Sketching has gained greatly in popularity in the last few years. As official Urban Sketcher for Manchester, I’ve become well known for my in situ sketches of urban, rural, domestic and figurative subjects. As such, they’ve been used as illustrations in several sketching manuals – including James Hobbs’ ‘Sketch Your World’.

This Winter and the Spring have seen me showing my work in exhibitions (the latest is the Hampstead Affordable Art Fair), as well as tutoring workshops in drawing and the use of sketchbooks. In these lively courses, students have been introduced to a variety of materials and subjects, and to different ways of looking at the world. They’ve also learned to use colours, thanks to my de-mystifying, fail-safe technique!

The weather and the early nights have meant that most sessions have been inside, so the Summer brings wider horizons, fresh colours and renewed inspiration.

As we move into this warmer season, my thoughts turn to my coming week’s tutoring at the beautiful Château L’Age Baston. In the morning I’ll be running workshops both in the studio (lovingly converted from a huge barn) and in and around the Château. I’ll be encouraging students to respond to different subject matter while recognising people’s individual needs and interests. It’s a unique opportunity to refine and expand your methods and ways of seeing, and the means to experiment with a choice of materials.

L’Age Baston is a wonderful place for a week’s immersion in all things artistic. It nestles high on a hill with lovely views over a landscape dotted with terracotta-roofed houses towards the Dordogne.

Dordogne by Artist Caroline Johnson

Here rare Baudet donkeys, Charolais sheep and Limousin cows wander the surrounding fields just a shake of a paintbrush away. There’s a pretty well in the courtyard, which is bright with umbrellas. From here, old stone steps and huge iron gates lead into the ‘high garden’ with its walnut grove…. beyond, the dark woods are studded with cyclamen. And to whet your appetite further, let’s not forget the Hockneyesque salt water pool, the vegetable garden and pigonnier. Further afield, too, there’s a wealth of markets and riverside chateaux to explore.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, why not join me at an idyllic and inspiring place for a week of sketching and painting together?

I hope you can come along! – Caroline 🙂

Painting Kit Guide

If you are new to painting or have never been on a Painting holiday before, this painting kit guide from our very own painting tutors could be helpful.

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