Hotting up in Harwich

Hello everyone,
I’m writing this newsletter on the warmest day of the year so far and it really is beautiful here beside the sea in Harwich. But it’s not just the weather that’s hotting up in the town. There has been a fair bit of activity recently with the launch of several new enterprises; a new gallery and tearoom has opened in the historic Swan House, a doll’s house shop and auction room has opened for business, as has a new coffee shop near the stone lighthouse and of course preparations are well under way for the Harwich Festival of the Arts 2015. 
Here at the Old bank, we have had some very successful workshops so far this year and continue to add new ones all the time. It’s been great to see so many regular and repeat customers as well as lots of new faces. We’re really happy to see more and more people are finding out about us and are coming from further afield to enjoy a day of creativity and learning with us, as well as discovering what Harwich has to offer.
We started off the painting season with two very different watercolour workshops, firstly very loose and impressionistic with Andrew Geeson  and then a more representational approach with our old friend Charles Evans. I’m sure we will be seeing Andrew again in the future and Charles is already booked in for the late autumn, when he will be running a winter themed acrylic painting workshop.
Most recently we repeated, from last year, People Aren’t Scary “Really” with Marilyn Allis. It proved so popular this time around that we will probably repeat it again next year as well!
 So what have we got coming up?
In the Textile Studio Alex Waylett has been packing them in on a variety of themed days with her own brand of fabric alchemy. Employing soldering irons, foil, wire and anything else they can get their hands on, the students have created some beautiful, stunning work.
If textiles and making is more your thing then there are some more Alex waylett workshops coming up, all be it a couple of these are already fully booked. We have just added 3 days with Maria Spiller where you can make a quilted cushion cover, an upcycled denim bag or a sampler quilt – all aimed very much at the beginner.
Last Minute Places
Well, firstly two places have become available on Soraya French’s Mixed Media Landscape full day workshop, for anyone that thought they’d missed their chance to spend a day with this highly acclaimed artist.
Similarly, there is the possibility of another place being available on Hashim Akib’s Expressive Portraits, but this may change by the time this newsletter reaches you. SORRY FULLY BOOKED.
There are a few places left over the weekend of 9th and 10th May for Haidee-Jo Summer’s “Light and Colour”, you can choose to do one or both days, but you will have to be quick if you want to attend the Saturday in particular.
Also in the ‘recently added’ category are Line and Wash with Harwich’s own Lavinia Hamer and ‘Atmospheric Acrylic’ with Dovercourt’s Ken Kempley. In August we have a fabulous SPECIAL OFFER ‘Get Started in Watercolour’ with Michele Webber £55 including all materials – ideal for those with little or no experience in the medium. And for those with a bit more experience, but looking for expert tuition to push them on, come and learn portraiture in oils or acrylics with the highly accomplished Keith Morton. Starting in late summer is a drawing and watercolour course with Lavinia Hamer – details will be available very soon or contact us if you think you might like to sign up.
The human form is arguably the most difficult subject to master and considered a vital skill for any artist. OnSaturday 16th of May, you have the opportunity to spend a full day with a nude female model; tutoring and guidance by Essex artist Paul Alcock.
Harwich Festival of Arts 24th June – 5th July
2015 again sees Old Bank Studios at the heart of the Art Quarter. We will be hosting the main Visual Arts Exhibition in our main banking hall as well as two other rooms, so this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.
If you would like submit work to the selection process for the exhibition visit the festival website’s ‘Call for Artists” 

Nigel and I look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Bev Caleno

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