Carolyn Finch’s Guggleton Painter’s Group

Carolyn’s group currently meets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings between 10 and 12 am and Wednesday afternoons between 2 and 4pm.

If you would like to learn more or are interested in joining the group then contact Carolyn on 07917 190 309

To be added to our mailing list and find out more then click here.

To sign up for future workshops then please use our contact form at the bottom of the page…..

Carolyn has painted professionally for 25 years. After moving to Dorset in 2007, she ran classes from her studio in Stourton Caundle, recently moving all classes to The Guggleton Farm Arts in Stalbridge in order to enjoy the fabulous workshop space.

Some members are experienced and well-established artists, who like to meet with others once a week to paint. Others are taking up painting for the first time or coming back to it after many years.

The groups are run so that everyone works at their own pace on their own chosen subject, the aim being, to raise confidence and increase knowledge of the various techniques useful in observational painting.

In Carolyn’s words: “Many people take up painting for relaxation, which is funny as I see varying levels of stress in the class, when things are not working out! One thing that is definite is that painting is all consuming. Life problems and stresses are pushed out completely from the mind during the creative process. There are very few things in modern life (not on prescription!) that can do that. There have been numerous times I have forgotten to pick up my children from school, because I have become so immersed in a painting. This complete escape, for me, is the reason to paint – not necessarily to produce a picture worthy of a frame at the end, but to feed the soul with the creative process and get a busy, over active mind completely absorbed in something pure.

An artist friend once asked how long I had been painting, and then after my reply asked, “…and how long since you started seeing”?I often think of this question when teaching. I find we all hesitate and falter at the same hurdles.

Much of what I teach is how to turn off the all-knowing part of the brain which dominates most of our interpretation of the world around us and turn on the part of the brain which interprets pure electrical impulses form the eyes. The classic left brain/right brain struggle. I teach how to truly see in observational painting; and varied techniques to achieve this. One simple trick is to turn the canvas and the reference upside down, the dominant brain then gives up and allows us to see our subject as it truly is. Sometimes it’s just a case of being aware of the traps. Know that, if left unchecked, you will paint those grasses evenly spaced, and the head of that distant figures far too large! After 30 years of painting I still have consciously make heads smaller and random-ise mygrasses!

Fear rears its head often in the studio. Students are worried about having their work judged, not by other members of the class but by helpful partners at home… This stops students working on the canvas as a whole and leaves them instead focusing on ‘that little bit so it looks ok before I take it home’…. therefore they are too concerned with the end result while still painting. My father, a professional artist for over 30 years used to say: “they’re not waiting for this at the Tate you know!” I believe every piece should be viewed as if in practice; then the pressure for it to fulfil our expectations is reduced. Students can then enjoy the process and, invariably when this happens, the end result exceeds expectation.

I also teach technical short cuts to achieve certain colours and effects. I have developed my own bag of tricks, through trial and error, and am able to share these so that my students have a short cut to success; for example when painting reflections.

Some of my students have never exhibited before, and this is the reason for mounting the exhibition. Again, fearis the culprit, and like anything in life, it’s usually never as bad as we expect. So, my first timers are exhibiting with some experienced exhibitors and I hope this will raise their self-confidence and help them to value their skill as artists”.