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Porthleven - The Old Lifeboat House on the left


The Old Lifeboat House in Porthleven, Cornwall once again became the perfect studio for our 7 experienced artists from all over the UK. Porthleven delivered - wild weather and big seas followed by beautiful sunny days, giving our artists plenty of inspiration for their paintings. Under Ashley's guidance the artists worked extremely hard resulting in a very strong and eclectic exhibition by the end of the week.




On Sunday afternoon the artists had their first experience of the studio's stunning location, with the sound of the sea through the open door. After setting up their space, Ashley gave a brief talk about the aims of the course and an insight into the week ahead before hosting an 'unofficial' meeting at The Ship Inn next door - a great way for everyone to get to know each other.


Hils Sketchbook


Stormy Weather Photo - Courtesy of Hils


The dramatic weather on Monday morning didn't deter our group - they were excited! Many wonderful weather-charged drawings were produced during that first session around the harbour. Back in the studio, Ashley then set a series of challenging group exercises throughout the afternoon, exploring different ways to start a painting.

During the next few days there was a mixture of outside drawing exercises (weather permitting) and demonstrations from Ashley. As part of the course, Ashley worked on his own Porthleven painting, giving an insight into his ideas, methods and techniques- which the group seemed to love. Most importantly, each artist pushed their paintings forwards, finding their own personal vision of Porthleven.


Ashley and Jane in the studio


Ashley entered into a dialogue with each artist, offering advice about where their painting might go and introducing them to the work of other artists including Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon and Alfred Wallis amongst others. A great camaraderie was formed and everyone was happy to share ideas and discuss each others work.


Diane painting


Freedom7Antonia sketching


Ashley instructing for a drawing exercise


After the clear up!


Friday was Private View day - but not yet! All the artists worked right up until the 12 noon deadline - before the big clean up. The afternoon was spent transforming the studio into a gallery, ready for the exhibition opening in the evening - it was now that the artists could see their work properly for the first time .


Friday night Preview


Speaking about the exhibition, Ashley said 'The work is very inspiring, I know Porthleven very well but the artists' paintings are making me see it in a different light. It 's fascinating to see how, during the week, some artists have moved from abstraction into figuration and others from figuration into abstraction. I would like to congratulate them all.'


Diane Bedser


Antonia Glynne-Jones


Hils Tranter'


Jane McClement 


Erica Shipley


Jo Rollnick


Mitzi Delnevo


Ashley Hanson- Porthleven 21


The Preview was a great success and one of the strongest paintings from Jane McClement was quickly snapped up. Following tradition the artists and guests (including the younger Hansons) celebrated with a delicious dinner at Amelies. After dinner I made a special presentation of one of Ashley's Porthleven prints to Jane, who has been on one of our courses every year, since our very first Painting Holiday, five years ago.


Celebrating at Amelies


Making my presentation to Jane


The exhibition continued all day on Saturday and the artists enjoyed chatting to the many visitors about the work. Ashley particularly enjoyed the conversation with Stephen Rod about the history of Porthleven and its' harbour.


Dramatic Porthleven


Freedom in Painting does what it says on the tin! The concept acknowledges that artists cannot stand still and all our workshops/holidays are designed to encourage artists to explore the possibilities in painting and to move their practice forwards - well done to our latest Porthleven group for your hard work, for taking the principles on board, and producing such amazing paintings. We hope to see you again soon!

Denise & Ashley

If you are interested in joining one of our Porthleven courses next year. The dates are:
Sat 21st - Fri 27th May & Sun 2nd - Sat 8th October but hurry as the courses are filling up fast! Contact for more details.