Enjoyed different drawing techniques, interesting palettes, and sharing techniques, e.g. glazing etc. Staying loose! Keeping going!
Liz Humble-Thomas, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Encouraging, thought-provoking and consolidating.
It's not just about painting still life. Enjoyed the sense of purpose behind what asked to do, without it seeming rigid . . . teaching at its best. Has built up the techniques of looking and doing, from previous courses. Very much appreciated the homework related to seeing oneself as an artist.
Barbara W., Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Time and space.
Enjoyed blind painting most. Challenges: some of the more studied (observing subject AND drawing) exercises, although this has been good as part of development. I'm pondering how to set up my workspace at home more effectively to work on some larger pieces.
Wulf Forrester-Barker, Observation to Abstraction 2018
I love my art days - great people for company. Enjoyed the blind painting and drawing ideas.
Jill Partridge, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Fascinating - liberating - challenging.
Enjoyed seeing the results of blind drawing and painting. Question: how do I know if a painting's finished and OK? Another great term/year. Really interesting again, thanks.
Marnie Watson, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Encouraging, stimulating and informative.
The structure of timed, specific exercises has felt very 'containing' and purposeful. Appreciate the discipline of developing drawing skills. The homework sheets have been very helpful in expanding one's way of knowing and using oneself, as well as developing technical ability.
Pennie Willcocks, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Ab fab again!
Liked short exercises -> abstraction, talks about various artists, blind drawing.
Sue Tait, Observation to Abstraction 2018
Being freed up . . . and learning about colour. You are an excellent teacher - one of the best I've ever had - I really appreciate that! And I speak as someone who has taught in the state system of education for nearly 40 years.
Rene Bradshaw - Observation to Abstraction 2018
Original, exciting, ingenious instruction and exercises. The experimentation with ways of loosening up is inspiring and fun. So many ideas and schemes to try out. Love the blind drawing and degrees of. Love setting a time and a method.
Lucy Arterton, Observation to Abstraction 2018
“Inspiring, encouraging and enjoyable.
Enjoyed blind drawing and painting, finding new ways to abstract, and being introduced to new ideas, ways of thinking. Thank you. I appreciate every workshop.
Alison Soskice, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Excellent, friendly course.
Ella shows it’s possible for anyone, no matter how uncertain or cack-handed, to get to grips with watercolour. Her exciting and original ways into exploring this tricky medium have helped develop other skills too, such as drawing and composition. Since Ella’s watercolour course, as well as finding dramatic new methods with dazzling paint, I have improved my ways of seeing and understanding objects in space.
Jane Kelly, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"I really like the format . . .
Enjoyed experimenting with different approaches that encourage a looser technique & learning about mixing paint. I really like the format based on a whole day of painting and the homework which encourages me to draw and paint at home.
Ruth Burch, Observation to Abstraction 2018
Enjoyable experience of using watercolour, and experimenting with colour and composition. I really enjoyed the process of blind drawing/painting. I found this to be very freeing.
Margaret Rings, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Wonderfully enjoyable and informative.
With each course I'm amazed at how much I've learnt that I didn't realise I had. I discovered this talking to my grandson about the colour wheel and explaining about colours - he was impressed!
Pat Harris, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Liberating, freeing and fun.
Thank you yet again!
Eleanor Anderson, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"So informative and enabling -
- as ever!
Clare Nicholson, Observation to Abstraction 2018
I would just like to say thank you for bringing me back to watercolour. I have learnt so much from this course with good teaching and encouragement.
Suzanne Guse, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"These easily rank amongst the best . . .
The series of warm-up exercises really helped me to think about intentionality. Very thought-provoking comments as the explanations are given. One way or another, I go to a lot of art courses. These easily rank amongst the best. Impressive organisation of the day and amazing still life sets.
Nadia Birkbeck, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Great. Much learning but huge way to go!
Excellent teaching & enthusiasm. Love the small classes, warmth, drinks, tips - all of it.
Marilyn Relf, Observation to Abstraction 2018
Enjoyed working with others on all the new approaches - sharing with them the struggles and joys! I have always found the homework really valuable.
Gilly Osborn, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"Wonderful - always learning!
Have most enjoyed the painting, and the challenge to put all you have taught us into practice.
Claire Scott-Bowden, Observation to Abstraction 2018
"I really felt you understood my strengths . . .
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 this 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. I 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 - and space! Thank you for a wonderful course and stay.
Alison Soskice, Derbyshire art retreat November 2017
"Such a relaxed atmosphere.
My 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.
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.
I appreciated the support to recognise and 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 a wide variety of subject matter. The spaciousness of the house makes it easy to work/be alone and also to be with others.
Pennie Willcocks, Derbyshire art retreat November 2017
"Frustrating, exciting, excellent!
I like the connection you made between my tapestry work (patches of tonal value) and my new learning in watercolour - thank you, so helpful. Lots to think about.
J. Musgrove, Derbyshire art retreat November 2017.
"Loosening up with collage . . .
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 watercolour painting . . .
Learning a different approach to drawing landscape and the big, bold way of watercolour 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 . . .
Excellent organisation of room and day. Structuring of days stimulating. 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. 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.
“This was a great course.
It took me well out of my comfort zone and, in the process, I learned such a lot: the value of the initial sketching stage; how to use watercolour more effectively; understanding of tone and its importance in an overall composition. 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. The venue is superb and I felt instantly at home in warm and very friendly surroundings. I’m already looking forward to the next course! Thank you.
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 W., Derbyshire art retreat 2017.
"I've learnt loads . . .
Fantastic - brilliant - 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.