6 months ago

Creativity is the New Mindfulness: 4 Art Courses To Book

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Creativity is the new mindfulness in 2020 and with this in mind, PENNY MCCORMICK HAS sourced some diverse art courses to join.

The popular Kelly’s resort hotel in Rosslare, Co Wexford, reopens for the 2020 season on February 14 and its popular line-up of midweek courses includes cooking demonstrations, wine appreciation, dancing, bridge, gardening, golf clinics and art. “Painting with Orla Walsh”, runs from April 26 to May 1. Guests staying have plenty of visual inspiration – the resort is situated along five miles of sandy beach, while the resort art collection, curated by owner Bill Kelly and his family over 40 years,  includes works by Gillian Ayres, Camille Souter, Gerard Dillon, Elizabeth Cope and sculptures by Ben Byrne and many more.

The mid-week break includes accommodation, Kelly’s Afternoon Tea upon arrival, dinner that evening in Beaches Restaurant nightly and breakfast and lunch up to departure day. The five-day midweek rates are from from €650 per person full board,  or a four-day day midweek rate from €560 per person. Rates include VAT but subject to a 10 per cent service charge. www.kellys.ie

If you don’t want to sign up for an extended art course I can recommend the National Gallery’s “Tipple With Art” sessions – the next one being on February 13, from 5.45pm – 7.45pm. No experience is necessary, as the art class is led by an artist-facilitator who will guide participants through their own masterpiece based on Henry Clark’s painting “The Elf Hill”.  The ticket price includes a canvas for your artwork, use of all equipment and materials, plus a glass of prosecco or soft drink. I found the “Tipple With Art” session I attended before Christmas a relaxing and mindful way to end the day and much enjoyed the instruction and ability to play with acrylic paints. I also learned much more about the painting and its construction, having looked at it intently for two hours. The two-hour session also encouraged me to pursue a longer art course.  Tipple With Art Tickets cost €40 – available here.

Donegal-based artist Ann Quinn and print maker Daniel Lipstein teach oil painting and printmaking techniques during three masterclass weekends at their home and studio.  Participants of all levels, experience and expertise are welcome, as they tailor the two-day experiences individually.  With a maximum of four participants for each masterclass weekend, it’s very much a one-to-one, personal experience, with classes running from 11am – 4pm each day. All printmaking materials are provided because of the special expertise required in purchasing them, though participants must bring their own oil painting materials. A two-course vegetarian lunch is included, as are refreshments throughout the weekend. The cost of the masterclasses is €250 per person which run from June 20 – 21, July 25 – 26 and August 29 – 30. For further information visit www.annquinn.org.

Irish artist Loreto O’Reilly organises residential painting holidays in Italy and this year her venue is in the popular coastal town of Taormina, Sicily. Easy to get to with direct flights from Dublin to Catania, accommodation, transfers and transport is taken care of by the residence Terra Rosa, which is an artists’ dream. A lush Mediterranean garden and trees and frame stunning views of the sea. Loreto leads painting classes each morning for three to four hours and provides paints, pencils, brushes and other basics. In the afternoon, participants can opt to stay at Terra Rossa, or walk down to the nearby beach or visit some of the local sites which include vineyards on the slopes of Mount Etna,  Isola Bella and the park Giovanni Colonna. Details of prices and dates can be found on the website and there is a discount of ten per cent off bookings confirmed before February 29. www.loretoreilly.com

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