As I sit here to write this blog, more than 3 months post filming, I can't help but reflect on those people that bought me to this point. Zoe from the Forge Studios putting my name forward, Graham the producer allowing me space to decide if I had the confidence to teach on camera, Debbie Doodle's another artist from the forge accompanying me, keeping me calm whilst hanging onto a gazebo being dragged down a field! The winds were gusting to 60 MPH
All of the events leading up to this monumental moment in my life are going to stay with me forever. And that's all before meeting Robson and Co.
In that field, hours before filming was due to start we were preparing. Not only physically but mentally for what was to unfold. I had never taught art in a field before so making sure I had everything to hand was more important than ever.
Deb my trusty companion was amazing. Helping me to organise my paint trolleys, arrange the seating, hang on to the gazebo when the wind would gust so much that we both saw our lives flash. She lent me her gloves when my hands were so cold my fingers didn't work.
She was my ROCK!
But more than any of the practical things she helped with, much more, was the way we laughed. She kept my mind alive with humour and song. We had been hanging onto that gazebo for 2 hours before the team arrived and the whole time she had been there 'warming' me up, Through the wind and the rain we bounced off each other sharing funny stories, talking in riddles, Irish, Scottish, Scouse agents trying to outdo each other in the funny stakes. I was an amazing morning and I was buzzing and hyped before meeting Robson. I definitely accredit my calm easy camera presence to this morning of hilarity.
When Robson, David and Matheson walked over to me I felt instantly at ease. (It helped that the wind and rain made way for sunshine and rainbows!)
They were warm, charming and I could feel the fun camaraderie between them. I had the feeling their morning had also been going well.
We got down to filming quite quickly, with it being my first time, I didn't really know what to expect and so after the initial filmed meet the lads, the producer asked me to do it over again. Instantly I was thrown into panic. I had no memory of what I had said!!
I have on many occasions come out with some truly inspired words only for my companion to say ooh say that again I want to write it down. To which I reply "I've forgotten what I said?"
It was thus decided I am a one take Annie and so the cameras just rolled as I chatted away. It seemed to flow well this way. And TBF talking none stop is what I seem to do best.
I actually forgot we were being filmed so what you see on the show is actually me as I am in any given situation. I didn't know where the cameras were at any point so was surprised when watching the show that they were so close. I had no idea. I just went into teaching autopilot and got caught up in the amazing artwork being created by my students.
My reactions on camera are my truth, colour really does light me up. Watching others relax into the exercise and find their style is pure gold for me.
I have to say Davids intuitive use of colour and technique surprised me the most. He tried a variety of the tools and techniques I had taught them (They only showed one technique in the edits of the mornings lesson) And he really understood the brief. He made that painting his own using the landscape as inspiration, he added in a piece of himself. It is absolutely my favourite of the 3. Not because of technical skill but the emotion in the painting brings me to life.
Matheson being a very accomplished artist initially attempted to paint as he would with a paint brush. Once mastering the palette knife though he was away and flying. Some of the techniques used in his painting are for more advanced artists, I could feel he was wanting to go further with it. He later remarked that he had always looked at the palette knife but never really knew what to do with it. (He is a brush man) He gave me a huge compliment when he said he would definitely be incorporating some of the techniques I had taught into his own works of art. Job done!
Robson was an absolute sweetheart, as you can imagine! He really put me at ease, as we chatted I felt I could totally open up and be myself. Just like chatting with a mate over a cuppa. He was warm, funny and so down to earth. The passion he had for making this series was evident and I felt blessed to be a part of it. Mental health and taking care of it, is something that is close to my heart. I have my own war wounds, finding art has been my saviour. Painting the landscape sets me free. It is why we live in a rural location, it is why I paint the hills, lakes and trees. I find peace there. I find peace in myself.
I am so impressed by the final framed paintings showcased below.
If you feel inspired to try palette knife painting, please get in touch, I would love to meet you.