After more than two years of Covid-imposed Paintaway inactivity, it was exciting to be heading once more on a fine May morning for The Skelwith Bridge Hotel in the Lake District, only a short distance from Ambleside and at the entrance to the Langdale Valley. Situated on the delightful River Brathay, the hotel has, on several previous occasions, provided an excellent base for our four days of painting activities as well as a variety of walking opportunities for non-painting partners and friends who are always very welcome to join us on these occasions.
The hotel and its friendly staff were welcoming as ever and provided an excellent menu within our half-board package. Good to see that some things haven’t changed very much!
The right note was struck early in our stay, with an excellent demonstration of sketching and drawing techniques by Wilf Langford, our president. This was conveniently staged on the banks of the river immediately in front of the hotel where Wilf took as his subject the old bridge which takes the road across the river towards Hawkshead, only a few miles away. Wilf, known to us all as an excellent tutor, explained his general approach to his subject, as well as talking about his preferred sketching materials and his particular techniques for gathering sufficient information fairly swiftly to provide the basic information for a subsequent painting. This provided a stimulating start for members. So a big thank you to Wilf!
Over the following days, some of us travelled to favourite and unexplored locations throughout this part of the Lake District and as far away as stunning Wastwater, while others worked mainly within easy reach of the hotel, with some of us making the usual pilgrimage to the Heaton Cooper shop and gallery in Grasmere to top up our supplies of art materials.
On each of the evenings we met for a social hour in the bar before dinner and on the final evening in the lounge for an informal sharing of sketchbooks and to thank Wilf for his demonstration at the start of the visit and Alan and Sally for the work they had done in organising the event. Thanks too to Beverley Wightman for the lovely photos included above.
Already we are looking forward to next May, when we hope to repeat this annual event in another of our favourite locations. See future editions of Focal Points for the latest info!