What our Students Say

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Be inspired – hear straight from our students about their creative experiences at
St Ives School of Painting.

After every course we ask students for their feedback and if we are not getting it right we take action. We are consistently rated as good or excellent by 99% of our students each year with nearly 2/3 being recommendations or repeat visitors. Have a browse of some their comments.

Kerry is a fun, helpful, encouraging and enormously talented teacher!

Rebecca Morris

Contemporary Landscape


I learned so much from this course – Gary is everything I want from a tutor. He demonstrates and inspires, then leaves me to develop. Super tips on colour mixing and technique. Loved it!

Elizabeth Whitehouse

The Figure and Expression


Well resourced, relaxed, efficient, well paced, brilliant interface with the students on a group and individual basis, encouraging and challenging and fun!

Eileen Riddiford

St Ives Harbour and Town


[David] was very good at explaining and demonstrating. He had a gentle way of providing support and direction.

Jackie Ould

Dynamic Botanical


Ilker was a wonderful and inspirational tutor this week. Patient offering advice, constructive criticism and constant encouragement. I recommend this course to anyone wanting to explore a new subject. 

Louise Hopper

Unlocking Your Creativity


Alice is an inspirational teacher. She gave us solid practical advice, and a good demonstration. She was encouraging and although my painting must have been the worst she did not make me feel despondent – quite the opposite! I like the smallish group and the amazing space to work in.

Sarah Blomfield

After Matisse


As a cook, to see the magic of the process of paint choices, applications, washes and light in a “recipe”, develop inspired by great painters from this very place and Hilary’s patience teaching us all about technique, colour, materials in 3 days was fantastic!

Angela Collins

Getting Started with Watercolour


Hilary led us through the techniques to pencil portrait from a live model. I learnt a lot from her. It was very hard work but the results were amazing at the end of the two days!

Trevor Newton

Pencil Drawn Portrait


It was just what I needed – from working on large pieces over along time at home – this has been valuable to focus on colour/balance, composition In a free but structured way – thank you Liz you’ve been great. 

Lorraine Thorne

Abstract Colour in St Ives


Greg was very generous with his time and knowledge…Best experience for a long time

Jaci Richards

Getting Started with Oil Painting


I loved every moment of this course, it was an inspiration. Ilker led the 2 days with most generous open methods that drew us all in and made it possible for me to fly! Thank you Ilker – MORE, MORE!

Cecilia MacFarlene

Unlocking Your Creativity


Greg gave an excellent overview to oil painting technical disciplines plus an introduction to charcoal and gouache. It was intense but extremely satisfying to learn and appreciate the challenge in the ‘dance of chaos vs control’!

Shana Tam

Getting Started with Oil Painting


Thank you all in St. Ives, it has been truly inspirational, your professionalism has shone through in communicating the School’s ethos as well as the tutors’ personal creative approaches.


Saturday Life Live – Inspired by Toulouse Lautrec

Ilker being a great listener made everyone feel important, talented and able. His excitement was truly infectious. Making me feel all is possible. Gently pushing and challenging in a way that made me feel – yes! He never felt flippant – his comments never generic – always 100% giving of his own creativity. What a great mentor.

Lydia Knights

Finding your Viewpoint


Liz is a really gifted teacher. Very gently encouraging and giving just the right amount of support to move forward. Very well organised course.

Louise phillips

Bursting with excitement to put these new ideas into practice – I have a renewed confidence! Many of the new techniques will go a long way to combat ‘stuckness’/creative block – i’ve also learnt to work quicker! Many thanks Iain.

Vanessa Fletcher

Abstract Art Experience


Thank you Marion for such a marvellous experience. I arrived nervous but was given a space to express myself. First time painting and discovered its great! 

Jose Mejia

The Art of Keeping it Simple


This course was wonderful. It was well planned and structured, with a step by step approach, clear progression each day, enabling us all to achieve our very best. Alice is a great teacher, she is positive and finds constructive comments for each individual in the group, all at our different levels, and her enthusiasm and commitment are real motivating forces in the group. She worked as hard was we did, and while that might have felt intense, there were moments of laughter and shared enjoyment of our learning – and I learned so much.

Kim Brown

Inside Outside


For a first experience at St Ives school of art I was so impressed with the quality of tutorship for this course! Ilker gave such a huge amount of energy and passion to challenge each one of us but from a place of playfulness and encouragement. It was just what I needed at this time in my practice and I feel a surge of courage and inspiration to push deeper into the ´content ’ of my art practice and move beyond the safety of the commercial appeal to a place of truth, vulnerability and honesty. Excellent value and investment.

Isabelle Roberts

Finding your Viewpoint


Inspiring course, well guided and paced. Excellent tutor who helps you get the best out of your painting experience.

Sally Holman

Paths to Abstraction


I’ve really loved watching and doing the watercolour practice sessions with Hilary over the last 4 sessions. I’ve watched again several times via the recordings which was so helpful when practicing at a slower pace. Thanks so much for running these.

Nicky Grove

Studio Practice Session on Watercolour Fundamentals – Tone and Wash


A real revelation! Peters comments and advice to all the students was so knowledgeable and considered. I feel really inspired by the two days. 

Annie Lewandowski

Drawing Out Your Voice (4 )


I loved my tutors! The range they showed – between accurate drawing and having fun with different materials – was superb! 

Andrea Huggenberger

Developing Drawing Skills


A great course. Very useful. Packed with good tips and trials to progress ones work. 

Chloe Gerhardt

Ocean Light and Water