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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.


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!


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


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


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.


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.


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

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.


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 😉


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 – I 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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