We take our inspiration for our collections from many places, like a recent water colour flower painting course three of the team including Clare, our founder, attended:
Inspired by June’s British Flower Week, Sophie, Melanie and I took the opportunity to have a lovely day together and a Wellness Day. Everyone at Talking Tables has a wellness budget to spend on an activity that inspires us and feeds the soul . We joined tutor Emma Leyfield for a course at the Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucester, to learn more about painting flowers in watercolours.
We were lucky that it was a perfect day to explore the gardens, with rhododendrons in their full glory and a sunny, hot day. We were able to take inspiration from the green setting with, of course, the magnificent trees, the loose meadows and we were encouraged to pick up non-precious plants like common weeds, leaves, fallen petals etc to use later.
First, we experimented with the use of colour and colour-mixing creating squares as shown below. We then moved onto tracing loosely around a stem with a pencil, before outlining in a thin black pen line and finally braving the brush with waters and paints.
We know the soft rendering of meadows works well for our napkin choices in our retailers and we know that weeds such as buttercups were trending at Chelsea Flower Show last month – so it was apt for our life at work too. Our senior designer Melanie is going onto a further, more, in depth water colour painting course soon and it will be lovely to see some of her watercolours afterwards as well as how she works the paintings into our collections in coming seasons.
Did we feel well-er? I think I speak for us all when I say we did and we all enjoyed seeing Westonbirt outside of say autumn, when we have before. It was a beautiful setting for a day’s activity. We enjoyed learning from Emma who is an illustrator whose work has appeared in magazines like English Garden. We chatted to the other people who had signed up for the day, each with different levels of experience in water colours. And we all felt rather chuffed with our final concertina cards to display on our mantelpieces at home. And it was very nice to spend more time, outside of work, chatting to one another. Melanie and Sophie – thank you for your company.
British Flower Week takes place June 26-30th. Learn more here.