- Ponden Hall is delighted to announce its first ever Portraiture Workshop, led by award-winning British painters Mary Jane Ansell & Alan Coulson
- One-to-one tuition with two of Britain’s leading portrait artists
- Group workshops and life-model portraiture sessions
- Step-by-step coaching in developing a portrait in oils from the model, capturing lighting and mood with photographic reference, then using an indirect method to complete the work (works may be finished after the course with follow-up feedback available)
- Suitable for all levels of ability, including beginners
- 3 nights’ accommodation at historic Ponden Hall, including breakfasts and lunches
September 11-14, inclusive
All-inclusive price for tuition & accommodation £1000 per person
PLACES LIMITED TO 6 PAINTERS ONLY, so please don’t miss the opportunity to book
For more information or to book, email us on email@example.com, or phone +44 (0)1535 648608
Mary Jane Ansell
b Shropshire, 1972
Based in the UK , Mary Jane exhibits internationally, with group and solo exhibitions in London, New York, Singapore and LA. Her 7th solo exhibition opens June 2017 at Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles. She has featured a number of times in the BP Portrait Award (2004, 2009, 2010 and 2012) Royal Society of Portrait Painters and The Threadneedle Prize. Mary Jane’s work also features on the covers of American Art Collector Magazine, International Artist, a number of recent novels, including The Gilly Salt Sisters by New York Times bestselling author Tiffany Baker and on the recently released album: Adam Ant is The BlueBlack Hussar In Marrying The Gunners Daughter. Her works feature in private collections worldwide and in public collections, including the National Portrait Gallery and Brighton and Hove Museums.
b Leeds, 1977
Alan exhibits regularly in both the UK and US, notably at the annual exhibitions of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and the prestigious BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery London, where in 2012 he was awarded third prize for his portrait of Richie Culver. Alan has produced commissioned work for clients including The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Bloomberg Markets Magazine, Carlton Books, The Chronicle Review and Club Wembley. He has works in private collections worldwide and is represented by Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts NY. Currently living and working in West Yorkshire.
This Hallowe’en weekend enjoy the true spooky story of Edwardian celebrity balloonist and superstar Lily Cove, who came to Haworth in 1906 and never went home again…
Lily’s surprising link with Ponden Hall is uncovered in a new play by Sharon Wright, right here in the place where it actually happened, followed by supper around the fire, on Sunday October 30 at 6.30pm.
Numbers are limited to 20 only because of space, and cost £15. If you’d like to buy a ticket, please do ring Julie on 01535 648608, or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
There are just a couple of tickets left for a ghostly Brontë evening this Hallowe’en, Saturday October 31, at 7pm, here at Ponden Hall.
Actress Caroline Lamb will read ghostly extracts from the Brontës’ work, we’ll enjoy a pie, pea and parkin supper around the fire – then you can share YOUR ghostly experiences, as we chat on into the spookiest night of the year, in this most atmospheric of houses…
To book one of the last remaining tickets, ring 01535 648608, or email us at email@example.com
Photo: Courtesy Anneleen Lindsay www.anneleenphotography.com
We live here at Ponden Hall, and we’ve been here for 16 years. Although we fell in love with the house the moment we set foot over the threshold to stand in the long, L-shaped hallway sloping down into the house a little like a hobbit’s burrow, we’ve grown shamingly used to the place over the years.
We see the astonishing landscape of Ponden Reservoir, hills beyond, mist floating above, herons swooping, oystercatchers perching, every time we do the washing up. The ‘wily, windy moor’ is just minutes away up the hill past our neighbours’ very down-to-earth working farm. The window that inspired Emily Bronte to write of Cathy’s ghost frantically smashing and scratching to get in to her lost love Heathcliff is just one of several in a room that until recently was simply the place we went to sleep in every night and got up in every morning.
A few months ago, though, we opened the house as a B&B, and Carolyn Mendelsohn’s photographic residential was our first big workshop venture. Obviously Carolyn’s expertise was the top draw for workshopees, but ‘Come and photograph Wuthering Heights’, was next on the list. There’s no doubting the wealth of Brontë links in this historic house, but you still do wonder – does anyone really want to take pictures in my front room enough to pay for the privilege?
They did, it turned out. And they properly, deeply fell for the place. Like leafing through old wedding pics, it reminded both me and my husband Steve of why we ourselves had first fallen for this gracious, stone-flagged corner of West Yorkshire with all its attendant stories and legends.
Watching these experienced photographers honing their skills in our front garden; perched on the 18th century chest in our upstairs bedroom; ranged around the log fire or the long table in the hall – was a lesson in seeing differently, and not taking any of this beauty for granted. Our confidence grew each day, as we realised these people loved the Hall and could see aspects of it that were hidden even from us. Just as in all good photography, they had the skill to take that vision and share it, so that for a moment we saw it through their eyes.
There’s a magic about the place that draws interesting people here and infects them with the desire to return. There are the Brontë connections, certainly, but there are the legends of the family who built the house, the Heatons, some of which seem to have leached into Wuthering Heights. There are the numerous celebrities who’ve visited over the years and fallen under its spell. There are the strange coincidences, tales, juxtapositions, fascinating facts. There’s a great story about the Heatons hiding the Hall from Oliver Cromwell. Hell, trouser-splitting singing phenomenon P J Proby even lived next door for a while!
But the temptation to take it all for granted was blown away by the three days we’ve just experienced. Thank you, all of you, for your skill in helping us see again. And thank you especially, Carolyn, for the vision to see that this would work.
If you’d like to look around Ponden without staying, we offer ‘Tea and a Tour’: a cream tea at Ponden Hall’s magnificent dining table, followed by a tour of the house and a chat about its history by owner Julie Akhurst. Minimum number per touring group: 6.
Phone 01535 648608 (+44 1535 648608 from abroad) to book a tea and tour, or for further enquiries. Price: £15 per head. Tea and tour together last about an hour-and-a-half to two hours.