Q: I've no experience of making art. Is this a problem?
A: Not at all! This is a great opportunity for you to have a go at doing something new. The techniques used do not require any art 'ability'. Many people who come on the day are a bit nervous about the art making but soon forget their fears and all say they had a lot of fun.
Q: I am an artist. Is this just a class for beginners?
A: Not at all! The days are usually made up of a mixture of people with different art experience, from none to advanced. If you have never used oil and wax before this can be an opportunity to try out a new medium. If you have never worked collaboratively this can be a way to experience making work with others. If you are a perfectionist this day will help you to loosen up. If you are precious about your work this day will help you to let go of your work. Whatever your experience, you are sure to benefit in some way from this day.
Q: What should I wear and bring for the afternoon art making?
A: You may like to bring a change of clothes for the afternoon in case you get muddy or sweaty on the walk - you can leave these in your car and fetch them later if needed. Also bring an apron or old/protective clothing that you don't mind getting paint on (you will be getting messy!). Note the art making area does get a bit chilly even on a warm day so it is recommend wearing a few layers in case you get cold. It is recommend that you bring your own water bottle for the day. There will be access to tea and coffee making facilities in the afternoon and you are free to bring snacks if you want.
Q: I have some health concerns. Will the walk up Western Beacon be too difficult?
A: The walk up the hill is steep but we take it very slowly and stop for several rests. More agile walkers are free to walk a bit quicker and to use the extra time once arriving at rest points to do some mark making, sketching, meditation or chatting, whilst the people at the back are are able to do the walk in their own time. People who have made it to top have included those with different levels of fitness, different ages and health conditions including people with asthma, a heart condition and a survivor of lung cancer. If you are concerned about your health and whether the walk will be too difficult, email email@example.com to discuss. It may be possible to take an easier route if necessary and there are also some workshops planned that involve a stroll along the flat path to the Clay Factory instead, for people with less mobility.
Q: I've never meditated before and am a bit unsure about it. What does it involve exactly?
A: Meditation is simply a use of techniques to help calm and focus the mind. The meditation we do on the day is very simple and makes up just a small part of the day. This involves closing your eyes or softening your gaze if you are uncomfortable closing your eyes, taking some deep breaths and letting go of tension. We think about different parts of the body and how we can relax them and we listen to different sounds in the environment. We also do some reflective observations looking at different aspects of the countryside which can be treated as another type of meditation. The benefits of this will be helping you to relax, better focus, find some calm and tap into your creativity.
Q: What should I wear and bring for the walk on the moor?
A: The weather can be very changeable on the moor and we will be going for a walk even in wet weather (although we will aim for the driest part of the day). Please bring some sturdy footwear for our walk and waterproof jacket in case it rains. You are advised to wear few layers of clothing in case it gets chilly on the top of the Beacon (keeping in mind we will be still for a while up there) and a sun hat and sun cream in case the sun does come out - plus a spare woolly hat in case it gets chilly! Please also bring a small bag/rucksack to carry your art materials and a water bottle or flask to keep hydrated on the moor. You may like to bring a snack if you find you need an energy boost after our walk up the Beacon. You may wish to bring a sketch book for use on the moor (recommended small enough to fit in your bag) however there are some A5 sized sketch books available to buy on the day priced between £2.50 and £5, or else we can provide paper with a board to lean on. All other art materials will be provided (including mark making materials, charcoal, pencils etc)
Q: What is provided for lunch? I have some special dietary requirements. Is this a problem?
A: A delicious two course lunch with a home made cordial comes as part of the price for the day. Our brilliant cook William at RedPod Food takes his time to ensure all dietary requirements are met. All the food in the café is plant based. Gluten free options are offered as standard. Once you have booked on to the course you will be emailed to check on your choice of dish for the day from a menu and any requirements, food allergies or intolerances will also be accommodated.
Q: I am thinking to come on my own so I won't know anybody and I am nervous about meeting new people. Will I struggle with nobody to talk to?
A: Many people come without knowing anybody and a bit nervous about meeting new people. The day will be structured to put everyone at ease and help you get to know other people. If you are worried, don't hesitate to email Jamila in advance for a chat about this: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I'm walking/cycling to The Clay Factory. Is it ok to leave a bag/bicycle there when we go for the walk?
A: Yes, there is plenty of space here to leave bags and also bicycles inside the building.
Q: I am going through some financial hardship. Are there any free places available?
A: There are some free and further subsidised places for those experiencing financial difficulty as well as for people displaced. Please email Jamila to discuss your situation: email@example.com
Q: Why is this day so cheap? Why don't you charge more?
A: The aim is to keep this day as affordable for as many people as possible, especially during this time of economic squeeze.
Q: I enjoyed the day a lot. Can I come again?
A: Absolutely, in fact it is hoped that you will! Each day will be slightly different and walking routes may vary slightly dependant on who is participating that day and weather conditions. Once you have learnt the basic techniques of working with oil and cold wax you will be able to develop your technique and will also have the opportunity to develop your own work should you decide. There will be benefits from revisiting the day and also developing relationships with those people who you may have met before on a previous day.