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Roger Burnett Art Blog

Working from Life

by rogerburnett , April 6, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: workshops

The following is extracted from my brochure for residential workshops that I tutor from my studio on the lush Caribbean island of Dominica.

Whether capturing the model in the split-second that she stretches between one pose and the next, or the shaft of sunlight that fleetingly illuminate the landscape, Roger Burnett's workshops offer a rare insight into his passion for working rapidly from life. The morning sessions are devoted to working from the figure and after lunch, students work at locations that cover the island's diverse tropical scenery. The itinerary includes virgin rain forests, dramatic coastlines, bustling markets, grand estates, sugar mills and remote villages. Life classes are not limited to the confines of the studio but extend through the two-and-a-half acres of secluded tropical gardens that lead down to a bolder-strewn river and bathing pool. His sessions begin with a blow-by-blow demonstration and end with a constructive critique of students' work. A couple of free days allow for individual exploration and shopping trips.

The artist began his remarkable roving painting career forty-five years ago with a voyage through the French Canals. He first sailed to the Caribbean in the early 1970's and thereafter the islands became his adopted home. Roger's Grenadian born wife has modelled for many of his paintings and sculptures. Denise shares with students her twenty-year's experience of modelling for the arts and demonstrates how she coaches potential models for the life classes.

Roger Burnett is renowned for his ability to enthuse students by sharing his lifetime involvement in the arts. As a sculptor, his materials and working methods date back to the time of Michelangelo and as a water-colourist, his suggestive brush strokes and thunderous washes have a freedom that few others artists dare duplicate. He has designed postage stamps for the Caribbean and his books Virgin Island Sketches and Caribbean Sketches have become regional best sellers.

Dominica, The Nature Island of the Caribbean, is located between the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The island has remained largely unscathed by 20th century urban development and it is said, that if Columbus returned, Dominica is the only island that he would instantly recognise.

Roger Burnett's studio is located in the lush Antrim Valley, a fifteen-minute drive from the island's capital, Roseau. The neighbouring Springfield Plantation Guest House provides accommodation for the workshops. The recently restored historic buildings that house the guesthouse are part of the 200 acre Archbold Tropical Research Centre.

For none-painting partners, the gardens and riverside offer shady places for relaxation during the morning sessions and the afternoon field trips serve as means of sampling the island's diverse attractions. Between modelling and preparing gourmet lunches, Denise shares her knowledge of Caribbean Cooking and Tropical Gardening.

The artist schedules only three workshops a year that cater for an optimum number of ten participants for a ten-day stay. An inclusive fee of US$1,800 includes:

*Ten night's accommodation. *A full programme of tuition. *Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. *Afternoon excursions & airport transfers. *Introductory and closing cocktail parties.

From our Guest Book:

"I feel very privileged to have been part of such a wonderful workshop."

"Absolutely marvellous, we enjoyed every part of the experience."

"This was an amazing workshop, much more than we anticipated."

"You have opened my eyes and mind to true beauty."

"You are wonderful hosts and your workshops are inspirational."



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