WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Workshop and Norfork (ll)

Hello there! Good morning.  
I started pottery as a hobby about 40 years ago.  The usual once a week class. My dear teacher..now passed away.. was also a dear friend.  We both bred Irish setters,so had much in common.
All those years ago, was really the start of my journey, that has brought me up to this time now.
I had never attempted water colours.  I always thought it too difficult, and it is. 
Most of you already know that I have been on a few work shops ,but only for oils.
Corfu was my first experience working with water colours, and I fell in love with it.
                                              Beaming like a Cheshire cat!  was I thinking, perhaps one day, who knows.. there could be a 'Monet' in the making ):  You can see through the french windows in the studio, the weather was excellent and only green fields all around.
                       Fresh pots of flowers for us to choose from.  The course I chose, was loose and free. very difficult. Now I have lots of techniques I have learnt that I can put into practice.. getting further to my goal of painting 'my masterpiece' ):

My work table
                       Entrance to the Leath Barn guest cottage..where I stayed. No transport in the area.
If  I go again.. which I would love too.. I would need to hire a car.
                                    My work... loose and free no pencils just  wash and paint.

                                  Jan, besides being an accomplished water colour artist.  Is the perfect host.. our meals were all vegetarian.. lovely salads and all sorts of yummi food.. the table was full.. morning tea and buns, Lunch, and afternoon tea is provided. I can tell you, I didnt need much for dinner.. I was pretty full.
                          The course group enjoying a hearty lunch with lots of laughter and chats about the terminology and words used in the art of water colour painting.  I leave that to your imagination.. it was hillarious.  A great group of people..
                                                More masterpieces..!!

                   You can see the sea on the horizon.
                               I did not want to intrude too much on Jan's privacy.. here is a peek view of her lovely comfy lounge in her guest cottage.     If you would like to see more of where I went, you can find her on  'Jan Blanch Cottage Flowers.)  Her beautiful home is full of all her originals..
She also sells her cards all over the world..

I did not get to meet up with sweet Anna.   I was not far away.. but  I had no transport.  Maybe another time.  It was also very intense and I needed the rest over the weekend.

Its been non stop rain, since I arrived home on Wed.. Its dull and miserable.
I am sure you can imagine, what I will be doing over the weekend.!  Yes.. painting.

Thank you for all your super comments.   It really was a treat for me to be able to speak my own language and hear English humor at its best.  It was all well worth it.

Happy weekend


  1. Dear Val, you look wonderful in that first picture, clearly having a very special time. Your paintings are exquisite, and you must be very pleased with them. What a beautiful part of England - I think it might be near Constable country? Have a great weekend, and hope you can fit in more painting time! xxxx

    1. Hello Patricia..
      Thanks for your comments.. I did so much enjoy Norfolk.. a beautiful area.. a little bit away from Constable country,but not far.

  2. How lovely to be amongst like-minded people Val.This workshop sounds wonderful and the paintings are gorgeous. As you say a pity you didn't have a car, but next time you'll know. Glad you enjoyed speaking your own language again but I know that you are loving being home again in Portugal and all that it means. It was lovely talking on the phone. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Patricia x

  3. Thank you Patricia.
    I did enjoy it. We dont have workshops here. Now and again someone will give one in the Algarve.. but it costs a fortune.. and I live here and there.. so England was great.
    I am so happy to be home.. can you believe its raining , and hard too.

  4. Hello Valerie

    This sounds like the idyllic get-away. A beautiful setting, with like minded artists and a great teacher. I love your loose paintings, without pencil drawing and I am sure you have a store of ideas and plans for your master painting.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us
    Helen xx

    1. Thank you dear Helen.
      It was wonderful to be with like minded people.. so much to learn and take in.
      It wasnt so easy..but i did my best.
      I do have other things I want to try.
      I will miss being with a class.. its not the same when one is alone.

  5. Dear Val, Welcome back. I love your new "free style". That is what watercolors are all about. Workshop settings are always so rewarding. You are encouraged to learn and produce work that is difficult to duplicate when on your own. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful watercolors. ox, Gina

    1. Thank you Gina..
      You understand what the free style with wash is.. I was thrown in the thick of it so to say.
      like you said..they are my own.
      Your comments are much appreciated from a fellow artist.

  6. Your painting are beautiful! How nice to be able to get away and do what you enjoy doing. Looking forward to seeing more pictures as you progress,

    1. Thank you Sylvia..
      It is a good way to get away.. and do what one enjoys with like minded people.

  7. ~ Wow just catching up with you, Val.....I can't honestly think of any thing nicer than how you spent your day here... With like minded folks all creating some thing beautiful and from your hearts!! YOUR paintings are wonderful, Val..Ooh this is some thing I would most defiantly love to take part in, one day! So glad you enjoyed your visit back home too! Love Maria x

    1. My 6 days were very well spent and productive for me Maria.
      I learnt a lot of new techniques.
      Thank you for your comments on my paintings.. i am pleased with them.
      You should try a workshop with Jan..she is amazing.

  8. brave soul - i have never painted w/o drawing outlines first. :)

    so glad you had a great experience!

    1. Thanks Tex.
      It was all a challenge.. but great fun.

  9. Dear Val - isn't that wonderful? you all arrived as strangers, and I can see from the photos that you are now all friends - the happiness around the table is palpable.
    I am so happy for you that you had such a stimulating time in attractive surroundings, and your lovely paintings very much reflect that.

    1. So sweet of you Rosmary.. Yes, we were all strangers and left as friends.
      I so enjoyed it all.
      I still have a lot to work on.. but its my hobby and I enjoy it.

  10. Your paintings look wonderful,I would have found it quite hard to create a picture without drawing it first. It looks as if you all had such fun in a beautiful setting.
    Sarah x

    1. It was great fun Sarah.
      slightly intimidating with such good artists around me!
      but I am new to water colours... It was fun.
      nice to see you.

  11. Looks like you all had a wonderful time and learnt a lot, I'm sure. I like your painting, it's very good.

    1. Thank you June,
      Water colour is relatively new to me.. I am more conversant with oils.
      It was a good break for me.. and I loved speaking English..which I very rarely do, other than when i am with my children.
      Norfolk was lovely.

  12. Hi Val,
    I have always thought it was such a talent when one could paint or draw. Nel has been oil painting, and she is getting quite good. Oh, how I wish I could paint, but have no talent with it, actually. The workshop looks very nice. I'm so sorry to hear about your teacher. It sounds like you two were close friends. Keep painting, Val. It is a beautiful hobby.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

    1. Thank you Sheri..
      My dear teacher friend passed away many many years ago.. I still think of heer
      Would love to see some of Nel's painting..
      You should have a try
      Love my hobby

  13. Good morning, Val! I am so glad you enjoyed your stay in Norfolk, and your course. I love watercolours and I also like acrilic paints, as you can "play" with them, so you can achieve the same delicate tones you get with water colours, or, if you like, brighter shades, more like oils.

    I like your paintings and your enthusiasm. The place looks really nice, though you must come over to the area near the Norfolk Broads, as it is encchanting and... with transport, in the form of trains, buses, taxis and... even an airport!

    I hope you managed to relax, as you wanted to. Did you get my text?



    1. Thank you Anna,
      I love painting.. besides my gardening, my animals ,my reading.. I try to keep myself busy most of the time.

      Anna, I would love to know what airport there is near you! can you send me the name of it!
      I thought that I was on the Norfolk Broads..!! of course.. there wasnt much time for sight seeing..that really wasnt my objective.

      I relaxed and enjoyed it all... This was my 4th workshop away from home.. Its such a great way to enjoy a get away.
      have a great weekend.
      xxx val

  14. Dear Val,what a lovely experience !!Very beautiful paintings!You are so talented!!Thank you for sharing!Hope you have a nice weekend!

    1. Thank you Dimi..
      Nice to read your comments.. from another artist.

  15. Such an adventure! I wish I had all of Europe at my doorstep! I love your sweet little paintings. I love the loose and free style, but I would like to learn more too. I'm glad you're having fun with it. So nice of you to stop by for a visit!

    1. All good fun Jacqueline.. we learn every day.
      water colours are new to me really
      but I will still continue with my oils..

  16. Dear Val , you enjoyed your trip in Norfolk ! You went to your "home" and this is lovely !Your painting is wonderful with these soft colors !I really liked the flowers , you know how much I love them !Did you find difficult with the water painting or no ? I think it is very easy for you to try another techniques!
    Have a nice relaxing Sunday !

  17. What a lovely getaway! I love your sweet free style.


comments will be published after approval