"I really felt you understood my strengths and what I need to build on
Thank you so much for such an inspirational and educational course and for sharing your knowledge and experience in such a captivating way. I really felt you understood my strengths and what I need to build on and you handled with great sensitivity. It was lovely getting to know you and the other wonderful women on the course.
Helen Polins-Jones, Derbyshire art retreat, October 2017.
"Gained great confidence -
Found it challenging, enlightening, inspiring. Am better able to manipulate watercolours, and use charcoal to identify tonal qualities. Like the idea of thinking of a picture as a diagram. House extremely comfortable - quality of linen etc. Felt very luxurious. Lots of opportunities to socialise. Lucy really made us feel at home. Food was delightful.
Maggie McKenzie, Derbyshire art retreat 2017
"Inspiring, stimulating & encouraging
Liked the divisions of the rectangle and the difference they make to the placing & coherence of shapes in a painting. Darley House is warm, friendly and everything works beautifully - delicious food - space! Thank you for a wonderful course and stay.
Alison Soskice, Derbyshire art retreat November 2017
"Such a relaxed atmosphere
Best achievement was going big x 2! I so appreciate that patient way you re-explain until the penny drops! Also enjoying the beauty of the house & gardens & surroundings - such a relaxed atmosphere.
Margaret Ginger, Derbyshire art retreat, November 2017.
"Time and space to play with paint
My private tutorial was the most valuable aspect - getting feedback about work done at Darley and how to take it forwards. Also, having time & space to play with paint & seeing how that was my best work. The marriage of analytical and intuitive. Darley House is homely and comfortable but also luxurious.
Chrissie Gutsell, Derbyshire art retreat, November 2017.
"Very special, enjoyable and informative few days
Appreciated support to recognise & put into practice the style of painting that currently interests me. Very pleased to have attempted 4 very large drawings/paintings. I have gained by 'thinking big.' Darley House and gardens provide wide variety of subject matter. Spaciousness makes it easy to work/be alone and also to be with others.
Pennie Willcocks, Derbyshire art retreat November 2017
"Frustrating, exciting, excellent!
Like the connection you made between my tapestry work (patches of tone) and my new learning in watercolour - thank you, so helpful. Lots to think about.
J. Musgrove, Derbyshire art retreat November 2017.
"Collage as a way of loosening up . . .
Learning a new process with the aim of creating a painting was really interesting & using collage as a way of loosening up was fabulous & I'll definitely do it again.
Nic Durrant, Waterperry Gardens classes, August 2017
"Today has been blissful!
Enjoyed everything! I have had a wonderful time and learned so much about watercolour. It may be my new favourite medium.
Soraya Yehia, Waterperry Gardens class 2017.
"Being stretched to BIGGER
Enjoyed looking at Hitchens, abstraction, different ways of thinking about 'background,' and being stretched to BIGGER!
Eleanor Anderson, Waterperry Gardens classes August 2017.
"Brilliant 3 days - covered everything in so short a time
I have learned much about the use of different techniques in mixed media and how to bring a painting alive with the use of light spaces. I enjoyed the workshop about collage and how to use tear out pieces from other paintings.
Pam Ashworth, Waterperry Gardens workshops, August 2017.
"I'll be doing more of these
Learning to keep some light shapes using pastel was a revelation. Layered drawings made it easier for me to find an exciting composition - I'll be doing more of these. I loved how stick colour can add a whole new dimension to watercolour through mixed media texture.
Elaine Honigmann, Waterperry Gardens classes 2017.
"Very well taught . . .
Experimental use of media dictated the final product! I enjoyed the freedom & spent time on trying to get tone into painting.
Jenny Byrne, Waterperry Gardens art class 2017.
"The day flew by!
Liked all the materials to work with, organised to make it more accessible. Clear guidance at the beginning too.
Bobbie Coon, Waterperry Gardens workshop, August 2017.
"Teacher with extensive knowledge . . .
Very well taught & organised classes. Teacher with extensive knowledge of different aspects of painting. Enjoyed it immensely. Thank you.
Anne Hignell, Waterperry Gardens classes, summer 2017.
"Very enjoyable and rewarding day
Very glad to look at Ivon Hitchens paintings. Working large was exciting and freeing.
Alison Soskice, Waterperry Gardens art class 2017
"Big, bold way of w/col painting
Learning a different approach to drawing landscape and the big, bold way of w/col painting that I'd never have thought of trying. A superb day learning such a lot. Very interesting to see other people's work and their ways of working.
Ann Holland, Waterperry Gardens art class 2017.
Excellent organisation of room and day. Structuring of days stimulating, but not allowing too much focus on sketching. A care taken of all.
E. Boote, Waterperry Gardens art class 2017.
"Loved the course
It was really valuable going through the process of collage to help abstract and tame the 'eye' away from the detail. I'll definitely use this process again. Also really helpful to watch your small demo's on watercolour and other layering techniques.
Clare Nicholson, Waterperry Gardens art class August 2017
Enriching and enlightening. Friendly atmosphere. Welcoming host and tutor.
Pam Ashworth, Derbyshire art retreat 2017
"Inspiring, challenging and educational (as in learnt much)
'Learnt by doing' various mixed media effects - not to overwork! - allowing time to play/experiment. The atmosphere was relaxed and inspiring. Everything was well-catered for and exceptionally well-organised.
Clare Nicholson, Derbyshire art retreat 2017.
"Home from home
Great learning - I have a better knowledge of how to paint an abstract landscape from observation, sketch to painted image. Darley House is a home from home, and Lucy such a warm and welcoming hostess. Love my room, food and the generous atmosphere of the place.
Bridget Farrands, Derbyshire art retreat 2017.
"I've learnt enough to make me want to do more
Felt instantly at home. Learned such a lot - how to use watercolour. Understanding of tone and its importance in an overall composition. The value of the initial sketching stage. I still have a long way to go but I've learnt enough to make me want to do more. I couldn't ask any more of you than that.
Jules Warne, Derbyshire Art Retreat October 2017
"Challenging, inspirational and thought-provoking
Some superb ideas, references and tuition from Ella and the opportunity to experiment with colour and texture in a variety of ways.
Maureen Turner, Derbyshire art retreat 2017
Gained a new way of looking, and a confidence to pursue my curiosity with some new awareness that will help structure my approach.
Barbara Wallis, Derbyshire art retreat 2017.
"I've learnt loads
Fantastic - Briliant - Inspiring! Ella - Thank you so much for all your hard work, wonderful ideas & general enthusiasm about your subject. I've learnt loads and didn't want to stop painting!
Nic Durrant, Derbyshire art retreat 2017.
"Particularly enjoyed the discussion re Patrick Heron
I learned so much. Particularly enjoyed the discussion re Patrick Heron and how he worked from gardens. Also ways of using other media before, with and on top of watercolour. Lots of technical tips re using paint and then removing it; a new concept for me with watercolour as I've always considered it as a way of dealing with errors, not as a significant stage in a w/col painting.
Judy Powell, Waterperry Gardens art classes 2017.
"Filled me with joy and inspiration
I just wanted to say a big thank you for a wonderful few days at Darley House. It really filled me with joy and inspiration to continue on my road to who knows where! Your warm, generous and selfless imparting of knowledge is a rare gift and I will be forever grateful.
M. Watson, Derbyshire Art Retreat 2017.