Last January I decided to book myself on a course at the St Ives School of Art. I like to learn new things, meet new people, take myself out of my comfort zone. After I hit the 'pay now' button I felt as excited as a kid on Christmas day, not a feeling I've had in a long while. And the course was being run byEric Ward, a painter I have admired for a few years.
Finally the day arrived when I had to pack up and drive down to Cornwall, four days without making breakfast, four days without doing laundry, four days not being Mrs Ace taxi driver. Four days to paint and wander.
On the first morning, it rained, well more of a drizzle. Hardly surprising as we had had rain constantly since the beginning of March and this was July. We had no Summer to speak of and not much Spring. How would we paint outside in this I wondered as I dragged on my huge mac for yet another day.
A bunch of us gathered at the school, twelve to be precise, one joker suggested it was the last supper.
After a morning in the studio, we braved the elements. The weather had cleared with only a gusty breeze and the occasional splatter of rain, so we went down to the harbour to paint. Surrounded by holiday makers it was a slightly daunting task. A trick I learned in photography is to cut myself off and concentrate on the shots I need to get. I adopted the same here otherwise I would feel so self concious that I would crumple into a small heap and be blown away by a gust of wind.
This is what I saw that first afternoon....
As time went on we all got to know each other a little better. I found two new friends, Mary and Vic. We all had stories to share and enjoyed each other's company for a few days. It's strange how, when in some situations you can forge strong bonds. None of this would have happened if we had gone along with friends. Each of us was travelling alone.
The sun came out again on those days and has stayed with me since. As have my new found friends. I think we will get together again one day.
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