Melanie offers one to one support to those wanting to develop their drawing and painting skills. The pace is geared towards the individual, allowing them to develop their skills without the distraction of the group dynamic.

She works with students to assess their current and past work and understand their objectives for future development. She then develops a tailored tuition plan to address any issues raised and to support students to achieve their particular aims within their chosen subject matter and media.

Both established and less experienced artists benefit from individual attention and mentoring on a practical and inspirational level.

Tuition Fees
One to One:   £48 per hour.

Students will need to provide their own materials (a list will be supplied).

Model fees for life/portrait are in addition to the tuition fee.



A new monthly Saturday morning series which offers the opportunity of further exploration in both Self Portraiture, and Still Life subjects, at Melanie's studio in Chipping Norton. Places are limited to 4, to ensure plenty of individual attention. 

Following feedback from the previous morning workshop series, i now offer the option of either the usual half day or to extend to a full day, with a further 2 hours following a lunch break, allowing more time to develop a piece of work to completion, or build a series of studies.

This also allows for the option of working directly from the subject in the morning and then either continuing with this , or,  if wished, to then work from memory or develop the mornings work in more imaginative way without  further direct observation.

An opportunity to discover how to depart from the truly representational, and developing the picture or series of studies using different criteria, such as pushing surface interest, or using your imagination to take the work in a different direction. 

To book a place: please contact Melanie by email:

Full payment or a 50% deposit is required to reserve your place.

Places will be restricted to 4 people for each workshop, so early booking is advisable.

Easels/drawing boards and tea/coffee are provided. For those who wish to continue into the afternoon, please bring a packed lunch.

An art materials list where requested, will be forwarded in advance of the workshop.

Studio address: 33 Spring Street, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5NN.

01608 643546 

Saturday January 21st 2017

10am to 1pm
Title: Self Portraiture (Head) Mood: Studying Expressive and gestural mark making, rhythm via facial expression. Lead pencils and charcoal.

Working on large scale  (A2) cartridge paper, this workshop provides the opportunity to  explore the possibilities of lively and gestural mark making in pencil and charcoal. Working from the mirror, employing rapid strokes, you will create a series of lively studies focusing on mood, shifting/fleeting  expression and the movement of the head. How even a change of thought can change a face visibly. We will be looking at examples of work by Rembrandt, Picasso and Maggi Hambling. 

Price: £48.

This workshop can be extended into the afternoon, by request, and continue at 2pm after a lunch break for a further 2 hours for those who wish to continue painting in greater depth/detail. (£25 extra).


Saturday February 18th 2017
10am to 1pm
Title: Still Life: Composition and Colour (Mexican influence)

Arrangements of exotic fruits and plants. With an abundant flavour.  A riot of colour and shapes using watercolour and mixed media. We start the workshop looking at the paintings and palette of Frida Kahlo  as a starting point, learning how to work with rich saturated colours and powerful, compositional arrangements. 

Price: £48 (the workshop can be extended into the afternoon, by request, after a 1 hour lunch break at 1pm for a further 2 hours for those who wish to continue painting in greater depth/detail. (£25 additional to the morning workshop).


Saturday March 18th 2017
10am to 1pm
Title: Self Portraiture (Head): Rendering Texture. Mixed media, drawn and watercolour.

This workshop is all about creating surface interest. within the subject,  the skin, hair and clothing, through the use of  Mixed media. A combination of dry brush, loose washes, mixed dry and wet media. Watercolour, charcoal and pencil are all employed to build up richly textured areas of varied density, within the portrait.  Artists work we will be looking at include Andrew Wyeth and Lucien Freud.

Price: £48 (the workshop can be extended into the afternoon, by request, after a 1 hour lunch break at 1pm for a further 2 hours for those who wish to continue developing the mornings work in greater depth/detail. (£25 extra).

Saturday April 22nd 2017
10am to 1pm
Title: Still Life: Treasured /Found Object(s). Drawn and Watercolour media.

Price: £48 (the workshop can be extended on request into the afternoon, to continue after a 1 hour lunch break at 1pm for a further 2 hours for those who wish to continue painting in greater depth/detail. (£25 extra).

A Still life workshop where you bring your own personal 'momento' or ' found' object to explore in paint. Something with resonance and meaning to yourself.  Connecting with the personal response this might bring up by rendering the given object in paint for the first time, 

Following in footsteps of artists, past and present (Georgia O'Keefe, Paul Nash and of course the Surrealists), who use such subject matter as an inspirational tool. This may be in the form of a photograph of a loved one or place, an object gifted to you, an object of devotion, a piece of jewellery or china/glass, or a beautiful shoe. Or a 'found' object such as a fossil, feather, leaf, beach stones, piece of wood. Something that has struck a chord and you would like to explore further in paint. The workshop will start with note making both written and visual, then moving into a series of studies, based on either a true representation or developing further with the use of imagination connected to the associative meaning of the piece. 



This summer programme of workshops sees a return to a couple of locations from last year, by popular request. Also the addition of two new painting workshop locations, offering a broader choice of subject matter (namely woodland and coastal settings).

Melanie has also designed  a couple of two and three day courses ,  to accommodate participants who appreciate a more extended time period in a specific location, with the opportunity to explore them creatively in greater depth and build up a wider collection of sketches and paintings.

All levels of painting experience are welcome. Numbers of places available are limited to ensure plenty of individual attention for each participant. Melanie will be on hand to demonstrate, inspire and provide creative feedback, both individually and to the group as a whole.

Bookings: please make bookings directly with Melanie on 01608 643546 or email:

A non refundable 50% deposit is required to confirm your place. 


1. TITLE: 'LIGHT AND FORM IN WOODLAND' A sketching and watercolour day in a woodland landscape.
Location:  Chastleton Woods, near Stow on the Wold, Oxfordshire.

Date: Wednesday June 21st 2017
Time: 10am to 4pm

A day in the woods near Chadtleton House, sketching and painting the visual interest offered by a woodland interior: filtered sunlight through trees, strong forms and frameworks within the trees, pathways, portals and architectural formations, plus the wonderful qualities of softly diffused light and woodland textures. And additionally, on the periphery of the wood, the opportunity to look out and paint long distance views across the valley to Stow on the Wold. 

Art materials:  please request a list on booking.

Price: £78 for the day. £45 for a half day. 


:  Charlie Longsdon Racing, Hull Farm, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

Date: Wednesday July 26th 2017
: 10am to 4pm

Following her two years of being Artist in Residence at this fantastic national hunt racing yard, Melanie is delighted to be running this workshop for the second time. It is set in beautiful countryside near Chipping Norton. The racehorses will be grazing out in the paddocks or resting in the stables, on holiday at this time of year! Providing us with a stimulating variety of subject matter, such as groups of stunning thoroughbreds moving around a landscape setting, and close up observation of the individual horses for equine portrait sketches in the yard. 

Melanie will have her artist residency sketchbooks at the yard, for reference. 

Art materials:  please request a list on booking.

Price: £78 for the day. £45 for a half day. 

Drawing and watercolour workshop. 

Location:  Rousham House Gardens, Oxfordshire.  (Ref:

Date: Wednesday August 16th and Thursday August 17th 2017.  One or two day workshop. 
: 10am to 4pm

Following the popularity of this workshop last summer, Melanie is running it again, but with the breadth of subject available in these extensive gardens, has added a second day for those who wish to explore the subject in more depth. 

Rousham House and its classical landscape gardens were designed in the seventeenth century by William Kent. The gardens provide a formal classical design, with long green vistas, classical statuary and water features, cascades and grottos. At the bottom of which runs the river Cherwell through woodland. In a separate  part of the gardens, a walled area with dovecote, stunning  herbaceous borders  and kitchen garden with fruit trees,  plus wandering peacocks, provides a more colourful and informal layout. 

Art materials:  please request a list on booking.

Price: £78 for one day. £140 for two days.

Location: The Fal Estuary/Mylor Yacht Harbour and Trebah Garden.

Dates: September 5th to September 7th 2017 (3 days). 10am - 4pm each day.

Price: 1 day £80, 2 days £150, 3 days £225.

Pictures and info Reference: Google: 
Mylor Yacht Harbour
The Fal Estuary

This Course offers an extended opportunity, at a relaxed pace, to explore the interesting variety of subject matter that the beautiful south Cornish Coast offers. Melanie has enjoyed visiting and painting in the Helford/Falmouth River Estuary area for over 25 years. The peaceful, ambience, combining gentle agricultural landscape to the water’s edge, alongside the highly visual sailing dynamic, provides the perfect contrast to landlocked Oxfordshire, for plein air summer painting.  Melanie has designed a 3 day course, around the places she loves to visit and sketch herself,  and provides guided access to some very special locations in what this part of Cornwall is best known for;  coastal vistas with wooded estuaries, sailing harbours, and subtropical gardens.  All the places she has chosen, lend themselves to representational, semi-abstract or abstract study for students of all levels of experience. Melanie likes to work with the individual within the small group on their own personal interpretation and exploration of the subject matter. 

This 3 day workshop is non-residential. Giving the participant the option of doing their own thing in the evenings, whether to further explore the area, meet with friends, or simply relax quietly after an intensive day of painting! The group will meet up each morning at the workshop location and work through the day in close enough proximity to enable Melanie to have focused time with each student. 

 Melanie can recommend a lovely local farmhouse B and B, set in stunning countryside near to all the workshop locations:

Trefusis Barton, Flushing, Mylor, Falmouth.

There is also of course, a huge choice of b and b, and hotels in the area, plus cottages to rent. Check these out on the internet. Booking well in advance is advisable. This is a very popular area, though by September the school holidays and family vacations will be coming to an end.

Melanie is also happy to recommend good places locally for supper in the evenings, including the historic Pandora Inn, at Restronguet Creek.

Day 1: Mylor Yacht Harbour

This beautiful and secluded setting looks out from the harbour side across to the characteristically densely wooded shores across the estuary. With a vista of inspiring images to capture in paint. The yachts are moored at intervals, and also there is sailing in and out  across the estuary creating beautifully illuminated shapes and varied patterns, set against the water and dark woodland of the opposite shore. This day provides both stunning views and wonderful close up studies of the yachts in the harbour, giving compositions using the abstract shapes and lines of the yachts themselves. 

Lunch: Bring a packed lunch, or visit the excellent cafe at Mylor Harbour.

Dogs welcome.

Day 2: The Fal Estuary (Wide sea views, coastline , big skies).

This day will be spent looking out over the spectacular vistas of coast and sea from a much  higher vantage point than on Day 1. We will be painting from a location either on private farm land at Flushing, or from Pendennis Point This is the perfect chance to study the changing colours and tones of both sea and sky, and the relationship between them as the light changes, throughout the day. 

Lunch: Bring a packed lunch, or there are a some beach cafes nearby.

Day 3: Trebah Garden, Mawnan Smith, Falmouth.

Trebah Garden is a sub-tropical paradise, with a stunning coastal backdrop. One of the finest gardens in Cornwall.  And one Melanie has watched develop over the years from an overgrown and undeveloped lost garden, to its current magnificence. A magical space to paint, with subtropical gardens of  inspired planting and colour, tumbling down a ravine to the secluded beach at the bottom. Palm trees, woods, structural gunnera plantations, banks of foxgloves, hydrangeas, lily ponds, stream water features with ferns and primula,  and views across tree tops down to the little beach and sea beyond are some of the attractions. Whether you wish to work with a landscape/gardenscape large composition, or use the day to focus and capture a series of more detailed botanical style studies of the individual plants, there is plenty of choice here. 

Additional: Entry fee to the gardens

Lunch: Either bring a packed lunch or there is a good cafe at the garden centre.

Dogs are welcome on a leash.

Art materials : Please bring watercolour and cartridge paper pads, drawing pencil and charcoal, watercolour paints and brushes, kitchen roll, a water container, folding stool, rug, suitable layers of clothing and a hat.


Location: Armscote Manor Gardens, Warwickshire. 

Armscote Manor is a privately owned property, situated near Shipston on Stour in Warwickshire: please refer to their website for directions:   

Date: Wednesday October 25th 2017 (Partly outside, partly in the garden barn) 

Time:  10am to 4pm.


Following the enjoyment of previous workshops that Melanie has tutored here during the summer months, this time she is running one in the Autumn.  This later season of the year offers a very different dynamic, with the autumnal light and colours, and the structure of the garden being more visible. Rich textures and a seasonal array of plantings and arrangements will provide a completely fresh palette and atmosphere, from which to be inspired. Suitable for both keen beginners and the more experienced artist alike, this is a magical day of creating a unique visual response to the inspirational gardens that Armscote Manor provides.

Taking into account the season and cooler weather, this workshop will have a two part structure. Melanie will encourage visual exploration, note taking, sketching and some photography out in the  gardens throughout the morning, with the opportunity to develop a series of studies  (drawn, painted or mixed media) back in the Garden Barn, during the afternoon. Working both directly from and then afterwards away from the subject matter in this manner, encourages a journey into the imagination and the development of semi abstract compositions, starting withyour initial sketches and notes. The aim is to create, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, multiple studies and some more developed paintings.  Melanie will be on hand to demonstrate, inspire and provide creative feedback, both individually and to the group as a whole.


Price: £78 for the day, £45 for a half day. 

Please bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee is provided. There is a spacious, light filled barn in the garden, for the introductory talk, and indoors work.

Bookings : directly with Melanie on 01608 643456 or by email:

Please request a materials list on booking. 




These classes held once a month, are for young people aiming to study, or already studying, GCSE and A level Art at School. The aim is to complement the broader variety of artwork in the school curriculum. Students focus on developing solid traditional drawing skills in the inspirational and fun setting of a professional artist's studio.

Class sizes are small, with a maximum of 4 students, to ensure plenty of individual attention.

When:  Monthly, on Saturdays. Time: 10am to 12 noon or 2pm to 4pm.

Where:  33 Spring Street, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5NN.

Price:  £40 for each two hour session.

Materials:   Students to supply their own materials. Melanie provides a list.

Class Description:

Classes are taught around subjects such as still life, portraiture, landscape and animals. Training the eye to see and interpret representationally. Developing techniques such as the use of line, tone, composition, understanding colour, and portraying movement in a variety of drawn and painted media is key. References are made to other artists work, both past and present to illustrate and inspire. In the summer months, classes may be held outside, locally, with painting in the landscape, at gardens and visits to stables/farms/wildlife sanctuaries.

Twice a year Melanie takes the students to London for the day, to visit a key exhibition, such as David Hockney's 'A Bigger Landscape' at the Royal Academy and to give them an insight into the current contemporary art scene, via smaller galleries in Cork Street.


Contact Melanie on 01608 643546 or 07792 589788 for further details, to book a place and to arrange a visit to the studio to have a chat.


"My son Joe started having art classes with Melanie when he was fourteen, and he continued to have lessons and attend workshops and galleries with her until he finished school. Melanie was even kind enough to take Joe for a week’s work experience, which gave him an invaluable insight into the life of a working artist. As well as being a wonderful influence, Melanie has been unfailingly patient and kind.

She has always responded to Joe’s requests, such as spending an entire term on portraits after he decided he wanted to master them. He has had some hugely enriching experiences with Melanie including day trips to the Royal Academy and even visits to Cheltenham racecourse! Melanie is not only an amazing artist but also a truly inspirational teacher."


Related work placement with Melanie.

Melanie offers a work placement each summer, for one week, to a student who is attending her classes. This placement is organised with the student's school and involves accompanying Melanie throughout 5 working days, observing, assisting and painting alongside her. Days may include activities such as sketching/photography at a polo match or the races, attending PR, exhibition planning and marketing meetings, organising framing and a landscape painting day.

The placement offers an enjoyable and valuable insight into the working life of a full time professional artist, both on the business and practical side. It is useful to both those who wish to study art at college, and those who have other career ideas, but wish to keep their creative skills and love of art going as a lifelong interest.

Workshops and short courses

Melanie also occasionally runs short courses for small groups of students. Subjects vary but past workshops have focused on areas such as expressive landscape, traditional drawing skills for beginners, life drawing, and portraiture.

Details of forthcoming events will be posted on this page well in advance.


© Melanie Wright 2016