being a visiting art tutor:art holidays


3 full days as visiting Art Tutor for an Art Holiday… never drawn and painted so much whilst teaching! A good exercise for me, while busy planning 6 varied sessions according to any weather, organising, encouraging, inspiring adults to look to draw and paint, and all in new locations. One student said it was “like doing 10 rounds with Mike Tyson”…. “an inspiring and challenging tutor” … I’m pleased with that.

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I am passionate about giving people new experiences and sensations to feel and learn through. I’m energetic and enthusiastic, it’s true, encouraging people to see and believe their potential. It’s tricky and takes experience (I’ve taught all ages for years)… you have to be spontaneous and able to give everyone, of any ability a fun and rewarding experience, it’s a juggling act where I too have to get my eye in quickly to help decode, not only location and new subject matter but also personalities and energy limits.

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I drove up in my studio-car full of materials and papers in various formats for I like to be prepared, and I prefer to teach bigger than A4. I love messy chalks and working on A2 and bigger because it helps loosen up, feel free and be bold in your mark making, it’s also rare I think that people have access to such different materials and being so messy at home. It is of course easier and calmer to use small sketchbooks with water colours, but that’s not my metier or my approach. I get to see what your ‘hand writing’ is when it’s big and out of cosy context…

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Using water based pencils as the Scottish Series sailed in from their first race day, not room on the roadside for much else. I love to see how people draw. It’s fascinating to see each person’s line, we all have our own marks, our own expression, it’s individual… it says a lot about us. I love the immediacy of drawing… as for boats, we all groaned at how difficult they are to sort out.



It was raining on sunday… I brought my coloured objects and papers to push the palette and fun; I love colour. I see people are quite hesitant, even scared with it, never really having had the opportunity to play with mixing colours. But it’s really about looking around us and describing those colours, not thinking or assuming them, but seeing them, then you can mix them. I’d always thought of documenting my kitchen vessels collected from markets over years… maybe this is the beginning of a new domestic series. I also brought my acrylics to encourage big-brush unfussy marks. I even liked the time limits I often set my regular art team, 50 minutes to keep loose, not overworked; it helped me!



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A luminous light day drawing and painting in one of the many bays looking out to powdery blue hilled Aaran… the purply rocks are so different here, the beaches another colour to us, only an hour away up the coast in Craignish, funny to see, another challenge to draw.



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The light kept changing and then it rained… you have to be organised to pack up quickly and set up again; I’ve worked it out now having taught my regular art team on location for 4 years, it’s a difference to working in an Art College in a city.


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Tried a late afternoon sketch in a local bay, but oh boy, the midges ate us up in minutes so back to drawing on the steps of the house.

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It’s what you decide to see, it’s your point of view…  I love colour.  One of 3 visiting tutors at Whitehouse Studio Art Holidays, Argyll, Scotland: Thanks Bill for taking nice shots of me!