Two days with 6 other women, each of us from beginner to advanced in our felting journeys, each successful in our two projects. But first, Moy.
I was in the Moy Mackay gallery the day before our workshop was to begin, and was pleasantly surprised to find Moy at the shop training a new employee. I admit, I was gobsmacked and went a wee bit fangirl, asking her for a selfie. I didn’t want to take up too much of her time, knowing I would be able to soak up the inspiration over the next two days. So I wandered around the gallery, taking it all in and shopping for souvenirs.
Let me just say this: seeing her large pieces in real life is beyond stunning. The colors and textures she captures of the Scottish countryside is truly one of a kind. Her ability to take in the inspiration from the landscapes around her in the Scottish Borders and create these richly colored impressionistic felt paintings is, for me, just as mesmerizing as seeing a Monet or Van Gogh at a museum.
Thankfully, for my wallet, one can purchase small felt paintings which are equally beautiful, or glicee prints to frame once you get home. Additionally, greeting cards, mugs, and puzzles are available with Moy’s work. Needless to say, I am very glad that I packed light on my way here to leave room for the goodies I picked up at the shop!
Workshop day one:
Moy’s home studio was the site of our two day workshop, and I headed from Peebles to Traquir with directions in hand which had been supplied by her assistant via email. Driving on the left side of the road, navigating the frequent roundabouts (going clockwise, not counterclockwise as they are in the US), and the very narrow roads with not a shoulder in existence made for some white knuckle driving, but the drive from my B&B to Moy’s home only took about 20 minutes. It would have taken less time, but I struggled going the speed limit! (And for those of you who know me, that is completely unheard of!!)
Mahala is the name of her house, which rightly brings to mind a very magical place. Filled with color and whimsy, and surrounded with a lush countryside, including a view outside her kitchen window that provides a frequent subject for her felt paintings, bird feeders and a teepee in the back, Moy’s home is warm and welcoming.
We were greeted by Moy and her niece, offered coffee and tea and biscuits, and gathered around the kitchen table to introduce ourselves and begin to get to know each other. Then it was time to head downstairs to the studio with a cuppa and begin our work.
Moy is a fantastic, down to earth instructor. She had us all work from the same inspiration photo, demonstrated her process, and then covered up her work so that we each would find our own interpretation. As we began our felt paintings, Moy would offer suggestions based upon her skills and education in fine art. Even those of us who had been felting for years found her help to be invaluable in elevating our interpretations in the final products.
Just as much as the guidance from Moy helped each of us to see our vision to fruition, the comments and camaraderie from the other students gave us other sets of eyes to see. And unlike other workshops you may have taken, there was no feeling of competition. We were each attempting to be better than we were before we began.
I hope that you might come to the Scotland DeBrief on Monday, February 24th when I open my home studio so you can see and hear all about my trip. Email or DM me for the address. See you soon!