‘Flavours of France’ with Gwen Hedley at Studio Preniac

I had hoped to complete Assignment Two before I returned to UK in July but it was really hectic so I took the materials I could with me to England and then France.  Whilst on holiday I was inspired hugely by the French markets and scenery and took lots of photographs which I have added to my photo colour collages and did a fair amount of sketching.  I went to a harbour full of old discarded wooden boats with plenty of peeling paint to keep me happy for ages.  I took loads of photos there and would like to develop some of these photos into paint and collage later on.  When I have time, I intend to upload some of these photos into galleries into the photo section of this learning log.

In September, I was lucky enough to attend a week’s workshop in the South of France with Gwen Hedley.  The title was ‘Flavours of France’.  We took a trip to the local market on the first day, where we were encouraged to take photos, make notes and sketch.  It was very busy and there was so much there, that I took many photos and made only a few sketches.  Later on in the studio we were to use some of our sketches as starting point for developing our ideas.  We mostly worked on mark-making, using different materials, stitch and mono printing.  We then practiced block printing, making printing blocks from polystyrene.  It was all so much fun.  The best part was that throughout, we worked in little sketchbook with Gwen showing us lots of ideas of how to make sketchbooks with lots of fold-out pages, flaps and pockets – all of which I will certainly use in presenting my OCA work.

Mid-week we made another trip to Cahors.  We all split up to explore the market and streets of Cahors.  I decided to move away from the market and explore the back streets.  The buildings were amazing with lots of different materials.  The outside rendering of many of the old buildings is in the process of being removed, which means that old layers of brick and stone are slowly being revealed.  It is possible to see many layers in some of the buildings.  I also found it interesting looking at some of the old graffiti which had also been added.  It was as if each generation had left its own mark on the old building.   I took many photos of these walls as well as of the railings and balconies.  Some of these photos I later had printed onto A4 paper.  I also found a wonderful little shop that sold old french linen up cycled and dyed with vegetable dyes and then made into tea towels, bags etc.  I later returned with some of the other ladies on the course.  It was interesting talking to the shop keeper about her work.

The week whizzed by and I have achieved so much. It was wonderful getting instant feedback on my ideas and work and made me realise how important it is for me to get out to work with others – it can be quite lonely Learning from a Distance!

I have already reserved a place on the course next year at Studio Preniac with Louise Baldwin!

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