Jill Fellows is a prize-winning artist with a special interest in watercolour townscapes. She studied at Wolverhampton Art College in the UK (now the Wolverhampton University School of Art & Design) and has exhibited and accepted commissions on a regular basis. She began tutoring guests at Painting-Photography-France in 2005.
Although a substantial number of topics is covered during each of Jill's painting and drawing weeks, Jill doesn't believe in giving dogmatic, classroom-style tuition, therefore group instruction is not a concept you will find at Painting Photography France. Painting guests are restricted to a maximum of four; this ensures that each guest receives proper guidance and instruction.
"I realised from the beginning that it would be highly unlikely for us to have several guests here at the same time with the same level of experience and with the same needs," Jill says, "So I took the decision to deal with every single guest as an individual. In any case I would hate to be stuck in the studio lecturing; I much prefer to be out and about with my guests, helping each one to express his or her own interpretation of this beautiful environment from the outset." Consequently, Jill uses real-time, practical, hands-on methods, taking her painting guests out into the countryside or into local villages, working with them plein-air, offering encouragement, guidance, instruction and advice with technique on an individual basis as and when needed.
This encourages individuality and freedom of expression in her guests' work and makes for a more enjoyable painting experience for them. "And the feedback from guests has shown it to be a very popular method of working," she says, "Indeed, one of the nicest things that has happened to me since we started was to receive a lovely 'Thank You' card in the post from a guest who had been on a painting holiday here some ten days previously. It said, quite simply, 'Thank you Jill for being there when I needed you and for not being there when I didn't.'
In the photos above and below, Jill can be seen giving guidance at Les Ets Botaniques Latour-Marliac, the nursery where Monet purchased the water-lilies for his garden at Giverny.
"I love being out in the field working with other painters," Jill concludes, "whether they are experienced artists or picking up a brush for the first time' it's always enjoyable for me."