of prosecco and chocolates, but the biggest bonus is you create a painting.
Yesterday’s was a combination of acrylic painting and acrylic pour, that impressive technique seen on videos. I joined for the first time, having not painted anything since my late mother died in 2017. I hoped the session might bring back the urge to leave books/words alone and try something different once again.
In small groups, the sessions are experimental. What people might not realise is how much work is involved in the planning, and how much time/effort is involved in the equipment preparation/clearing.
Painting is great fun, absorbing and exciting, a chance for adults to play, but it is also messy.
The end results were stunning. Lynne demonstrates section by section how to create artistic effects but then leaves people to choose their own methods, colours, and so on. There is just enough tuition while allowing free rein to the imagination. As you can see from my result, seascapes were never my strong point (indeed, painting isn’t; I should stick to writing) but I have no desire to be an artist, and you do not have to be good at painting to attend Lynne’s sessions. She also offers watercolour classes at the Bank on Tuesdays/Wednesday mornings.
For me, the session is simply a different kind of creativity, an enjoyable struggle to get things to work how I want them (what’s in my head and on the canvas may be totally different things). Not unexpectedly, when we get to the exciting acrylic pour part, I find the lack of control an issue and it doesn’t work quite to plan for me, though it does for pretty much everyone else. It probably came down to me not using a wet enough piece of kitchen towel to drag across the paint, or maybe it is my refusal to let the paint go its own way. However, I find the techniques interesting at a cerebral level.
The autumnal greens and yellows that are in my head, the vibrant colours of nature’s palette, take a back seat when what I produce are blues and purples! The most satisfying part of my painting for me (ignore the dreadful attempt at a barrel) was the rocks below. That involved some heavy duty smearing with a palette knife. I rather enjoyed the texture of it. What surprised me was how tired I felt by the end of the session but how totally absorbed I had been, and despite my picture looking manic, it was good to create something which was not wordy! Reader, I did not look at my phone once during the process, and when I did at the beginning and end, it was to take photos for this article.
Lynne is a very down-to-earth teacher. Although a wonderful artist, she has no artistic pretensions, so is keen to share techniques, ideas and enthusiasm. I must thank her for my lovely afternoon giving my messy side a chance!