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I had a lovely day on Saturday tutoring The Spotted Dog Art Group from Nottingham in the sensibilities of The Fauves. I hope they don’t mind me calling them ‘The Wild Beasts of Nottingham’ they are actually a very welcoming and inspiring group.

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The Fauves, meaning Wild Beasts, were a C19th affiliation of artists which included the rock stars Gauguin, Dufy and Van Gogh. When their work went on show, a French critic named them The Wild Beasts because of the way they saw and used colour – he wasn’t a fan!

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But The Fauves use of warm and cool colours contrasting brightly was exactly what we were trying to emulate on Saturday.

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The Spotted Dogger’s are all very good, competent artists and a pleasure to work alongside – although I did more chatting than actual painting.

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It was a challenge to translate a Fauvist colour palate into a scene without it but with the use of paint-chip cards and visual reference they all made successful interpretations and produced beautiful work.

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I thoroughly enjoyed teaching about colour and encouraging a more unplanned, experimental approach to painting and in return I had some great advice about what acrylic paints to buy in the future – I love it that there’s still so much we can learn from one another and that painting can be such a social endeavour – it’s fun to spend time with like-minded people.


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After an exercise in Fauvism it was interesting to see individuals translate the approach into their favoured way of working and medium.


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It never ceases to amaze me how individual we all are in our creativity and how much there is to enjoy and learn when we share it.

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I get a lot from these kinds of days – so thank you again Spotted Dog Art Group and good luck with your exhibition – I hope The Fauve paintings win the prizes 😉

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