A Month Of Learning Through Play

July has been a month of courses, courses, courses!

I love learning and doing that through playing and experimenting with new things and new experiences. When I booked the art courses I’ve done this month a while ago I hadn’t realised how close together they all were. Meaning, there wasn’t a lot of time in between them.

But that was okay, because I was doing what I love to do and that gave me energy and stamina to do them all.

I also love learning from different working artists. Every artist has their own way of doing things. Things may overlap of course, but everyone is different. And I learn something from each and every one of them.

So, what did I get up to? First up was a Painting and Drawing week taught by Ewen Duncan, artist and owner of art4you Scotland in Balfron near the Trossachs. It was Monday to Friday, 10am till 4pmish each day. I hired a car and drove up on Sunday afternoon to settle in to my B&B and take a walk in the beautiful countryside. During the week I had time to explore my surroundings as well. I drove back Friday night after the last day with a big smile on my face: it had been a wonderful week of working with different media. Also, I must do a shout out to Ewen’s wife, Claudia, who provided the delicious food for lunch every day…really yummy!

Playing with oil paint - work in progressplaying with oil paint at art4you (work in progress)


After returning from Balfron, I had one day of “rest” before going on a one-day Intro to Abstract Painting workshop with the Edinburgh Drawing School, which was taught by local artist Graeme Swanson. It was only a short walk to the venue and the day was great – I learnt a few new techniques that I played with in the workshop and which I can use for my own work.

Abstract painting of nature - Carrie Sandersonabstract painting workshop edinburgh drawing school


After that I had a week of “rest” before going on the Playing with Paint summer school course taught by Jemma Derbyshire at Leith School of Art, near where I live. Like the art4you course, it was Monday to Friday, and 9:30am till 4:30pm every day, with an exhibition on the Friday after we finished. What an amazing week that was, too. This course pushed me out of my comfort zone and I tried a new process of making a picture that was very different to my usual precise pen and ink drawings.

Leith School of Art Exhibitionleith school of art exhibition


That was a lot to do in the space of a few weeks! It was so much fun though. And I met lots of lovely people – not only that, they were all talented and creative (even if some of them will not admit that!). I loved seeing how we all have our own unique voices, expressing ourselves through our work, telling stories of where we have been, where we are and where we are going. It was an honour to be part of everyone’s process during the courses. How we all loosened up, experimented and played, and as a result improved our unique expression. And to my mind every single person did that. Amazing to see the progress everyone made.

View from B&B - Trossachsbeautiful trossachs – love this view!


So, what is next? I will continue on my learning journey (I am an eternal student). I have signed up for a weekly painting and drawing course that starts in September and I am excited to see where that will lead me. How it will challenge me, grow me and give me joy.

It’s important to do things you love and enjoy, to play, even if they are only little daily things you do. Often they are more powerful than the big, one-off things – because the momentum and the build-up of the little things creates on-going meaning, joy and love.

What small thing do you love and enjoy that you can start to appreciate, and do more of, every single day? Please feel free to share in the comments below!




1 thought on “A Month Of Learning Through Play”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *