Lubaina Himid, Carpet, 1992 © Lubaina Himid

Art & Message

Acrylic / Drawing / Mixed Media / 2D + 3D / Abstract - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Join us for this new exciting, exploratory course helping you to transform your ideas, thoughts and obsessions into art.

Camilla Dixon, Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin, Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-1995, 1995 © Tracey Emin

What do you feel strongly about? Do you have something to say? Art can be a good way to communicate our thoughts or concerns or obsessions, but it’s not always easy to know how to start.

This course aims to help you identify what you want to say or explore, whether personal, political, or even philosophical, and then to experiment with ways to create work around that, or incorporate these ideas into your existing practice.

Camilla will help you transform ideas or interests into art, and will give you tips on processes and techniques to help this transition. Looking to contemporary artists such as Tracey Emin, Nick Cave, Ai Weiwei and Lubaina Himid, this new course will be fun and explorative. You will leave with new ways to explore your practice and express yourself.

(No one is obliged to discuss anything private within the group, or that they don’t wish to share. This wouldn’t mean that they can’t make work about it).

Camilla Dixon, Original Rebels Exhibition 2024
Camilla Dixon, Original Rebels Exhibition 2024

Day to day plan

This is a rough indication of what to expect over the course. However sometimes the structure of the days may alter depending on the nature of the group and weather.

Day 1

As a group and individually, we’ll consider possible ways to express specific, random messages. This will lead into a more personal exploration of what we want to say, and the beginnings of exploring how we might make art to do that job.

Day 2

Brainstorming ideas for our own personal expression of our message, and the start of putting those ideas into a physical piece.

Day 3

Developing and producing, perhaps finalising, the piece that is the first expression of our message. 

What will I learn?

  1. Learn how to transform your thoughts and ideas into art of different mediums. 
  2. See how various artists have conveyed their own messages.
  3. Find out which materials best suit the message you wish to convey.
  4. An understanding of the concepts and practices behind contemporary art.
  5. An understanding of the possibilities of working across different mediums.

Who would this course suit?

This course is open to people of all experience levels that want to explore the possibilities of expression through art! It is an ideal place to nurture your creativity and understand the process from pieces that describe to pieces that evoke.

Art & Message

Acrylic / Drawing / Mixed Media / 2D + 3D / Abstract – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Camilla’s Work

I find tutoring to be a constantly evolving project. It supports my creative work as it requires that I not only understand my processes but can apply them in a way that is useful to other people in their quest for creative flow. Harnessing a fluid and responsive working method, can address all sorts of practical or emotional obstacles that students face. It can be quite literally life-changing.

What to Bring

Our studios are fully equipped and 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 prefer to use, please bring them with you.

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.

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.


Studio 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

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 Long Stay Car Park, both a 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at Trenwith 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...