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.

It actually exceeded my expectations. I hoped that I would learn about painting seascapes (which I did) but I also felt that my practice as an artist and painter was revitalised by the course and, in particular, by Gary the tutor.

Christopher Harris


We had an excellent tutor in Camilla, very supportive yet challenging, on an individual level – she was very tuned in to what we each needed from her. She worked through ways of seeing and abstracting the landscape so we could unhook ourselves from merely representing the scene, in a very well paced and clear manner, and with lots of enthusiasm and encouragement. In relation to the school in general, we all received a very warm welcome from the school’s various staff, including lots of small touches like tea, coffee and cakes, which I wasn’t expecting! It was great that materials where provided and the location was of course outstanding!

Emily Faludy

Abstract Relief


Thank you for an exceptional course – Peter has given us four brilliantly conceived days and real individual insight and guidance. I’m very grateful and inspired and have learnt so much.

Maggie Smith

Drawing Out Your Voice (4 )


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


It completely transformed my understanding of painting. From working obsessively on single canvases in a derivative realist manner, I’ve been given the confidence to experiment with techniques completely new to me. It was an incredibly rich and exciting experience.

Greg Hall

Poetry of Process


Practising and experimenting with watercolour and trying different techniques has given me the confidence to develop my own style and detect the pleasure of painting. 

Gisela Borkert

Turner Sea and Sky


I cannot believe how much I have learnt on this course. Watercolours are so versatile and I cant wait to explore this further. Thank you so much Hilary!

Erika Vessey

Getting Started with Watercolour


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


Amazing! Thank you, you have open up my love of art and given me the confidence to start! Liz and Marion were inspirational and motivational. P.s. All staff very friendly and helpful.

Wendy Bougen

Approaching Painting


The best three days since I last attended a course there.

Christopher Harris

Painting The Coast Path


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


It was a rare opportunity to focus entirely on drawing, without the distractions of working from home. I enjoyed going over the fundamentals of drawing because there was no thorough teaching of this on my degree course. I will certainly be more aware of these aspects of drawing as I develop my work at home. The course gave me a boost of confidence and i feel inspired to draw more regularly than I had been doing for a couple of years.

Sarah Nelson

Developing Drawing Skills


Excellent session with Hilary. The model was always in a super pose and all of us students got a lot of thoughtful help. Looking forward to the next time!

Susan Thomas


I love the supportive and creative atmosphere at the school. It was well equipped and a joy to work in. Both Ilker and Liz were excellent tutors in their own individual ways and complimented each other very well.

Amy Fitzgerald


A wonderful school and inspiring teacher who encouraged and helped us to explore our own practice whilst pushing us beyond our perceived limitations – excellent .

Jessica Oliver

Paths to Abstraction


Informative course, emphasising the need to work through the journey of subject to achieve a valid response and believable outcome.

Sue Jones

Drawing Out Your Voice (3)


A joy to have a tutor with deep knowledge, professional experience and a sympathetic manner. 

Peter James

Painting Landscape with a Palette Knife


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

Andrea Huggenberger

Developing Drawing Skills


What worked for me was masses of individual attention and encouragement and positive support, the opportunity to sketch outside. These days have opened doors I have been longing to open. Thank you Greg.

Debs Blyth

The Sensory Coast

Great course – I have learnt so much that I will take home with  me and enjoy creating art with. 

Sandra Warren

Turner Sea and Sky


Absolutely love the way the course is designed and taught. Very encouraging, compassionate and multifaceted experience, and most definitely coming back! Thank you for your support, light energy and smiles.

Yulia Krautsova

Expressive Watercolour Landscape


So much food for thought and further experiments with oil paint. My mind is full of shapes, lines, colours and textures. Fully immersed in St Ives School of Painting and Ben Nicholson.

Sophia Blackwell

The Art of Keeping it Simple


A dynamic 4 day course led by two very experienced teachers. I felt pushed to the edges of my creativity at times but both teachers influenced me forward to complete pieces of work I would have never thought I was capable of.

Sheila Sloan


Peter gave 110%, each of us had affirming feedback and guidance, delivered with humour!

Cressida Pryor

Drawing Out Your Voice (4 )