A Brush with the Wild – Al Fresco Art Class at YSP


19.08 – YSP trip

with Kevin Hickson and Beth Smith

For the ‘A Brush with the Wild’ workshop, we prepared for what we thought may be a very wet, very grey day at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Thankfully, though this was not to the case, and the glorious sunshine ensured we had a great day out and even allowed for an afternoon painting and drawing in the great outdoors.


Loaded with paintbrushes, pencils, charcoals and lots of lovely sandwiches we headed off for an exciting day exploring the Sculpture Park. As a next step from the drawings and ceramic pieces focusing on botanical prints of the Gott Bequest, the aim of the day was to observe how other artists, such as Henry Moore allowed natural forms like landscapes and the human form to influence their works. This was also a great opportunity to see many flowers and plants throughout the gardens, which the group later focused on in their drawings and paintings.

In the morning, we wandered around the Underground Gallery where we discussed many of Moore’s sculptures and drawings, and the group exchanged knowledge and thoughts about the techniques used and their own experiences with similar materials. It was great to see the fusion of ideas as the group observed links between the Gott Bequest prints, their own creations from the previous workshops and now the work of one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th Century! We also visited the Chapel Gallery and the Bothy Gardens, which was in full bloom and the group enjoyed experiencing the wonderful colors and smells of the plants of which they would later be using as inspiration in their creative endeavors.



After the busy morning seeking inspiration we spent some time basking in the sunshine and enjoyed our lunch. As some members of the group had gone off in their own directions in the morning, they brought back their drawings and stories to share with everyone over lunch. Spirits were high and the group seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time outside, sharing mutual interests, laughing, joking and making new friendships. When speaking with some members of the group, it was clear that although they may have only met last week, bonds were being formed and spending lots of time together in these workshops had introduced them to new people with which they could share common experiences.


When we were all full up and suitably rested, Kevin emerged with a robust little trolley packed full of materials, including watercolors, graphite sticks, inks, wax resists, oil pastels, charcoal and pencils. Everyone gathered some materials, and set up camp within the gardens. Each member of the group chose their own little spot to work from, some staying close by and others venturing off into quiet corners, but all producing their own studies of the natural forms which surrounded them. The results from this activity were wonderful; some worked with materials unfamiliar to them, whilst others stuck to what they knew but did so with fresh inspiration.





Feedback from the trip confirmed the group had a thoroughly enjoyable time, especially pleased with the opportunity to sit outside, comments included:

“I enjoyed the wide open spaces, light and nature and the peaceful environment.”

“It was nice being with other people, being outside, having inspirational art to look at”

“A nice opportunity to socialise with likeminded people with a common goal towards the Light Night exhibition and Gott Bequest”

After a wonderful afternoon getting creative outside, we all headed off to the café to have a cuppa before the bus arrived to collect us…and just as it did the weather turned and it rained all the way home! Phew!


0 replies
  1. Laila Packer
    Laila Packer says:

    Many Thanks to Kevin and Beth for a wonderful day in the tranquil surroundings of Yorkshire Scupture Park. Having not painted with water colours in over 10 years, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and rediscovered my love of painting. Lunch was yummy and it was a great group of people to be creative with. Thank you to all involved in providing such a valuable opportunity for me.

    • Inkwell
      Inkwell says:

      Hi Laila, thankyou for being a part of our genera project. Really pleased you had a great day and we were so lucky with the weather! Hope you can make it to Light Night on October 9th to see the installation. All the best and hope to see you soon


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