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On Saturday 7th May I’m running a lovely workshop at Winterbourne House & Gardens, Birmingham, where we will create little garden landscapes using heat reactive dyes, fabric markers and hand stitches. I’ve also booked wall to wall sunshine so we can fully enjoy the gardens ūüėČ

If it sounds like something you’d like to do then please book here and I look forward to seeing you there.

I’m popping in to let you know that Winterbourne House and Gardens¬†have booked me for a day of painting fun on July 2nd. You can view the details here if you’re interested – we will be collaging canvases, having fun mark making and using the beautiful gardens to gather and sketch ideas to paint. And if your worried about your artistic abilities – don’t! I always have reference books and tracing paper tucked away ūüėČ

I’ve also ordered sunshine so that we can eat ice creams and enjoy the grounds!


oldbankstudios workers

On Friday night I packed up my materials and my travel bag and set off for a mini adventure to Harwich in Essex in order to be ready to teach on Saturday at the Old Bank Studios.

oldbankstudios marion

I was running a one-day mixed media course called All things Bright and Beautiful based on my mixed media bird paintings.

oldbankstudios-bev and liz

oldbankstudios carol,margaret and sonja

We spent the day letting loose with some paint and papers building layers of paint, print and collage onto which we could paint a bird.


With everyone’s creativity flowing,¬†imaginations let loose and we saw¬†an underwater landscape, a couple of coastal scenes, a castle hidden in the trees, a blossom tree¬†as well as¬†floral still lifes and bird scenes come to life.

oldbankstudios Jane and Claire

They were a lovely group of ladies from near and far and we had fun working alongside each other.

oldbankstudios lesley and barbara

In fact, if I lived closer I wouldn’t hesitate to join the Quilting group or a¬†textile course as the studios are a lovely environment to work in, the people are so friendly¬†and I haven’t even mentioned the home cooked lunch yet!

Look at this beautiful room bathed in sunlight.


I’ve not been on a course that can accommodate a delicious sit down lunch like this with beautiful home cooked food like these amazingly clever apple¬†roses made by Bev. It was¬†a lovely way to take a break and to chat to people more.


After lunch a hush fell on the room for about an hour while everyone got serious about finishing off their pieces and then sadly the day was over.

oldbankstudios class 2

lizs work

I’ve been really lucky so far this year to have run¬†some really fun workshops and met some super¬†lovely people;¬†Old¬†Bank Studios is run by Bev and Nigel who are genuinely two¬†of the nicest people I’ve ever met.


And to finish, here we all are with our art.

Work by Janet, Julie, Dave and Lynda.

Work by Janet, Julie, Dave and Lynda.

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure to work with the Spotted Dog art group in Beeston, Nottingham.

spotted dog 7

They had me at the name (having a spotted dog myself) but what a lovely group of people I met.

spotted dog art group 6

The workshop was called ” Pattern Play – a still life set up by Claire, a colour loving designer and painter” and so I set up several still¬†lives of teacups against patterned backgrounds.

Linda, Brendan and Greg absorbed in their work.

They’d asked for a number 7 on the challenge scale and I think in the five hours painting time that they had, that they all did fantastically well. I might have scored it an 8 myself given the time constraint – I didn’t finish mine!

Judy, Fiona, Sarah and Sandra lost in concentration.

In that time they had to tackle drawing the ellipses on the teacup, represent not one but two (and in some cases three) types of patterned fabric, paint the teacup, biscuit and spoon and do all the last minute jobs of darkening shadows and adding hilights and white points. No mean feat.

Josh and Greg - I loved how these two had outfits matching their painting colours.

Josh and Greg РI loved how these two had outfits co-ordinating with their painting colours.

The use of masking fluid caused some concernation as one brand in particular didn’t remove itself without damaging the paper.

Brendon and Julie dry their masking fluid.

Brendon and Julie dry their masking fluid.

Pebeo art masking fluid is the best in my humble opinion but no one was daunted by the potential difficulties of using masking fluid and most had a go anyway and enjoyed the benefits of painting stripes and dots without worrying about other areas of the painting becoming dirtied.

Lynda, Linda, Suzanne, Pam,Dave and Madeline.

Lynda, Linda, Suzanne, Pam, Dave and Madeline.

They are all very able painters and needed only the briefest demonstration of some ways that they could approach what we were doing.

Greg, Josh and Janet

Greg, Josh and Janet

It always amazes me how we can paint the same subject matter and produce such individual pieces of work which reflect so much of our own personalities in them.

Madeline, Pam, Julie and Suzanne

Madeline, Pam, Julie and Suzanne

I talked a little about having an authentic paint-writing style (like a hand-writing style) and progressing the piece without loosing each persons unique approach and style and I think they were all successful in that respect.

Sandra, Judy, Fiona and Sarah

Sandra, Judy, Fiona and Sarah

All in all it was a very enjoyable day and everyone left with a piece of work that they were proud of and/or had learnt from and that’s¬†a good days painting in my book.

Brendon got a solo spot because he wasn't around when we took the photo's!

Brendon got a solo spot because he wasn’t around when we took the photo’s!

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