Testimonials ~

Landscape Art courses in SW Spain:

"It was a glorious week filled with sunshine, wild flowers and painting, and I should also mention the excellent food and wine which was accompanied by much chatter and laughter.  As a complete beginner with acrylic paint I knew I was going to be challenged - and I was! - but with Noelle's patient and professional instruction I felt well supported and encouraged all the time.  We were a small group of people of varying ability but the cleverly structured tasks Noelle set us were stimulating and most enjoyable.
As well having had a relaxing holiday in an idyllic place, I have come away feeling that I have learnt a lot that, with practice, should help my painting develop." Daphne Morris, UK

"I loved my time with you on a number of levels.  I valued the art making and the eye changing. Your way of working with me was perfect. I felt totally comfortable to be me and to explore what I could with your help.  I learnt a lot and positively learnt.  I could feel my sensitivities working, and they’ve not stopped. Your style of teaching worked perfectly.  With your guidance I felt I was changing my way of seeing. I look forward to more opportunities. ” Allyson Roberts, Portugal

" The olive trees were straight out of Van Gogh; the weather was gorgeous;  the instruction was knowledgeable and sympathetic; the company was good and the food and wine at the end of the day delicious. What more can you want? " Sandy Urquhart, UK

"Noelle is a very good teacher, the course was well thought out and we were given a new and interesting task each day, I learnt a lot - even that acrylics aren’t as terrifying as I thought! The Finca and surrounding landscape is beautiful, we went in May and the wild flowers were fantastic, also the birds.  Wonderful food, the wine flowed, great conversation with a lot of laughing!" Jane Durston, UK

"This was my first specific painting holiday so I did not know what to expect, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. The weather in early October was lovely, from about 30c down to low 20s, so going out on the pathways among rocks and olive groves around the finca was best done quite early. After that, a spacious veranda allowed me and the other student of the week, to paint and draw as long as we liked. Noelle 'loosened us up' with various exercises and then allowed us to explore ideas and subjects with technical hints, encouragement and constructive criticism. I used oils for three days out of the five and then, allowing the oils to dry before our departure, had my first attempt at acrylics. Very different! The house was simple but very comfortable and peaceful, the food excellent and the company congenial.  It was such a treat to just be able to paint and draw all day without other duties or guilt! Thanks Noelle and Richard. "  Sally Birch, UK

Townscape Art courses in SW Spain:

" Noelle is an excellent tutor and taught all 8 of us according to our individual needs, after assessing our abilities. I felt that I learnt a lot about colour, mark making and choosing an area to paint from a large scene and not to be too ambitious in fitting it all in! We had two good sessions of tuition each day for 5 days, with a day out in Caceres between. We had fantastic locations from which to paint – it was difficult to know where to begin at first. This was a very memorable holiday and a very special one. " Dorothy Champion, UK

" Sketching and painting the panorama of the Plaza Mayor from the loggia of the Palacio de Piedras Albas was grand. The expansive views of San Martin Church, the shops, the restaurants, the statue of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro and the many streets leading to the Castillo de Trujillo to one side and the bell tower of Santa Maria Church to the other gave me dozens of artistic choices. Noelle guided me to look, really look, at the ordinary. The drawings, paintings and sketches I made will be the basis for another series of works that I hope to begin soon. I thank Noelle for pushing (gently) and making me stay on track. She was always ready with advice and analysis of my progress and her teaching and artistic expertise was evident. I appreciated her interest and concern for my creative growth and cherish the time I spent with her in Trujillo. " Mary K. VanGieson, US

"The course more than lived up to expectations. It was clear that it would from the very first activity: an exercise that required us to look, and look and look again! And so it continued. During the course of the week Noelle also encouraged us, in the quiet of the afternoon when working at our chosen spot,  to consciously connect with the environment by summoning all  our senses. So it is that I dream of  hot, insect-humming days, terracotta roofs and almudejar facades...bells, swifts, storks and steeples, fragrant gardens brimful of roses and lilies, heady intoxicating honeysuckle, the dappled shade cast by olive trees, stately cypresses,  dazzling white-washed buildings...and glorious star-studded skies viewed from the noble heights of the loggia as we raise a glass and tuck into a delicious dinner! " Catherine Castro, UK

" My experience of Art was limited to just a few lessons after I retired and attending a weekly group for about a year or so. Noelle looked at some work I had done and suggested a new beginning for me. I was lucky in that I was able to spend a lot of time with her, every day in fact, walking around Trujillo to sketch and paint scenes which she patiently oversaw. She showed me new techniques, new ways of looking at objects, their relationship with each other and to have a more free flowing approach when putting lines and colours on paper. I found it challenging but very rewarding, and anything I achieved  was down to Noelle's approach and patience. " Anthony Brundle, Australia

" Noelle’s art course and her choice of venue provided a unique opportunity for a full sensory learning experience. She instilled into our minds the importance of observation and learning to really ‘see’ rather than letting the brain take over in our ‘plein air’ painting and sketching efforts.  To do artwork in the surrounds of an ancient town like Trujillo, so steeped in the history and exploits of the 16th century Spanish conquistadors, was a thrill.   Closing your eyes, the cacophony from migrating white storks nesting on the chimneys and towers intermingled with the ringing of church bells and the chatter of residents can initially be jarring to the senses.  The interesting thing is that it does seem to add another dimension and an emotional element to the whole experience.  I was also fascinated by the unique geology of the area which provided a beautiful landscape of gentle, rolling granite hills. Overall, a wonderful experience! " Fred Alcock, Canada

" My sister and I had a wonderful week in the incredibly beautiful town of Trujillo. We sat on the balcony and watched the storks nesting on the rooftops of the square - it was a magical place. Noelle was a great teacher and very attentive to what we wanted to work on. We really enjoyed our holiday. "  Margaret Meyer, US

"Noelle is an extremely professional, knowledgeable and skilled art tutor and our course was obviously well planned and thought through. Trujillo is truly a remarkable place, full of Conquistador history and the discovery of the New World. The town is a treat to the eye and nectar for the photographer.

We sketched each day and painted outside. The ancient buildings, inspiring towers, slanting rooftops and skylines made it difficult to choose a subject but once captured it held our attention. Noelle was there to provide advice and help at every turn. Her attention to our individual needs and unfailing patience with us was gratefully received. The three key elements of the week consisted of developing our observational skills, tonal awareness and composition. This was facilitated by a variety of exercises and techniques. Our view of the world has been forever changed and sketching ability has improved tremendously. " Julia Etoria and Mary Fitzakerly, Spain

Art Tutorials in Snowdonia, UK:

"It was in 1992 when I met Noelle, my tutor for the Open College of the Arts.  I was impressed with Noelle's teaching and approach to art, and stayed with her class for six years. I was also attending many painting evening classes and met various tutors along the way.  However, I always thought Noelle was by far the better tutor. So much so that, when I heard she was running a course for her old OCA students I jumped at the opportunity to work with her again, and this time as a professional painter myself. "  Gwilym Hughes, UK

" As a tutor Noelle has a fine eye for picking up on parts of paintings that are not working, and her constructive criticism is invaluable. She urges me to explore new ways of working, and her tutorials while valuable for their lively discussions, criticism and practical work, are always full of fun! " Judith Jolley, UK

“Thank you so much for our tutorial day.  You live and work in such an enchanting place and it was very inspiring to see your paintings.  I learned so much. It was wonderful to paint together too, and such a privilege, I could feel things opening up and also aligning.     Everything that you said made a huge amount of sense and  I came away with more clarity and a point of depart.” Mary Walker, UK

" I have attended Noelle's tutorials for many years. Noelle constantly encourages me, and others in the group, to explore new ways of resolving the problems that any artist encounters in the creative process. The objective group and individual critiques are most valuable in assisting the growth of ones artistic development, and I would recommend Noelle's tutorials to anyone seriously interested in expanding the limits of their work. " Des Jones, UK

Images: RH strip TOP to BOTTOM: Paintings by Sally Birch, Daphne Morris, Sal Goldsmith, Pat Pearson, Sandy Urquhart, Alex Evans, Catherine Castro. Photograph by Mary Fitzakerly. Painting by Sandy Urquhart. Sketchbook by Eve Kelly. Photograph. Painting by Jane Durston. Drawing by Mary K VanGieson. Watercolour sketch by Anthony Brundle. Mixed media sketch by Sal Goldsmith. Paintings by Mary Walker, Jane Durston. Images: Top horizontal strip LH to RH: Sketchbook by Frances Riddle. Painting by John Kelly. Paintings by Daphne Morris, Dorothy Champion. (Bottom Row) Paintings by Julia Etoria, Allyson Roberts, Margaret Meyer, Jane Durston. Images: Bottom horizontal strip LH to RH: Ink sketch by Sal Goldsmith. Painting byBetsy Judge. Concertina book by Mary K VanGieson. Painting by Gwilym Hughes. (Bottom Row) Paintings by Fred Alcock, Mary K VanGieson, Des Jones, Sandy Urquhart, Des Jones.