© Frankie Cummins, 2017
Seven years ago I mentioned to a good friend that I ‘would love to paint
a picture’. There was an ulterior motive. My husband had inherited
some rather grand oil paintings of extremely gloomy relatives and I
secretly hoped that I might be able to persuade him to hang my painting
in the place of at least one of them. Never having put a drop of paint on
paper, I obviously did not realise quite how ambitious this was.

My friend booked the two of us on one of Frankie’s weekend courses –
there was a delightful mix of people of all ages. Some had painted before
and some like me were keen to see what they could do.

The weekend was pure magic! Frankie entertained us with stories of where
the paint comes from, how paintbrushes are made (from the rear of an
irritable animal called a Sable – but the poor creature is probably irritable
because the hairs from his bottom are plucked for painters)! We were
taught how to do a great sky: clouds have become a firm favourite, and
Frankie tried desperately to help me see that “the light is coming from the
left dear” – (Something I still struggle with). We grappled with trees, and
beautiful villages in sunny places – we were all totally transported to exotic
locations as Frankie talked us through our paintings.

At the end of my first weekend I had a couple of creditable pictures –
“Marvellous” said Frankie, “Frame them”! I did. And seven years on, I find
the time to indulge in a Frankie weekend a couple of times a year. It puts
my life back on track.

We still have the Gloomy Ancestors on the wall, but our home is filled with
watercolours, each of them packed with memories of good friends made,
journeys to places I will never see, but have painted, and pride when people
ask, “Where did you buy that painting”?

Please go on a Frankie weekend if you want to rid yourself of stress, or prove
to yourself that you can, with the right help, do anything – even paint a
decent watercolour!

Victoria Sherston

A tremendously exciting and liberating way to spend 2 hours once a
week. To be a student of Frankie's is a delight. Not only does she make
you look at things so magically. . but she guides you through the
process with skill, wit and wonderful dialogue.  I haven't painted
since I was 8 and I drive from London every week  just to enjoy her
company, her coffee and her infectious, encouraging and uplifting
personality. And I leave with a great painting. A real MUST!!!

Liz Ellerton
I went on my first painting weekend with Frankie in October 2003,
and was so surprised at what I achieved. I have attended regularly since
then, and have learnt so much in such a comfortable and enjoyable way.
Various friends have joined in over the years, and there are now nine of
us meeting at Frankie's for regular painting weekends. Frankie is very
encouraging and supportive, and also provides an excellent lunch with
wine!

Sandi Clark
Frankie is serendipity personified. As a watercolour teacher, she is
sympathetic and always encouraging, however poorly her pupil paints,
but - and this is the rub - she's a very amusing lady, so our classes are
real FUN!

Philip Case

“Have just returned from my first watercolour weekend with Frankie Cummins. From the second I arrived I was totally at ease despite not painting watercolours properly before.

 

Frankie's place as a little gem - homely feel, paintings and pictures adorn the walls, an inviting comfy living room full of character and a study full of books and grand piano in situ.

 

Shown to the working studio, this was a wonderful old conservatory full of 'art' - paints, brushes, water, paper, pictures .... everything .. complete with vine growing across the roof inside and delightful view of the wonderful garden colours!!! What a joy of a room to learn to paint in.

 

My fellow students (7 of us in total) were from all backgrounds and ages and were delightful company, supportive and complimentary. Frankie herself is the most fascinating & infectious character I have ever met - what a wit and use of language she possesses. Her insights to the watercolour world, the tools we use and why, her experiences and stories were such fun to listen to and made for the whole weekend to be an experience rather than a lesson - supplemented with classical background music and the most excellent full lunches in the kitchen.

 

Her style of painting and her enthusiasm are amazing, walking us through each step of the painting with both patience and excitement and although my results were generally credible, my main takeaways from the weekend were techniques and styles to practice with and when can I book my next weekend in this wonderful environment. Actually, that will be next April!! Fantastic time, thank you Frankie and my fellow students.”

 

Paul Dunn

We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the weekend from start to finish.
Frankie is an excellent teacher and showed us simple and memorable
techniques to improve the composition of our paintings and to improve
our understanding and ability to mix colours. The pace was spot on and
allowed us to come home with 4 paintings which we were proud of. We've
been inspired to carry on painting and experiment with bold colours and
put into practice all of the fantastic new techniques and skills we have
learnt. In addition to Frankie's warm and knowledgeable teaching, the
hospitality provided by her and her daughter was exceptional. Excellent
coffee on arrival, delicious lunch timed to perfection, wine and afternoon
tea, surrounded by art in Frankie's lovely home.

Janine Mitchell