|Questions and Answers
I have been teaching watercolour workshops in France since 2000. Initially, I was asked by friends and aquaintances to run some summer classes in France, and it evolved from there.
1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?
I have been running workshops in France for about ten years now. I suppose I started teaching to justify my summers in France to my New York editors, some of whom seemed to resent my disappearing off to France for four or five months in the summer. A book illustrator like me spends long hours working by herself in her studio, and I found that I really enjoyed imparting my knowledge and experience to others, and at the same time encouraging them to find their own voice. This is
such a lovely part of the world that it gives me great pleasure to introduce students to the beauty, history, cuisine and culture of southwest France.
2. What is your company's mission?
I see the first week as a good introduction to watercolour for beginners, and at the same time a thorough review of the medium to experienced artists. The week is spent in my studio with a careful build of technique, starting with learning to apply washes using plenty of water, on through tonal and compositional studies, experiments with texture, colour exercises, aerial and linear perspective and the importance of negative spaces and planning in watercolor. "Plan like a tortoise, paint like a hare," I tell my students. The second week, we move into the field to paint landscapes, villages, markets, and animals.
3. What does your company specialize in?
I focus on watercolour as it is the most practical medium to work in when traveling and painting outdoors. Most of my illustration is painted in watercolour, so it is a medium I am very familiar with.
4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?
Catherine Stock teaches in her studio in France. She taught art in schools and colleges in South Africa, England and the US, and worked for many years in New York as the art director in children's books for several major firms before leaving to write and illustrate her own books and paint portraits.
5. What is your most popular travel package and why?
M14361 is the only course I teach. The session is two weeks and I teach it twice a year, usually in June and September. The first week is spent in the studio: we learn the fundamentals of watercolour and it's a fairly comprehensive and intensive week. The second week we move out of the studio to paint landscapes, villages, markets, and animals.
6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?
"Inspired by those first two glorious weeks with you, I've painted my way around France, Spain and Italy. You gave us so many insights about how to make the paint and paper work, fed us your wonderful home-cooked abundant meals, told us wonderful stories - with music, took us out to draw, paint, party, swim and explore and looked after us caringly in so many ways. Now I'm trying to find someone back here in Melbourne who has your breadth of skills in painting and teaching but most painters don't do portraits, landscapes, people, flowers, vegies and everything as well as you do. I appreciate your after-course input in response to my questions when I'm stuck - very helpful, thanks."