I have just spent three wonderful days at Cambridge Botanic Gardens being tutored by my favourite artist: Georita Harriot. I used the course as a refresher for gilding and illumination techniques, and it was invaluable. It was also great fun. There were 12 [mature] students of all levels of ability, but each one of us produced a great piece of artwork (although I had to finish mine off at home today because as usual I was way behind everyone else!). The first day we visited the Fitzwilliam Museum’s current exhibition on illumination – it was fantastic and set the scene for much inspiration for the class. Days 2 and 3 consisted of demonstrations on applying gold leaf and how to paint with body paint – none of your wishy-washy water colours – just brave, lay-it-on-thick paint, each vibrant colour had a touch of white added to it to make it rich and creamy. On my piece I also added some filigree patterns with shell gold.
This is the finished piece, and I have digitally added extra letters to form the words Happy Christmas and a little poem. This is a mock-up of a Christmas card which I might use in future. I would highly recommend the art courses at the Botanic Gardens. There are many different tutors doing lots of splendid types of artwork to suit everyone. The class room is spacious, the lunches at a reduced price are excellent, and the whole experience is uplifting and relaxing all at the same time.