Painting Planets with Deborah Phelps-Gane at Stable Studio, Upper Lydbrook.
Workshops can be a lovely experience but some may feel a little intimidated to give it a go. Here, artist Deborah Phelps-Gane, shares a typical studio day running a workshop to help you feel more at ease booking. I hope you feel inspired to try out an art workshop yourself by clicking through on the workshop links at the bottom of this email.
I have always loved painting planets as well as helping family and friends have a go at creating their own piece of artwork completely of their own design and making. My paint workshops journey started when my book club ladies came all the way from Wiltshire to visit me and one of them said “why don’t you give us a painting class Deborah?!” That workshop turned out to be so much fun that I'm continuing to offer them regularly now.
I invited Lynda, Sue, Kathy and Susan in to my garden studio which looks out onto the picturesque Holy Jesus Church on the hillside opposite. The workshop building was originally an old donkey stable but has since had a makeover to become my ‘Stable Studio’ filled with light and a cosy wood burner in the corner.
The ladies arrived excited and eager to paint, so I quickly got them all wearing aprons before showing them some of my paintings which demonstrated different effects that can be achieved with acrylic paint and water. After which they browsed through my collection of Hubble Space Telescope and astronomy reference books for further inspiration.
They had so much fun choosing colours, planet sizes and compositions but before we got started a nice cup of tea and biscuits was in order. There seemed to be lots of chattering going on during the tea break as to which types of ideas whey wanted and how many moons each of them would have.
All materials were provided with my own resources available to borrow. With these, the ladies started painting in their planets, stars and moons with lots of laughter and pinching of brushes and equipment (a note to myself that I needed more of my scruffy brushes, as I call them). Personally, I have particular brushes I use in almost every painting, some brushes that I have had for years and are old friends that are especially good at getting different finishes and brush marks, so it was fun to see what people chose to use!
After about an hour and half we stopped for lunch, had a little glass of prosecco and sandwiches outside whilst admiring the view. The afternoon session was great for me as they all started getting very engrossed in what they were doing and lots of “wows” when I showed them how I manipulated the paint. It was, and still is, a pleasure to show people what I do and that they can do the same.
Their finished paintings were all very good and they were happy to have them wrapped up to take home. The photos of their hung artwork in their homes makes me so proud!
Since then every workshop has had a similar vibe. Everyone who attends one of my workshops seems to relax into the process and exchange ideas along with lots of chatting and encouragement from each other and I love sharing with people how I paint.
Click to visit Deborah's website