Teaching at West Dean

Thus last week has been incredibly unexpected – and busy.

Last week my husband and daughter made quick decisions about moving her goods and chattels from Amsterdam to her new lovely home in T√łnsberg, Norway. I was not too happy as this meant I wouldn’t see her new home -yet. But as I had classes, these were my primary responsibility and I couldn’t let my students down.

I remained at home licking my wounds, but consoling myself that I would have plenty of time to paint.

After a few days, I got a call from West Dean. They said it was a mercy call, asking me to step in for one of the teachers; a colleague whose work and techniques I know well. I made a few calls to re-arrange my own plans, and stepped in!

Obviously, before I arrived at West Dean I did worry a little about what I was letting myself into, but trusted that my friend had made notes of what she had planned. When I arrived, I met a really lovely, welcoming group of people and a programme.

Because the morning had been wasted, I worked with the group unto 21:15 to catch up so that they wouldn’t lose out on too much. They weren’t going to get the tutor they signed up for, but it was important not to lose out on more than this. By the way, the topic was about mixing colour in watercolour.

During the remaining days, I got to know the group fairly well and an extremely good time was had by all – at least as far as I could see. I enjoyed myself and as usual learnt a lot from them too. I stuck to the programme already laid out, giving the students the information and showing the technique that my colleague used. As can be expected I was able to make additional suggestions from my own techniques which they found useful.

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All very quick demos on the course.