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We recently welcomed 10 artists to our Covid-safe autumn Porthleven painting-courses, held as always in the wonderful Old Lifeboat House studio on the harbours edge (see below).  In their responses to Porthleven, all the artists were seeking to push their practice forwards, to find their own 'Freedom in Painting'. The pandemic was not going to stop us painting!




The courses began with an introductory talk including a look at the fascinating artists' journeys of Paul Feiler and Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham, both closely connected to Cornwall. This was followed by a drawing session around the studio, moving through the landscape, annotating shifting relationships between the studio and pier behind and the extraordinary changing shape of the studio roof which became a favourite motif on both courses. 

On the first group exercise after lunch, we abstracted from the drawings, and working with collage and colour, created a template for the first painting.


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The second morning was spent drawing around the harbour from all aspects - getting to know Porthleven through drawing - collecting information and ideas to feed the paintings...




After lunch, for the entry into their second painting, the artists followed the instruction of interpreting twelve words in paint. A different beginning can lead to a different resolution....


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Over the next few days, the artists pursued their ideas, producing many striking paintings. As always the intensity of working and the supportive atmosphere helped move things along, with lots of one-to-one tuition and group critiques. 

On Thursday morning, we transformed the studio into gallery, welcoming many visitors during the day. Below is a section of the paintings from the two courses. For a more comprehensive gallery (and larger) images, see the 'Freedom in Painting Group' Facebook page HERE






"Exhilarating to be on the Cornish coast out-of-season in October! To paint solidly for 6 days and discuss colour, technique, line and shape while listening to waves crash onto the rocks right below your studio. As an architect who painted mostly in a realistic vein, I was introduced to new ways of experimenting with line, colour and abstraction by the ingenious teaching techniques of Ashley Hanson who became a reliable mentor and critic for the week. His teaching and approach to painting has re-set my mind-set in a new and positive way. I thoroughly recommend his courses''     John Lyall FRIBA FRSA. Architect

''This feels like the start of an exciting journey. I have launched out into new ways of seeing and expressing ideas. All the hard work you put into setting this course up and making it a success in spite of all the problems of the pandemic were greatly appreciated. Ashley’s relaxed and encouraging teaching is a catalyst for development and I look forward to joining future courses when possible.''   Beryl Hawker

'Ashley has that magical quality of being able to draw you on to discover and develop new ground in your painting'  Jan Bunyan

 'Really appreciate Ashley's effort to set us on task. Good introduction, exercises and very encouraging critiques. Possible to create a great working environment where COVID-19 restrictions are adhered to.'  Di Oldfield

 51newsletter1'Porthleven 51 - (Weight of Colour)'  60x60cms