Prince’s Drawing School exhibition at Wiveton

Richard BatsonArtists from Prince's Drawing School - a London art school founded by the Prince of Wales - are exhibiting in Norfolk after drawing and painting on Raveningham Hall and Wiveton Hall estates.Richard Batson

An artist is poised at her sketchbook in a fragrant Norfolk garden - her senses stimulated by the sights rather than the smells all around her.

Another stands by the chicken run, daubing colour on to the fowl which have flapped from their pen to her brush.

These are women who have honed their talent at a London art school founded by the Prince of Wales.

But they have brought their skills and work to Norfolk - a county whose skies are renowned for inspiring artists, but where two country houses and their grounds have also proved to be fertile territory.

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The Prince's Drawing School, in a converted warehouse in London's East End, provides expert tuition for up-and-coming artists - selecting two dozen from hundreds of applicants and funding their instruction through linked charities.

Sessions range from studio life drawing to copying and learning from masterpieces in the National Gallery, as well as getting students out into the streets to draw the people and places they see.

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It also runs week-long painting trips farther afield, which has included Raveningham Hall in south Norfolk and Wiveton Hall on the north Norfolk coast.

Now a handful of the artists who drew and painted on the estates are back, showcasing their work at Wiveton's cafe, and adding to it on their return.

Organiser Sam Marshall, a painter and printmaker from Lincolnshire, said all the students had art degrees, but the drawing school was 'very grounding' by teaching them to draw what they saw, after the conceptual nature of their degree work.

At Raveningham they captured the hall, gardens, sculptures and countryside. At Wiveton they also had the sea and marshes, and the chickens.

Another of the group, Rydal Hanbury from St Albans, became an artist at 40 after a career switch from nursing, and took the drawing course at 50.

t The Prince's Drawing School also does public courses and mentoring for young artists aged 10-14. More information at

t The exhibition at Wiveton Hall caf� runs until July 15 and is open from 9.30am to 5pm daily.

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