I’ve recently returned from a trip to St Ives, Cornwall – such a delightful town, even at this time of the year! Along with ten other students, I participated in a three-day course taught by Alice Mumford at St Ives School of Painting. The theme of the course was “Inside-Outside” and we painted still-life arrangements set up in front of a window. We tackled the problem of space – how to convincingly depict the interior still-life set against the backdrop of the window and the view outside. We discussed the use of warm and cool colours, light and dark tone, the sources of light, what should be in focus and what should be less sharp and less detailed, and so on. We looked at the work of Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Winifred Nicholson and other painters who have dealt successfully with this subject. The work we produced can be viewed at Steph Croydon’s site, canvasandthread.wordpress.com However, for my part, rather than the paintings I produced, the real value of this experience was meeting and working alongside a group of interesting and like-minded people. Painting is essentially a solitary activity and from time to time I need the stimulus of a course such as this. A few days spent in good company in a beautiful setting with an enthusiastic and inspirational teacher!
The photograph above is of Alice Mumford demonstrating. An exhibition of her work, entitled Silver Light, is currently on show at Piers Feetham Gallery, London (22 November – 21 December 2013).