THIS PAGE CONTAINS INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS OF MY REGULAR FRIDAY AND SATURDAY CLASSES:
SCROLL DOWN FOR YOUR SCHEDULE, WHAT TO BRING, AND HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM THE CLASS
If you are interested in joining the art class please click here.
TO VIEW THIS YEAR'S CLASS SCHEDULE, including dates, subjects, mediums and demonstrations... CLICK HERE
For a list of basic equipment for attending my (or other peoples) art classes click here.
HOW TO CARRY ALL YOUR STUFF
(Stop using that Waitrose 'bag for life', you are going to lose your paintbrush through the hole in the corner one of these days)
You need two items:
1. A portfolio This handy item will allow you to carry your drawing pad or art board. They come in 'A' sizes and are available as lightweight semi disposable clear plastic, through to sturdy zip up nylon affairs. Do avoid the heavy duty type with the metal spine and ring binder/pockets; they weigh a ton and are used by professional artists/illustrators to drag their work along to agents/galleries, you don't need one, get something lightweight and waterproof.
2. A carry box/holdall When I started painting I bought a special plastic artists' carry box. What a rip off that was, something similar for a quarter of the price is available in your local DIY store. Some of my students also make good use of those open top tool carriers favoured by tradesmen. With lots of compartments and a big handle they are very useful. *Tip: measure your longest paint brush before choosing your box. Cling film can also help you get your palette home without having to throw your colours away...
Use big enough paper: It is a myth that smaller is easier. You will find your ideal working size in time, meantime you can always cut your paper down, you can't make it bigger so give yourself the option at least of working big.
Choose your subject bravely! There is always a scuffle at the start of class to find the 'easiest' subject. I am here to disillusion you: no subject is 'easy', the simpler the subject the more the viewers attention is focused on it and the better the composition and execution needs to be. The best way to choose is the subject you feel personally drawn to. A subject can always be simplified, if the photo contains 80 boats you don't need to paint them all.
Make mistakes. This is so important. Staying within your comfort zone will teach you nothing, try something new, have a go, throw yourself in. It is only a piece of paper, we have more...
Turn up at the start of class so you don't miss the talk/demo at the beginning! I am happy to see any of my students, but when you wander in after the end of the demo and then say 'So what are we doing?' my heart gives a little sigh... (See 'being on time' further down the page)
In the past I was always happy to throw the odd sheet of watercolour paper in the direction of students who had forgotten theirs; but now with getting on for 50 regular students, plus one day course participants I am afraid I need to ask for a small fee to cover costs:
Cartridge Paper A3: 30p
SAA 'Practice' Watercolour Paper, Qtr Imperial: 50p
Coloured Pastel Paper, assorted sizes: 70p
Hot drinks and snacks - the following are available: Green Tea, Fruit Tea, Coffee, decaff Coffee, Tea. Cow's milk or Oat milk are available if you are dairy free. If you want something else, or a cold drink please just bring it along. Gin and Tonic will be unlikely to improve your painting though (!)
Hot Drink (Any) 50 pence
Biscuits (2) 25 pence
Raw (paleo) Bars 50 pence
Greetings Cards (includes 10% Friday students discount)
Greetings Card £2.25
Gift Tags (2) 90 pence
Every year someone asks hopefully if they could just pay for some of the weeks as they are on holiday or whatever. Unfortunately this is my livelihood and I pay for the venues regardless of who turns up. I need the classes to be full if possible so in that respect you are paying to retain your place as well as for the tuition. If I let everyone do this I would have half empty classes.
However, I do NOT want you to miss classes you have paid for so here is what I can do for you: If you can't get in to your regular class you can swap to the other session. In order to do this you must let me know in advance so I can make sure there is a place for you. If you are away altogether you are also welcome to take an extra lesson later in the term, for example you could do a full day by staying for both morning and afternoon sessions, the subject is the same for all the classes each week, but you could use the time to paint for longer on the same project.
I hope by being flexible in this way you will miss the absolute minimum of lessons you have paid for!
The class schedule is published several months in advance and there are regular breaks so you should be able to arrange most things you need to do at other times.
Remember, you are not paying per class, you are paying for 30 lessons per year. Some months will have more classes than others depending on venue availability, I also avoid the end of December/beginning of January as experience shows students are busy with other things at this time.
It is not school, you have already paid me, it affects me not at all if you miss half the lesson. BUT if I have anything useful to say about the subject, a demonstration, colour mixing tips then this obviously needs to happen at the start of the class. Plus, you have paid for this time, make the most of it! Yes I know the dog has just been sick, your sister is on the phone and your son has gone to school with your pencil plus the council have dug the road up; stuff happens (to all of us), and I would rather you came to class late than not at all.
However, after 10 years of never being late to a class I am going to give you A FEW TIPS on how to do it. It's free advice and you are free to ignore it :-)
** Keep your stuff in a dedicated art box/portfolio: even today, with a studio, I still keep my paints in a carry box. Don't be running around every week looking for your equipment. Print off a list of the terms class subjects too and keep that in your box as well.
** Don't let your kids/grandchildren nick all your stuff: I once caught my daughter sneaking into my studio to get sellotape. When I asked her why, when I had bought her at least 8 rolls in the last year, she explained that she never knew where hers was, but mine was always in the same place. Buy your kids their own stuff and tell them yours is off limits. Explain that if things 'disappear' from your box and they 'forget' to put them back, then the remote control for the Nintendo Wii/X-box will also 'disappear' and you may 'forget' to cook dinner.
** When you get home from class prepare for the next one straight away. Don't leave it until next Friday, you won't have time. Put what you need for next week in the box now, while you are still in 'art' mode, or at least put a big yellow post-it note on the fridge to remind you during the week of what you need to pick up.
** Don't spend 35 minutes looking for a putty rubber. Seriously, I have spare stuff, someone will lend you what you need, just walk out the door.
**Aim for early. If you struggle to make it by 10.30am, aim for 10am. I am generally there about half an hour before the start of any class; the worst that can happen is you will have a quiet 5 minutes in the car.
THE BENEFITS OF BEING EARLY:
You get first pick of the seating and subjects.
You may catch me practising my Kung Fu, Tai Chi or push ups. Despite the stupidity of taking up martial arts at my age, if I have any spare time I do a little practice.
You can chat to me about your work, and catch up with your classmates.
You won't miss any start of class chats/demos or ad hoc exhibitions of people's work.
*****Don't be that person who walks in 10 minutes after my start of class demo with painting tips and says "So what are we doing?" ! *****