Art as a response to the world around us

Guest blog by Hawkwood tutor Alison Vickery

I always enjoy running workshops at Hawkwood which I have now done for a number of years. My art is all about a response to the beautiful world around us and where better to experience this than the beautiful grounds of the college. It is a gift of a location to pass on my love of sketching with the range of subject in one place, the colourful, characterful walled garden full of flowers and produce, vistas of landscape across the five valleys towards Stroud and the ponds and streams below the house amongst others, just so much to explore and something to inspire everyone.

It is also the people, ambience and ethos of Hawkwood that makes it special. You drive in the gate, take a breath and feel nurtured by the place, perfect for creating as you are able to become totally immersed in the subject and process.
Last Summer Hawkwood was the first workshop I ran after the first lockdown and it was somewhere I felt confident that we could go ahead safely with all guidelines followed but still feel social – Hawkwood spoke of physical distancing rather than social distancing, one does not have to preclude the other.

Most of my own art starts with drawing and mark-making in one of my sketchbooks which I am seldom without and it is this part of my process that I aim to pass on to my students, using a wide range of media. It has been lovely that by popular demand the workshop has extended to two days as I always have so much I like to fit in and I can give so much more individual time – I aim to explore and develop each individual way of working.

Light and colour and how it affects the subject and capturing the moment, the essence of the character are what I strive for. I work in a wide range of media which keeps the work fresh and lively. It does not really matter what you use it is how you communicate what you feel, think and see.


Alison studied graphic design and illustration in London in the ’80s followed by a successful career in design and design management before going freelance to return to her passion for drawing and painting. Her work sells Worldwide both as originals and published on a range of products. She has worked on various prestigious commissions including a recent exclusive range for The National Trust.


Follow Alison Vickery and her art on Instagram @alisonvickeryartist Facebook Alison Vickery Art


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