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A creative outlet gives respite from a stressful job and caring responsibilities

Claire Bowyer, a former participant on the Mixed Media Sketchbooks workshop says: “I got an amazing sense of achievement and total escapism from a busy, demanding life by coming to the workshop. The two hours flew by every session and the progress I made each week was amazing.”

This new workshop gives participants the opportunity to create a concertina sketchbook using different materials and techniques including paint, ink, collage, stitching, stencilling and printing.

Claire, age 61, works full time running projects for a business that provides training for the construction industry. She also has regular long journeys to visit her elderly uncle who lives 90 miles away to support him so he can remain living in his own home.

Claire says: “I am probably the least crafty person that I know but did art at school and after reading the course description I thought that even I could achieve something. When I finished the course I was totally amazed that I could create something so nice without feeling not being 'artistic' was a drawback.

“There was a variety of media to use and the course was at a pace that suited everyone. It was fascinating to see everyone produce something completely different and their own style. The group were lovely and it was nice to make new friends. “I particularly enjoyed the lovely setting of Westbury. There was lots of space and you could see other people’s art on display.

“My advice to someone thinking about attending the course is don’t be scared about having a go. I did it and loved what I produced. It is surprising what you can achieve when given the freedom, tools, support and encouragement to dabble in art.”

Introduction to Mixed Media Sketchbooks runs again 16 January 2024. To find out more and book a place see Introduction to Mixed Media Sketchbooks | Mysite (

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