“We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the weekend from start to finish. Frankie is an excellent teacher and showed us simple and memorable techniques to improve the composition of our paintings and to improve our understanding and ability to mix colours. The pace was spot on and allowed us to come home with 4 paintings which we were proud of. We've been inspired to carry on painting and experiment with bold colours and put into practice all of the fantastic new techniques and skills we have learnt. In addition to Frankie's warm and knowledgeable teaching, the hospitality provided by her and her daughter was exceptional. Excellent coffee on arrival, delicious lunch timed to perfection, wine and afternoon tea, surrounded by art in Frankie's lovely home.”
“Have just returned from my first watercolour weekend with Frankie Cummins. From the second I arrived I was totally at ease despite not painting watercolours properly before. Frankie's place as a little gem - homely feel, paintings and pictures adorn the walls, an inviting comfy living room full of character and a study full of books and grand piano in situ.
Shown to the working studio, this was a wonderful old conservatory full of 'art' - paints, brushes, water, paper, pictures.... everything... complete with vine growing across the roof inside and delightful view of the wonderful garden colours!!! What a joy of a room to learn to paint in.
My fellow students (7 of us in total) were from all backgrounds and ages and were delightful company, supportive and complimentary. Frankie herself is the most fascinating & infectious character I have ever met - what a wit and use of language she possesses. Her insights to the watercolour world, the tools we use and why, her experiences and stories were such fun to listen to and made for the whole weekend to be an experience rather than a lesson - supplemented with classical background music and the most excellent full lunches in the kitchen.
Her style of painting and her enthusiasm are amazing, walking us through each step of the painting with both patience and excitement and although my results were generally credible, my main takeaways from the weekend were techniques and styles to practice with and when can I book my next weekend in this wonderful environment. Actually, that will be next April!! Fantastic time, thank you Frankie and my fellow students.”
“Seven years ago I mentioned to a good friend that I ‘would love to paint a picture’. There was an ulterior motive. My husband had inherited some rather grand oil paintings of extremely gloomy relatives and I secretly hoped that I might be able to persuade him to hang my painting in the place of at least one of them. Never having put a drop of paint on paper, I obviously did not realise quite how ambitious this was.
My friend booked the two of us on one of Frankie’s weekend courses – there was a delightful mix of people of all ages. Some had painted before and some like me were keen to see what they could do.
The weekend was pure magic! Frankie entertained us with stories of where the paint comes from, how paintbrushes are made (from the rear of an irritable animal called a Sable – but the poor creature is probably irritable because the hairs from his bottom are plucked for painters)! We were taught how to do a great sky: clouds have become a firm favourite, and Frankie tried desperately to help me see that “the light is coming from the left dear” – (Something I still struggle with). We grappled with trees, and beautiful villages in sunny places – we were all totally transported to exotic locations as Frankie talked us through our paintings.
At the end of my first weekend I had a couple of creditable pictures – “Marvellous” said Frankie, “Frame them”! I did. And seven years on, I find the time to indulge in a Frankie weekend a couple of times a year. It puts my life back on track.
We still have the Gloomy Ancestors on the wall, but our home is filled with watercolours, each of them packed with memories of good friends made, journeys to places I will never see, but have painted, and pride when people ask, “Where did you buy that painting”?
Please go on a Frankie weekend if you want to rid yourself of stress, or prove to yourself that you can, with the right help, do anything – even paint a decent watercolour!”
“A tremendously exciting and liberating way to spend 2 hours once a week. To be a student of Frankie's is a delight. Not only does she make you look at things so magically. . but she guides you through the process with skill, wit and wonderful dialogue. I haven't painted since I was 8 and I drive from London every week just to enjoy her company, her coffee and her infectious, encouraging and uplifting personality. And I leave with a great painting. A real MUST!!!”
“I went on my first painting weekend with Frankie in October 2003, and was so surprised at what I achieved. I have attended regularly since then, and have learnt so much in such a comfortable and enjoyable way.
Various friends have joined in over the years, and there are now nine of us meeting at Frankie's for regular painting weekends. Frankie is very encouraging and supportive, and also provides an excellent lunch with wine!”
“Frankie is serendipity personified. As a watercolour teacher, she is sympathetic and always encouraging, however poorly her pupil paints, but - and this is the rub - she's a very amusing lady, so our classes are real FUN!”