In preparation for retirement I enrolled on several courses at Morley College London. These included 2 painting classes - Life and watercolour. After a few years travelling became a chore and I joined the local group which gave me social and painting companions. Of necessity most of my paintings are from photographs but to keep the finished pictures fresh, loose and without too much detail I always do value and colour sketches either in sketch book or digitally the photo is then put away and my sketches are used for reference. I enjoy all mediums and find the subject tells me which to use. I also like to experiment with different supports which have included brown wrapping paper, newsprint and khadi handmade paper. In order to get some 'en plein' experience - time permitting- I go to Dorset for short painting breaks this ensures meeting other like-minded painters and gathering fresh ideas. When my bookshelf became overloaded I turned to DVD's which I find a very useful teaching aid.