Last month, I spent a week at Arts in Provence, taking a watercolor workshop.--- Katherine Tyrrell and others have been asking me to tell all. Katherine was, in the early 1990's, among the first students at les Bassacs, the property owned by Liz and Dave Atkinson and Liz's mother, Hazel Evans. All sorts of art workshops are conducted here every year, as you'll see when you click on the link above. My teacher was the adorable Englishman and renowned painter Albany Wiseman, whose many books I'd owned and whose work I'd already deeply admired. Albany is a consumate draftsman. It was his use of drawing in painting that I felt resonated with my own approach and why I chose his workshop over others. Albany is a very generous teacher, giving lots of individual attention and demonstrating his own techniques on site. I learned a lot from him and am in the gradual process of incorporating what I learned.
Here's how it worked: David Atkinson, a fine painter in his own right, set daily itineraries with Albany, and ferried us participants to and from the lovely villages of the area each morning and afternoon for plein air painting. Liz, owner and chef at les Bassacs, provided absolutely delicious, seasonal, fresh gourmet food three times a day. Local rosés and red wines were liberally consumed each night at dinner, causing lots of bonhomie and raucous laughter. One of our group, an urbane, intense and accomplished English clergyman, flashed his multi-colored, striped, thigh-length socks at table on the last night! Ah, the things you'd see, if only I were a painter of memories!
Albany's workshops are very hard to register for, as he has scores of followers who flock to les Bassacs year after year, but not to worry. There are plenty of other opportunities, among them workshops run by my friend the fabulous painter Susan Abbott.
Alas, Katherine, I took few photos, but here are a couple of group on our last day. In all there, were 9 participants.