Abstract Art Workshop with Jo Garden Art in a beautiful rural Norfolk/Suffolk border setting



2021 dates now scheduled! With the easing of lockdown we are recommencing our Abstract Art workshops (yay!). First date is 24th May with limited places to ensure 2+ mtrs social distancing. Please note the Jo Garden Art studio will be open for drop in visitors for the first & last weekend of June (8/9th and 26/27th) as part of the Suffolk Open Studios event. Come and have a peek at what we do - sculpture kits will be available to take away at a discounted rate.

Welcome to an absorbing day creating your own piece of abstract art with Jo Garden Art workshops.

Whether you are familiar with abstract painting or have never tried it, you will have the freedom to experiment and enjoy this fascinating process. There is a YouTube video on the Jo Garden Art website which gives load of information!

Your ‘canvas’ is smooth solid pine rectangle, pre-painted with a warm grey gesso. You can choose from a long single piece, 120cm x 15cm or two shorter pieces, 60cm x 15cm. These have hanging cords attached to the back for you to display your work either vertically or horizontally.

Jo will ask you to consider your colour preferences before you come to the workshop. It could be to blend in with a room or piece of furniture, or perhaps just use your favourite colours to brighten a plain wall. Bring along a swatch of material, cushion, or sample of house paint to really help you achieve something that matches.

The day starts at 9.30am with an explanation of all the wonderful products available; quality acrylic paints, highly pigmented pan pastels, a large range of pencils, crayons & specialist markers, collage items and precious metal leaf.

With Jo demonstrating, you will work on a small practice piece allowing you to get used to the products and how to build up layer upon layer of colour to produce a visually deep and interesting piece of art. You will then be ready to enjoy working on your larger piece.

Throughout the day you will gain handy techniques such as developing a ‘wet’ pallet to stop your paints drying out, how to work out what colours go well together – and what will add ‘spice’ to your work, how to blend shades of paint and pigments, how to create depth using layering techniques, how to apply gold, silver or copper leaf and many other snippets of interest.

Whether you prefer soft and muted tones, or vibrant and dramatic colours, you will have time to experiment and enjoy the freedom of abstract art. If you wish to develop a design rather than random abstract – that is no problem! The day is yours to enjoy. Jo will be there to make suggestions and provide guidance as much or as little as you wish.

Workshops finish about 3.30pm. Wall fixings are supplied, so you will go home with happy memories and your own work of art ready to hang immediately.

Places are limited to 4 on each workshop whilst we are social distancing. If you have a group of 4 – 6 people, then a private workshop can be arranged – please get in touch.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Your own workstation, tools and equipment
Apron and disposable gloves
Either a single 120cm x 15cm or two 600cm x 15cm pine 'canvas'
A wide range of quality paints and products to create your artwork
Wall fixings to hang your masterpiece!
Refreshments throughout the day
Please bring your own packed lunch


Jo Garden at Jo Garden Art
Acorns, Beck Street
IP22 2PN

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Christmas
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Easter
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Fathers Day
  • Hearing impaired
  • Hen dos
  • Mothers Day
  • Parking provided
  • Romantic
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Tutor can travel
Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

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In-person course
Carole - - #31285

What a wonderful day Sunday was. Jo you are delightful teacher, patient and knowledgeable, explaining everything just right; stepping in when I was stumped but not taking over. I was proud of what I achieved and highly recommend this course to beginners and experienced alike.
The surroundings were superb and you had thought of everything to keep us safe (Covid wise).
I hope to return to undertake another course sometime soon.
Thank you Karen and Diana for your cheerful company and encouragement.

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Carole ;-) I was so impressed with your finished diptych of the Welsh countryside (abstract style!), including miniatures of swimming friend and you walking your collie - fab! Hope to see you again, Jo x

In-person course
Diana - - #31232

Jo, I can’t tell you what a joy it was to share the abstract art day with you, Karen and Carole in beautiful surroundings. You organise and explain everything so clearly and encourage us” budding artists” to experiment and have fun! I own up to not having a love of abstract yet learnt a lot yesterday and am already planning on working on old canvases, to be bolder in my experimentation.

Many thanks

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you so much Diana - it was a lovely day, and I enjoyed watching you create two completely different pieces. I hope you have a great time working on your old canvases. The medium to use over the oil painted canvas's is Liquitex clear gesso.
Jo x

In-person course
Karen - - #31222

This was a day out that gave me a COMPLETE break from thinking of anything but FUN and PLAY...with so many lovely materials! AND Jo is so organised and has a keen eye to help any “beginner” make and finish a product they are proud of! I think I might consider signing up for a second time, just for the lovely experience. Karen

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Karen ;-) Really hope your son enjoys the monochrome abstract piece with embedded mathematic equations - fabulous! Hope to see you in the Spring, Jo x

In-person course
Kaz - - #30600

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Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you so much for this heartfelt review Kaz - it was a pleasure having your family together in the studio. Your Dad's wit with his art work was brilliant and despite your Mum saying she had no art in her whatsoever - I would have been pleased to hang her work in my home it was so harmonious. Looking forward to seeing you back again soon, Jo xx

In-person course
Betty - - #30321

Well I was completely out of my comfort zone even thinking about doing an art class especially abstract art and thought I would end up with something that my friends would look at and smile politely - instead they have looked at my finished work with disbelief and I have even had a few "Wows" !

I had an entirely enjoyable day with Jo who guides you through the process calmly and recognises when it's time for you to have a little walk around the lovely garden when you get an "artist's block" . A coffee and some chocolate (provided by Jo !) will soon get you back on track.Would thoroughly recommend this course especially for sceptics like me ! Thank you Jo x

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Betty ;-) really glad you enjoyed stepping outside of your comfort zone! Your work will brighten up the hallway you were planning to hang it. Hope to see you again, Jo x

In-person course
Sue - - #30235

As a novice of craft experiences I can honestly say that I am now a convert to the hands on making of abstract art. The set up of the whole day was first class. The studio, equipment, Jo’s teaching and our outputs made for a really enjoyable experience. Give it a go - bring some colour to these dark days!

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Sue! Loved your Mediterranean colours - will look very striking against white walls. Glad you enjoyed the experience, Jo ;-)

In-person course
Steve Hall - - #30228

I was the only bloke on our course and Jo ( and the others ) made it a really good and enjoyable experience. Jo has a wealth of knowledge in this subject and was a great teacher running the course at a nice pace and the range of tools and equipment in her studio was vast. She also made some great suggestions that enhanced the final product. I would recommend this experience to anybody even if you have tried something similar before or you’re a complete novice like me. Take the plunge and give it a go!

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Steve! Really glad you enjoyed the day - your Jackson Pollock inspired work was great ;-) Looking forward to seeing you again to do a sculpture. Jo x

In-person course
Monica - - #30185

I attended, Jo’s abstract art course, which was my first workshop of this nature for some time, i.e. since high school, and I have only one word for the facilities, refreshments and of course guided art direction as brilliant!

I would further add that as a women of colour I was made to feel extremely welcome and thoroughly enjoyed the day’s experience. I plan to do another course in sculpture next and simply can’t wait to get stuck in !!!

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Monica! Your work was amazing - so vibrant and well thought out. Really glad you enjoyed the day and look forward to seeing you on a sculpture workshop ;-) Jo x

In-person course
Rachael - - #30165

I love to be creative so when I saw this workshop I was very keen to attend. I went with an idea of a colour scheme but no idea how or what I was going to do. Jo's instructions were so easy to follow and, with a little help from Jo, I created an amazing masterpiece that I am so pleased with. The day was so relaxing and peaceful, I enjoyed it so much and I can't wait to do it again soon. Thank you so much for an amazing day!

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thanks Rachael! I loved your grey tones and adding tiny touches of yellow/orange just lifted it. Job well done! Looking forward to seeing you again, Jo x

In-person course
Pauline - - #30162

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Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Pauline! Bringing the swatch of furniture fabric really helped link tones together, and thank you for sending the photo of your art in place - it looks fabulous ;-) Jo x

In-person course
Jane Langley - - #30157

Absorbing, relaxing and the opportunity to use lots of new products. The room was already set up when I arrived with workstations well over 2 metres apart. There was 4 of us in the workshop, all new to abstract art. We started with a small piece of practice work where Jo demonstrated on her own piece and we followed. She showed us lots of different methods to move the paint around and create original marks. Then we worked on our main pieces with Jo in the background if help was needed. The day went so quickly and I ended up with two lovely paintings which have already been put up in my garden room. I really recommend this workshop, not only because you take home paintings ready to hang up, but because of how mentally relaxed you feel. It set me up for a very 'chilled' weekend which was much needed.

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Jane ;-) I also find my mind relaxes when painting. Loved the greens, white and silver in your work - the photo you sent shows how well they blend into your garden room. Jo x

In-person course
Jackie - - #30152

I travelled 65 miles to attend this workshop and it was worth every mile. I've dabbled with art on and off for a long time and am not really into abstract as such, but wanted to loosen my style. This was the perfect opportunity. Jo has a huge range of different products to test out and she encouraged us to experiment and showed lots of tips and tricks. I now know how to keep my acrylic paints from drying out! I ended up with three pieces of work (the little trial square and two long pieces) that coordinate with colours in my sofa. Jo had provided hangers so I managed to put them up the next day. I'm now hooked into a completely different style of painting which is laid back and extremely fun to do (there was lots of laughter during the day). Thanks Jo - my style has been loosened!

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you Jackie - lovely work - glad to have 'loosened' your style ;-) I do appreciate how odd it feels to use spatulas instead of paint brushes and not to follow precise detail. Jo x

In-person course
Yvonne Martin - - #30144

This is the second art workshop I’ve attended, the first was the Hare Sculpture workshop and now Abstract Art. Jo has done it again! What a great day with and so much learnt. With Jo’s instruction I experienced how to use different types of mediums and techniques to create my first masterpiece, which is proudly displayed in my hallway. The whole day was fun and very relaxed, and the time just flew by.

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Lovely to see you again Yvonne and thank you for your review ;-) So glad you enjoyed the day - your work in shades of pinks was beautiful. Jo x

In-person course
Lizzy - - #30131

I could not recommend this workshop highly enough. As someone who doesn’t feel naturally creative or confident with colour, I was apprehensive about being bold and abstract. However, Jo was fantastic and made me feel enthusiastic and comfortable – it is a beautiful space to work in and the setting is really inspiring. The workshop taught me how to layer up an abstract painting using various techniques, tools, colour and of course a touch of gold and silver! It was a really fun and well organised day, and great fun to paint with a group and share ideas. I look forward to going again!

Response from Jo Garden Art:

Thank you so much Lizzy ;-) I'm glad you overcame your initial apprehension - having a pallet knife instead of a paint brush works wonders! Would love to see you back again, Jo x

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