I have recently had my dates confirmed as a tutor at L’Age Baston again and am looking forward to teaching at the chateau for two weeks starting on the 16th and 23rd July 2016. I get a genuine lift from different locations and meeting new people and the week in August 2015 with Alex and John was no exception. The scenery around the Chateau was particularly appealing to me, the walnut orchard, the dark paths through the woods nearby, I am already looking forward to returning with awareness of the potential and planning the direction for painting courses.
I was particularly heartened by the studio space and equipment when I arrived at L’Age Baston. A well thought out dedicated area with plenty of room for everyone to be creative. All the facilities I could wish for in my own studio and with my own accommodation right next door. The swimming pool just out of the door was a personal delight. I love swimming and every morning before breakfast I enjoyed this “salt water pool in the country”. I was rewarded also with the sound and sightings of golden orioles.
At the start of the week I invite people to tell me if there are particular painting problems they wish to address or subjects that they gravitate toward. There is so much to paint in the proximity of the chateau but also lovely rooftops and rivers, bridges and town buildings in la Rochefoucauld close by. We did not even tackle the impressive Ducal chateau there that overlooks the town so I look forward to this next time!
This year we concentrated on different sketching techniques with a variety of materials and then resolving pieces in the studio, where everyone had their own table and wall space. I always have a stock of sketching tools with me so that it is possible for us to try something different, maybe a water-soluble felt pen or simply including wax colours as resist. It’s the small things that can add a twist to the familiar.
And then of course there were the amazing meals to look forward to when we were all painted out. We were particularly blessed with four terrific cooks on the Cooking course who were guided by Alex to create such delicious food. The variety and quality was unstinting.
Back here in Aberdeenshire autumn has stretched from summer. We have been experiencing waves of warmth, blue skies, and lashings of colour in the trees and late flowers. Gardening is continuing to be a pleasure without cold nipping at my fingers yet. In the studio I am taking the time to translate summer sketches into more resolved pieces before the memory fades. This pen sketch was a fleeting view of people sitting at a cafe the day the painting group went visiting the local market at Piegut Pluviers. The market itself is so vibrant and varied, I would certainly encourage people go prepared to draw with light weight pens and a small sketch book and maybe a few crayons for colour reference.
I’ve been thinking about the places that we went to this year; the walk into La Rochefoucauld with woodland paths and the big château in town definitely have potential for a slow stroll with sketching along the way. Also all the views close to home that we saw but did not have time to explore, like the river down below the trees in the bottom field. I’m already looking forward to the delights and challenges that these and many others will bring next summer.
So as you can probably tell, I am excited to be returning to L’Age Baston and I hope you would like to come and share the fun and paint with me. Please take a look at my tutor profile page or feel free to catch up with me via my Facebook Page.
Susie Hunt ☺