2019 course dates September 1 - 5
Watercolour - emphasis on 'plein air' painting
Jem Bowden is a watercolour specialist whose inspiration lies in being outdoors, in the landscape and under the skies. He began to paint at an early age, after first discovering JMW Turner and then the French Impressionists. Latterly, his love of the British watercolour landscape tradition has influenced his development as an artist, with painting outdoors central to his practice.
Having won several national awards including The Society for All Artists’ ‘Artist of the Year’, Jem derives great pleasure from teaching, demonstrating and socialising with others around the subject of watercolour painting. He is a contributor to Leisure Painter magazine, wrote the Watercolour Diploma course for London Art College, runs workshops at venues across the UK and enjoys demonstrating at art clubs and societies.
The great watercolourists have shown how wonderful this medium is for capturing the landscape. In theory it can be simple, but watercolour has its own ideas, and constantly challenges both the professional and the amateur artist.
Thankfully the result is hugely rewarding when the artist and medium come together in harmony with the subject. In my paintings I aim to be evocative – to capture the intrinsic atmosphere of a scene in an ‘impressionistic’ way.
On Big Sky Art courses, we will have a studio base, but I like to teach outdoors whenever possible. I believe that the best way to achieve some of the most important things in painting is to observe, experience and then to interpret the landscape for oneself. Direct contact with the subject can be most inspiring and often brings more of the individual artist as a result. Even in adverse weather I will try to have spells outdoors, however fleeting, to absorb the atmosphere of a location. Also to show my students how to ‘see’ a scene, interpreting it mentally into watercolour, and to take compositional and reference photographs to be worked on in the studio later.
The landscape and the big open skies of Norfolk will afford a great opportunity to paint together and for me to teach both individually and in a group. I am personally excited to be tutoring in this unspoiled locale, beloved of many notable painters through the ages. I hope you will join me at The White House in North Norfolk in for one of my courses.
Please feel free to contact me in advance of booking if you would like further information on any aspect of the course content.
T: 01179 711735