Abstract Art Experience

Mixed Media / Abstract - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Led by two highly experienced contemporary abstract artists, this is a mentoring course for practicing artists, providing a productive, critical approach that builds your confidence in your own discoveries.

This mentoring course for practising artists is led by two highly experienced contemporary, abstract artists. The tutors’ expertise in the language of abstract art will help you explore critical approaches to the development of your practice, through in-depth tutorials and group discussion. Working in a supportive studio environment, you will focus on ideas and processes that enable you to gain understanding and confidence in your own discoveries.

Differing from their previous taught courses involving structured exercises in abstract art making, this course utilises Clare and Iain’s professional experience to guide you towards becoming more confident and effective in your own self-directed abstract work.  Their mentoring process aims to offer you advanced features such as more individual attention, active listening, questioning and feedback to develop your interests in abstract art which are directed by you.  You will benefit from having more time to evolve your own practical expertise.

Opportunities to knowledge-share with your fellow artists through group input is an important element to your learning experience in the studio. Iain and Clare’s mentoring emphasises a shared respect and enthusiasm for the subject of abstract art creating a supportive, professional space for you to gain insight and discoveries for the practice you are drawing from, works in progress, finished pieces and in building your resource of examples for the future.

Taught by


View Iain’s Work

As an Artist/Tutor creating courses for the School, I draw from my own experience and questioning of my own practice. I try to open up a way into contemporary abstraction for practitioners who come prepared to engage with sometimes difficult concepts and hopefully take away ideas and more questions for their own practice. We can all benefit from being in this space together.


View Clare’s Work

Through the School of Painting, creative minds come together to learn, share experiences and ideas. As artist/tutor, a strong, professional empathy is essential to the courses I ‘build’ for those already engaged in their creative thinking and practices. Teaching is more a dialogue, an inclusive process of respect for each artists’, individual communication, development and talents in visual art.

What to Bring

We provide you with ALL the materials you need for your course, however, if you have a favourite set of brushes or any specialist materials that you would like to use, please bring them with you.
It may also be useful to bring a plastic folder or portfolio to transport your work home (although we have these available to buy from £3.50). If your course involves working outside we would recommend you bring warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy walking shoes or boots.

Timings and Breaks

The first day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm, please aim to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the start time. Please wear a mask on arrival.

All course days after that start at 9.30am and finish at 4pm and there will be an hour for lunch. There are plenty of nearby places to eat and we will serve tea and coffee at break times during the day.

What our students say

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


Our Courses

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

How do I get my work home?

Tutors have special techniques for transporting oil paintings and the school has plastic folders available in our shop for £3.50 or do bring a portfolio.

For international students we are happy to arrange transportation of your work back home.

What do I need to bring?

Absolutely nothing! All materials and aprons are provided although some people do like to bring their own set of brushes.

What do I do for lunch?

Courses allow an hour’s break for lunch and there are numerous places nearby or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch into the studio.

What times do courses run?

Most of our courses start at 10am and end at 4.30pm on the first day. Subsequent days we start at 9.30am ending at 4pm.

Weekend Courses run 10am – 4pm on the first day but the final day starts at 9.30 and ends at 3.30 with a short lunch break to enable people to get home that evening.

Do you have to be experienced to come to the School?

The School is a very friendly and welcoming place for all ages and experience. Our drop-in life classes and August half-day workshops are ideal for those wanting to have a go for the first time. Most of our longer courses are also fine for novices.

If any of the courses do need a bit of experience we flag this up in the brochure and on the website.

Booking a Course

Can I pay by cheque?

Please get in touch by phone and we can hold your place for a few days whilst you post your cheque (made payable to: St Ives School of Painting) to us at St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios. St Ives TR26 1NG

How can I reserve a place?

We will hold a provisional reservation for 24 hours if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.

You can reserve a place with a £100 deposit; balance is due 12 weeks before course start date.

About St Ives

Where do I park?

The nearest long stay public car parks are the Island and Barnoon both 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at the big top car park by the leisure centre and walk down into town. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill at the end of the day there is a shuttle bus which runs from outside the cinema.

How do I get there?

Public Transport: If you are coming from further afield the main train line runs into St Erth which is a 15 min taxi ride away or you can take the St Ives Bay Line which runs approx. every 30 minutes. The School is a 10 minute walk from St Ives station.

Driving: M5 will take you to Exeter where we recommend that you take the A30 across Bodmin Moor and into Cornwall. After passing Hayle, leave the A30 at St Erth roundabout for St Ives. Turn right at the second roundabout. This road will take you through Lelant and Carbis Bay into St Ives.

Where can I stay?

St Ives has a huge selection of hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation to choose from. Please browse the art holidays St Ives section on our website and give us a call if you would like any help.

You might also like...