Joan Eardley (1921 - 1963) was a Scottish artist best known for her portraits of street children in Glasgow and her sea and landscape painting of the North East Coast of Scotland. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1949 and focused her work on the streets of Glasgow, in particular creating portraiture pieces of the street children living in the slum area of Townhead.
In the 1950’s Eardley spent a lot of time in Catterline, Aberdeenshire, and she eventually made it her permanent home. It was here that she switched her focus from portraiture to sea and landscapes. She often painted seascapes of the same viewpoint but in different lights, seasons or weather conditions. Her landscape work often portrayed the changing seasons of the fields on her doorstep. These paintings were often very textured using thick painting techniques and she would also include real vegetation that she would find in the area.
Sadly this great artist's career and life was cut short as she died at the age of 42 to breast cancer. Her remains were scattered on the beach in Catterline which was the inspiration of so many of her paintings.
Our latest visit to Over Kirkhope Farm was for our "Eardley and the Elements" Luxury Art Retreat. We were graced with some superb weather which does always make painting outside that bit nicer! On the Thursday evening the guests arrived to a lovely home cooked dinner and they got to settle into the luxurious surroundings at Over Kirkhope Farmhouse.
On the Friday morning, after a delicious breakfast to start the day, it was off to the studio to learn about Eardley and her painting techniques. Once all the guests had been thoroughly inspired by Eardley’s work we went out into the beautiful fields that surround Over Kirkhope Farm to begin responding to the landscape.
The next couple of days were filled with painting and sketching the luscious landscape the Scottish Border’s have to offer while keeping well fuelled by delicious home cooked meals and a comfy bed at the end of the day. All the guests embraced Eardley’s distinct painting techniques and these could be seen in the work they created.
Paintbox Tutor, Jemma K Derbyshire, answers some questions about our new Drawing Course to give you an insight of what to expect....
Tell us a bit about the new Drawing Course:
Well, for the last 4 years we’ve been running a “City Drawing Course” - this met up each week in the City Centre and involved spending the morning sketching in lots of different locations. Over time, we have realised how important it is for people to have focused and structured drawing time. So, we’ve built on this to offer a once a week, full day drawing course. The course will involve going out on location throughout the area surrounding the studio, as well as into Edinburgh to learn to develop a very thorough and well rounded drawing practice - essential for any Artist. There will also be studio set ups, working from the figure and a full in depth exploration into a huge range of materials and processes that come under the drawing umbrella.
What kind of materials will you be using?
Drawing in the modern sense, is incredibly expansive subject. Traditional materials such as pencil and graphite are still of great relevance, but now Artists draw with everything from torn paper and thread, to paint and print. Throughout the year, we will explore many materials, and look at how you can develop your own investigative and expressive voice through both mark and surface.
How do you use drawing in your own practice?
I love drawing! I was obsessed with it from a young age, and my love for drawing was really the main reason I went to Art Collage. I studied Drawing and Painting, and the need for both a strong academic and expressive understanding of drawing really fuelled my enthusiasm.
I now use drawing for lots of different things. Firstly, it is my looking and understanding. To understand anything visually, I have to draw it. I use it to read form, to find connections, to understand light. My sketchbooks are my constant sidekick and I draw from reality, I draw to make compositional ideas and I draw to plan exhibition hangs. I also make “working drawings” - these are large scale monochromatic drawings with paint, that I use to translate observed information, into something I can respond to to make paintings. Finally, I make coloured drawings with Oil Pastel, and trace print drawings to free me up.
What are your essential drawing kit items?
I have a tool box that I travel with everywhere - is that weird?! In it I have my drawing kit, to cover most eventualities. This kit consists of -
6B and 8B fabrinano, thick pencils - absolute favourites
Ink pen and biro pen
Sennelier Oil Pastels
Unison Soft Pastels
What can people expect to achieve by the end of the year on the Drawing Course?
By the end of the year, I hope that everyone will leave with an in depth knowledge, and a truly rigorous drawing practice. Each student will leave with a portfolio of finished, expressive, developed and observed drawings, sketchbooks of investigative drawings and ideas, and a large body of exploratory drawings that have been made while developing skills with materials and surface. What better way to explore the world around you than through drawing!
Tuesdays 9.30am - 3.00pm (Full Year)
Paintbox Studio, Cockenzie House & Gardens
TUTOR- Jemma K Derbyshire
£450 per term
Henri Emile Benoit Matisse 1869 - 1954
Henri Matisse was a French artist known for the use of vivid colours, this became the fundamental focus of his paintings. Matisse had a broad and diverse practice as printmaker, draughtsman and sculptor alongside his work as a Painter. He is known, along with Pablo Picasso, for revolutionising painting and sculpture at the beginning of the 20th century.
His contemporary work had him labelled as a "Fauve" (wild beast), but by the 1920’s people had realised that the fundamental elements of his work were rooted in the tradition of French 19th Century painting. His mastery in colour and drawing made him a major leading figure in Modern Art.
A group known as “The Fauvists” was headed by Matisse in the early 1900’s. The group's paintings were bright and colourful with no regard to the subject’s natural colour. This colour was "arbitrary", imagined, and designed to create maximum emotive response. This group were Avant Garde in their notions, unpopular with many, and as a result Matisse struggled to provide for his family. Despite this, an undeterred Matisse created some of his finest work during this period, as well as studying many forms of painting around the world. It was at this time that he started using black as a colour in his paintings which created a new boldness in the use of intense colour.
In 1906, Matisse met Picasso, they were to become lifelong friends and professional rivals. Their work is often compared for their use of colour, but the biggest difference is that Matisse often painted from nature and still life, whereas Picasso relied more on his imagination.
During the Second World War, Matisse decided to stay in France, he famously wrote in Pierre in 1940, “It seemed to me as if I would be deserting, if everyone who has any value leaves France, what remains of France?” During this time he was able to continue to exhibit his work.
In 1941, Matisse was diagnosed with abdominal cancer, the operation to remove the tumour left him chair and bed bound. During this time Matisse reverted to a technique he had used in the 1920’s- a form of decoupage. This new way of working allowed him to "draw with scissors", cutting flattened forms and shapes that he used to create compositions of rhythmic colour. He would create large murals with the help of his assistants, cutting up pieces of pre painted paper in various shapes and sizes, then bringing them together to form compositions.
Matisse worked tirelessly right up until his final days, daily instructing his assistants to move these enormous shapes of colour from one place to another until they struck a visual "harmony". Looking at Art, he said, should be like sitting in a comfy old armchair. Comfort, happiness, nostalgia and memory brought to life by colour.
Our next weekend workshop 'Painting Like Matisse' is all about exploring the fascinating techniques of this great painter. The workshop will explore Matisse’s eye for colour, composition, and design. Working from an elaborate studio set up, students will begin by making charcoal studies that look at rhythm, structure and balance. During the course of the day, students will move into working in colour, making bold dynamic paintings that strive to create image harmony as he did.
The Things I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming a Professional Artist
Like the majority of Art School Graduates the dream was to leave college and make my living as a professional artist. It’s just under 10yrs since I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with BA Hons in Drawing and Painting and I am lucky enough to be doing what I love, teaching for Paintbox as well as being able to concentrate on my own work as a professional artist. However, like everything in life it hasn’t been easy and here are somethings I wish I had known before becoming a professional artist-
If you want to learn more about the do's and don't's in becoming a professional artist, the Paintbox Artist Bootcamp is for you! This course also qualifies for our current offer of 10% off when booking, secure your place now!
Sources- CNN.com http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/11/world/facebook-fast-facts/index.htm
Jemma K Derbyshire
Paintbox Tutor & Professional Artist
Jemma K Derbyshire is a Painter, and Tutor living and working in Edinburgh. Inspired by her upbringing in the Scottish Highlands, much of Jemma’s worked is rooted in the Landscape.
Jemma completed a Foundation Course at Leith School of Art before going on to study BA Hons in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art.
Driven by colour, light, and the raw elemental factors presented to her by the landscape, her work is energetic and vibrant, exuding her love of the transience of nature.
Light, sense of place, atmosphere and experience are fundamental elements in Jemma’s work. Her paintings come from her experience of, and relationship to the landscape. This may be through trying to capture the essence of a moment, weather, illumination, or perhaps colour.
She works collating a series of drawings, colour studies and collages, done on location, and then develops these in the studio, focusing on the main elements drawn from that particular experience. Colour and Light drive her work.
As well as being a working Artist, Jemma is the co owner and main Tutor at Paintbox, and offers quality one to one teaching that is geared at developing the students' own personal artistic vision. She has also taught in colleges and societies across Scotland and has been featured in a number of publications, most recently Art & Illustrators magazine. She regularly gives lectures on her work and practice across the UK and her work is held in several private collections around the world.
Jessica Howarth, Artist Jeweller & Paintbox Tutor Support
Jessica is the newest member of the Paintbox Team! She will be our tutor support alongside Jemma for our Monday classes. Let’s learn a bit more about her...
Jessica is an Artist Jeweller who comes from a background in Textiles and Jewellery design. As well as joining Paintbox, she is a Jeweller in Residence at SilverHub Studios, a thriving community of jewellery and silversmith designers based in Leith, Edinburgh. Jessica also teaches enamelling and jewellery classes there.
After completing a years Foundation Course at Leith School of Art, Jessica went on to study textiles at Winchester School of Art. Jessica then went on to graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2011 with a First Class BDes Hons in Jewellery and Metal Design.
Jessica specialises in vitreous enamelling. Vitreous enamel is a material that is made by fusing powered glass at a very high temperature onto glass, metal or ceramics. The powdered glass melts, flows and then hardens to a smooth, durable coating onto the metal.
She was drawn to this medium as she wanted to apply colour into her work. It is an ever lasting technique and means Jessica can create colourful pieces that will stand the test of time.
Jessica draws inspiration for her work from her love of travel and experiencing different cultures.
We know that Jessica is going to be a great addition to the Paintbox Team and we look forward to her working alongside Jemma in our Monday Classes.
For more information about commissions, Jessica’s evening classes or just to view more examples of her wonderful work visit her website and facebook page.
Starting at Paintbox in March, I have been promoting the amazing Luxury Art Retreats based at the beautiful Over Kirkhope Farm. Finally, at the end of June, I had my first visit!
Myself and my 1yr old wee girl Brooke set off from Inverness on a sunny Sunday morning. After a surprisingly pleasant drive down the A9, we met up with Jemma and Lynsey to stock up on supplies in Peebles. With the cars loaded up, I followed them to the farm. Now, living in the Highlands all my life, you would think that I would be used to remote areas, but I was surprised that an hour or so out of Edinburgh we could be in stunning rolling hills driving along a single track road that we were using passing places more frequently for sheep than oncoming cars.
As we drove deeper and deeper into the valley, I knew we must be nearby, and then I saw the beautiful farmhouse nestled in the trees. It really is a hidden gem. As I got out of the car all you could hear was the stream, the birds and of course the sheep! The farmhouse has been renovated to an impeccable standard. With under floor heating, luxury bedding and muted tones, everything about the house says, relax….
Jemma and Lynsey had just run a luxury art retreat, as well as dealing with the end of term madness so the recipe for the few nights stay was definitely eat, sleep, retreat. One of the biggest factors that I think really made it such a peaceful getaway is that there is NO SIGNAL in Ettrick Valley, not even wifi. For someone that wastes way too much time scrolling through Facebook this was great!
In the morning we had a lazy breakfast and then headed further into the valley to walk the dogs, Mouse and Henry. Of course Brooke decided to fall asleep 5 mins from home, but I will blame the wonderful scenery for keeping her awake! Once we were back at the farm we had two visitors waiting, Mel (the Shepherdess) and the gorgeous little Aaron (her son). They had heard Brooke and I would be staying, so had brought some milk for us to feed to the lambs. Brooke was rather unsure about this and I think she has decided she is more of a city girl!
After another lovely afternoon and evening relaxing and chilling out, I sadly started packing as we were leaving in the morning. I knew from the wonderful photos Jemma had provided and the way it had been described to me, Over Kirhkhope Farm was something special, but it really did exceed my already high expectations. It is a sanctuary to escape to, to get away from our busy lives. We were only there for two night but I was so relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards it felt like I had been away a lot longer. I literally can’t wait for our next visit!
Paintbox are offering a unique opportunity to learn about the ancient process of Encaustic Painting. The 'Encaustic Masterclass' summer school is an intensive 3 day course that will equip students with all the skills needed to work with the medium independently and will explore the many diverse ways in which it can be used within the realm of painting. To give you an idea of what the summer school entails read a bit about Encaustic Painting below.
The word encaustic comes from the Greek word 'enkaustikos', which means to burn. It is the heat element of the process which is necessary for a painting to be described as encaustic.
Traditional encaustic painting involves melting pure beeswax and adding coloured pigment. This molten colour is then applied to the surface to act as a base primer. A paste mix made from beeswax and turpentine is then mixed with oil paint to create an impasto type medium with which to paint.
Encaustic wax is mould resistant and will not yellow or fade with time. In many cases paintings become more defined and vivid over time as the wax continues to harden.
As well as using encaustic as a way to paint a surface it can also be used to stick and encase materials to a surface, and can be sculpted.
The art of encaustic has been around for 1000's of years with the oldest surviving examples of encaustic panel paintings being the Romano-Egyptian Fayum Mummy portrait from the 1st Century BC.
Artist, Fritz Faiss (1905–1981), and Dr. Hans Schmid, rediscovered the Punic Wax technique of encaustic painting which is referred to in Ancient Greek writings. Faiss held two German patents relating to the preparation of waxes in encaustic painting.
Artist and tutor, Jemma Derbyshire, uses encaustic painting in a lot of her pieces. She enjoys the way colour can be layered and then scraped through to allow colour from deeper down to be revealed.
If you would be interested in this exciting summer school there's only a few places left! It is running from the 9th - 11th of August at Cockenzie House, East Lothian. Classes are 9.30am - 3.30pm each day with lunch and materials included for £240.
Owen is an award winning Scottish Figurative Artist. After completing a Foundation Course at Leith School of Art, he went on to study at Edinburgh College of Art. During his first year at ECA Owen had the opportunity to explore a variety of different disciplines and decided to study illustration as his degree subject. In 2008 he graduated from ECA with a BA Hons in Illustration. After graduating he made the move to Berlin to begin his artistic career.
When in Berlin, Owen showed work internationally including London, New York, Berlin, Edinburgh and Newcastle. It was when he was living in Berlin that he won the prestigious Young Artist Award at the BP Portrait Awards 2013. His portrait 'Das Berliner Zimmer' was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Owen has had solo exhibitions in Lisbon, Portugal in 2014 and Germany in 2015. His work is also held in private collections in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, USA, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong.
If that isn’t enough our award winning guest tutor was also named as one of 15 emerging artists of great promise in 2014 by Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Art's Chief Curator.
The hottest weekend of the year so far saw us at the stunning Over Kirkhope Farm in the beautiful Scottish Borders for our May Paintbox Luxury Art Retreat.
The Friday starts off with a continental breakfast over looking the gorgeous Scottish Borders’ countryside then it was off to the studio. There was a lecture and slideshow about drawing and painting the landscape before the guests spent the rest of the morning outside drawing in the 25 degree heat! After a delightful lunch it was back to the studio for an afternoon of creating coloured sketches.
On Friday evening Paintbox Luxury Art Retreats opened the cinema! We showed guests a film about David Hockney called “A Bigger Picture” a lovely way to wind down after a busy day in the studio.
On Saturday, the day at the studio started with more painting outside, with the stunning weather it would be rude not to! However, after a huge thunder storm the guests moved back into the studio to work up finished paintings from the previous day and a final critique from tutor Jemma, ended their art workshop.
After another wonderful dinner produced by Lynsey guests had a relaxing evening socialising and relaxing in the welcoming lounge.
Sunday morning saw one last breakfast before the guests had to head home. We loved our time providing our Luxury Art Retreat to some wonderful guests and the weather was an absolute bonus, we hope you enjoyed it as much as us and we can’t wait for the next one!
Our June Luxury Art Retreat is already fully booked and the September retreat only has a few spaces available. If you would like to book get in touch now to avoid disappointment!