Down the Valley
On Tuesdays during a Watermill painting week we go to the nearby Medieval walled town of Fivizzano for market day. After lunch, this is the view mid afternoon looking down the valley from Fivizzano – I’m not sure, but if we had had binoculars we might have been able to see the Watermill itself. It was a beautiful, beautiful day - that morning we’d just completed a painting of the local market in Piazza Medicea.
From the Castle at Verrucola
On Mondays during a Watermill painting week we go to the imposing castle of Verrucola, a couple of miles away. Standing just outside the church entrance we painted these houses and trees. There was a casting glow of warm light all around and that was our focus for the painting. The contrast of the blue and orange, being complementary colours, creates an appealing colour scheme – also blue is a cool distant colour with the warm orange roofs coming forward.
I’ve called this ‘yellow awnings’ only because the sun was shining - it was 1pm and one hour later the sun had left leaving this striking colour a very unassuming and quiet one.
Elterwater, Lake District, England
If you’ve been to the Lake District in the North West of England. you’ll know how damp it can get; so with a fast painting technique in between showers and a near perfect view to paint it’s sometimes not that difficult to make a successful picture!
Wigan in the North-west of England is where the Romans settled and where the Industrial Revolution changed the lives of thousands. For Lea Nixon, who lives there, this history is very intriguing and mood, character and atmosphere is incredibly important to him as a painter. Wherever he travels to paint this is the essence he wants to capture in his paintings. During the week at Watermill, students can learn Lea’s methods and techniques to do exactly this.
Lea specialises in watercolour, the magic of which excites him again and again. He has had paintings exhibited in the Mall Galleries, London, at The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and the New English Art Club. His paintings are owned by collectors in Germany, USA, Spain and the UK.
Lea welcomes beginners to advanced students. He says, “It is your own personal style which defines you as an artist – I like to spot the originality in a student and then work on their strengths and weaknesses to develop them further. It’s fantastic fun and so exciting to paint each day in this way."
“I do encourage plein air painting though we might also work in the studio to learn how to develop outdoor sketches we have made. We will learn to recognise the elements which make a good watercolour and discover ways to replicate them in our own paintings. Ultimately I will show you my methods to make the whole process of watercolour painting easier. Watercolour is a captivating medium and there are so many ways to use it to make beautiful pictures.”
Praise for Lea’s teaching
Thank you for such a wonderful holiday. We enjoyed your wonderful hospitality Bill. You are a great host and left no stone unturned to ensure all your guests were well fed, happy and busy!! We have many wonderful memories, what a great week.
In addition, Lea was a wonderful tutor. He not only encouraged us to be productive but divided his attention equally with all his students, a hard task at times to achieve. I personally felt I came home with some worthwhile artwork but mainly came away with a wealth of newfound knowledge gleaned from watching and learning Leas' painting style. AM
“I have been a member of Lea Nixon's watercolour class for two years. He is a highly accomplished artist who has demonstrated and taught the class the full range of watercolour techniques and has done so in a friendly and supportive manner, as a result of which he has won affection, respect and loyalty from all members of the class.” JH
“I love Lea’s class demonstrations, which are based on his plein air painting on location around Europe and closer to home. He has covered a wide range of subjects, including landscapes both rural and industrial, townscapes and still lifes. In all of these he has displayed the fluid, impressionistic style that makes his work particularly distinctive”. AN
“It’s a real pleasure being in Lea’s class and he makes it simple and easy to understand. I’ve improved a lot since I first started so it has been very worthwhile.” SP