Saturday, 14 August 2010

Dina Wakley Weekend at Art From The Heart

Hello!! Hard to believe that this time last week I was enjoying a lovely glass of wine (or two) at Pizza Express in Harrogate with the amazingly talented, gorgeous Dina Wakley and a few Blogland friends that I had the huge pleasure of finally meeting - namely Kate and Sarah. We were joined by Chris (who is hilarious after a couple of glasses and a sweetheart beforehand!), Dina's son Carter and Paul. We had a really nice time (would probably have been even nicer if SOMEONE hadn't forgotten to take the special offer vouchers with her, the dippy moo...) and you can see photographic evidence of this on Kate's blog as I didn't take my camera?!? Don't know what it was about the weekend but I just kept forgetting to take pictures - very unusual for me...what little I have I will share though!!

Here's a rundown of the weekend in the pictures I remembered to take...

I was sitting next to Sandra who has to be one of my favourite people EVER. Funny, thoughtful and always ready with words of support when you think it's all gone horribly wrong...she's a talented lady and I love the fact that she had totally colour co-ordinated her page with her outfit!! And she calls me the Style Queen?!?

Messy hands were a big part of the weekend...we all had them. If you didn't then you were doing something wrong (or wearing gloves, but even then...) We decided quickly that if there was paint on our faces then we were proper artists...Sandra and I are definitely proper artists - I thought she'd cut her head at one point and I had a blue lip for most of Sunday!!

3 of the 5 pages I did on Friday...I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the first day. Dina is a generous teacher, sharing techniques, advice and putting everyone at ease from the outset. If you ever have to opportunity to be taught by her, grab it with both hands. Seriously.

Another page in the early stages...

...and the end result.

Day 2 was all about the layers. Each time we changed technique, colour or texture, that counted as another layer. Dina challenged us to reach 20 layers in one page, which I thought was impossible for me but I managed to reach 23!! Here is the page in progress...

...and 23 layers later!!

We were joined on Day 2 by Sexie Suzy and her lovely Mum. Here they are with Sandra.

Considering we were working in very close quarters (and her and Sandra added their own 'layers' to my pages) we got on really well and it was fantastic to meet them. By the way, that white t-shirt - as far as I could tell - remained white by the end of the day. Amazing.

I also had the huge pleasure of Ann's company for the weekend. Now Ann hasn't been well at all recently but, in spite of some low points, she powered through and kept us all smiling - or in me and Sandy's case, laughing till the tears ran down our faces...

Her 'Bugger It' method of creating pages is something to behold and she had some amazing stories from her Beatnik days involving The Beatles and Mick Jagger!! Hope we meet up again soon Ann!!

Day 3 was portrait painting - Dina Style. We did pretty good considering the night before, Paul took over the guest house bar and turned it into a scene from Cocktail. Kind of..!! Again, see Kate's blog for the photos!! Anyway, we each had to bring a selection of photos - close up shots of our (or anyones) face and we set about applying white paint to the light areas, black to the dark then building up a light, medium and dark tone of the same colour to the corresponding areas. Dina demonstrated each step but she has the annoying knack of making it look SO easy!!

But we gave it a go and she was really impressed with the results!!

Here's my 1st attempt at me, in glorious pink and blue...

I did one of Molly too but I'm still not happy with her lips and eyes - there's just something not quite right. Think the photo was so dark to begin with, it was hard to get the 'shapes' right...

Dina helping fix Molly...

Sandy and the gorgeous Shelley hard at work...

Sarah did 2 fantastic portraits of her kids and then attempted to 'do' herself...she gave up at the point where she managed to make herself look like an 80 year old woman!! Here she is with her 'future' self smiling beautifully as always...

Kate and Sarah were staying at Alexa House too (in a Love Shack, no less) and it was fantastic to get to know them in real life. Kate has such a unique style - erring towards the weirdy-wonderful but always beautifully quirky...she also (rumour has it) wears a purple polka dot sleep mask to bed, but I believe that's just a vicious rumour...if only there was a photo to prove it... Next time we're down in Harrogate, we're arranging a night out with husbands!!

Kate, Sarah, me and Dina...

Dina, Dyan and me - how amazing does Dy look in those bright colours?!?

Dy was around all weekend, making sure we were all happy, keeping us fed and watered with the help of John - aptly named 'The Babe' and Ben, Katie and Pam. So sad to hear that Dyan is in hospital at the moment...please send lots of good thoughts her way. She's a very special lady and hopefully will be on the mend real soon.

Dyan's new spray inks...they took quite a beating over the weekend! They are fantastic, the colours are so vibrant and vivid. If you don't have some, go get them - NOW!!

By late Sunday afternoon, people started heading off to catch trains or drive home after a weekend of painting, spraying, layering, spattering and stencilling.... Paul returned with Carter from watching Toy Story 3 and taking him shopping for the afternoon - he suggested a little gift for his Mum would be nice, so Carter chose a lovely necklace at Cath Kidston - how nice?!?

So that was the weekend! Will be back with more news soon (and anything I've forgotten to mention!) Hope you're having a great weekend! xx


  1. Jude what a fantastic post - I love it, love it LOVE it! You have captured the essence of our weekend brilliantly and with such humour! Your portrait is amazing! Definitely a tachnique I want to try again!
    Hope Ellie's birthday party goes well and I hope its not too long before we see each other again! x x x

  2. Hi Jude, I agree with everything that SP (Sandy Poppins) has said, it was a fantastic weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed your company, but I still cannot believe that you are the mother of 4 children, impossible, you only look 16 yourself. Love all the work you have done, even though you had paint and ink from other people, lol. Take care xx

  3. Wow Jude sounds like a fabulous weekend and those portraits are brilliant :0)

  4. Hi Jude
    Loved my day with you all on Sat, it was great to meet you, and I'm so glad Mum and I sat in the 'sharing corner' (even if Sandra and I shared too much sometimes!).
    Keep in touch, and we'll try and coordinate your next visit so I can partake of the cocktails
    take care
    Sexy Susie xx

  5. Really enjoyed reading about your weekend. Absolutely love what you've done to the photo of yourself, WOW!!!
    I always enjoy myself on Dyan's workshops and weekends and everybody who attends is such good company.
    Glad you had a good time and I also hope Dyan is on the mend soon. Thanks for sharing the goss, x

  6. I've so enjoyed seeing what everyone created last weekend. Your art is amazing and you obviously had SUCH a good time!

    I was set next to Ann at a PaperArtsy weekend last October. She is such a lovely lady.


  7. I wonder if Kate will forgive me if I post that picture...? Have put the December date in the diary, looking forward to it already. Hope all the birthday celebrations went to plan and that you didn't blub too much in Toy Story!

  8. Hey there Jude sounds like a fab weekend - these courses look great and very interesting! Harrogate is a great place!

  9. Reading this makes me want to come back and art with you next week. Or tomorrow. Or right now.

    And, I want you to know Carter is still talking about Paul. lol!

  10. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  11. Heyyy, your art work looks really fabulous :-) Love your portrait. You suit blue hair! Seriously! And by the way, the eye mask in the love shack is a viscious rumour and if Sarah publishes THAT photo I can't be held responsible for my actions.....LOL!
    I was just hopping about on Flickr, as you do, and I saw that Dina has done a scrap book page with you on it! Yay, you're famous! go check it out.
    I loved meeting you and your fabby hubby/cocktail mixer. Hope we meet again soon x

  12. I've just been reading the comments on Dy's latest blog post. If Dy calls me Kinky Kate next time I see her, I'll know exactly who put that idea in her head!!!!


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