My camera helps me look but my sketchbook makes me see, says Mike Willdridge

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.Our friend and inspiring Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge has recently returned from a trip to Southern Africa – and, of course, as usual, he took his trusty sketchbook with him.

He tells me: Most of my finished work is produced in the studio. When away from my studio I always carry a sketchbook and camera and, from the responses and recordings I make using these, I develop my work. The way I see it my camera helps me look but my sketchbook makes me see. 

 I take a lot of photos (with my phone) and, if there’s time will work something in my sketchbook. I don’t need a lot of time; a few seconds or minutes will do. The sketch I’ve attached below the finished work took about 20 minutes. There is, however, a third and important ‘aid’ that I use in the studio and that is my memory of that particular scene/day/moment. Currently, I’m trying to simplify my work and am relying on my memory more and more now.”

The picture above is a page from his sketchbook, using watercolour and gouache. And below is a finished painting (oil on board, 600mm x 600mm), called Storms River Mouth, South Africa.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Come and look — and see — with us on Mike’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring painting week at The Watermill.

Mike new head and shoulders FINALMike Willdridge will be with us this year from Saturday 27 August to Saturday 3 September 2016. He will concentrate on watercolour and drawing, but is also happy also to teach in gouache and acrylics.

As you see, Mike especially values drawing as a way of recording/responding to everyday events and makes constant use of a sketchbook. He’ll encourage you to do the same and to take a sketchbook on location, building up a journal of memories of your time at the watermill and in the unspoilt countryside of Lunigiana.

 *** Why not bring your non-painting partner as well? There’s a generous £200 discount for him/her if they share a room with you — and there’s plenty for them to do. Have a look at our Partner’s Activities suggestions by clicking here. 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Mike Willdridge’s wonderful watercolour of Flavio’s bridge and millstream gushing towards the river.

 

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