Learn to translate your creative impulse into meaningful composition by working in series rather than on individual pieces. Emphasis is on the freedom to progress, integrating observation with imagination.
Many artists feel compelled to make sketches of what they see in day-to-day life. However, back in the studio, developing these can be a challenge. This course will help you identify your unique vision of the world by integrating your observation of the material world with the personal topography of your memory and imagination. Learn to translate your creative impulse into meaningful work by working in series rather than on individual pieces. This course’s emphasis is on the freedom to progress, allowing more consolidated artwork to emerge.
The tutor will encourage you to recognise themes and narrative emerging from your work. This will empower you to identify your creative voice and develop it in new and unexpected ways. In contemplating other artists’ techniques for collecting and using source material, you will deepen your own conversation with your surroundings and your drawing.
The course’s series-based approach will reinvigorate your practice. It will build your confidence to decide what to respond to and how, and in using selective processes to develop your imagery and build narrative.
It presents a rare opportunity to learn from Peter Skerrett, drawing on his many years of experience as an architect, artist and now Senior Lecturer in Drawing at Falmouth University.
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.
Begin with an introduction and group discussion in the studio on how artists collect and record visual information from the environment. With your group and tutor, explore various locations around St Ives making drawings, notes, and photographs that will form the basis of your work. Then back in the studio, Peter will lead a series of exercises that will start to expand the potential of your sketches and begin to work towards a series of drawings.
Develop your drawings further using the principles of selection, variation, scale, composition and emphasis. Make a series of work using a mix of materials including paint, collage and drawing to explore the essence of your creative voice.
Day 3 & 4
Using the tools and techniques developed over the previous two days, continue to work on your series. Peter will spend time with you individually and with the group – a chance to step back and determine how to move forward. On the last afternoon the group will review the progression of each individual series of works.
What will I learn?
- How to find and record the information you need when out sketching.
- How to select and make decisions about what to develop in your work.
- How to evolve work back in the studio.
- How to identify your own distinctive approach to the subject.
Who would this course suit?
If you draw or paint regularly but wish to invigorate and develop your work further, this course is for you. It will be useful for harnessing the potential of your source material into more resolved artworks. If you are less experienced but enjoy challenging yourself and experimenting with innovative approaches to making images, you would also benefit. Although a guided course, you should enjoy working independently.
I enjoy the intensity of the workshops that I’m invited to run here at the school. A group of artists can produce such an incredible body of work in just a few days. This really inspires my own practice. The energy helps me to see and notice more when I’m out and about in Cornwall to bring these observations back to the studio.
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 10 am and finishes at 4.30 pm. Please arrive ten minutes before the start time and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee before we start.
All course days after that start at 9.30 am and finish at 4 pm and there will be an hour for lunch. Occasionally these times may be changed if required by the tutor. There are plenty of nearby places to eat or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch into the studio.
What our students say
Informative course, emphasising the need to work through the journey of subject to achieve a valid response and believable outcome.
A real revelation! Peters comments and advice to all the students was so knowledgeable and considered. I feel really inspired by the two days.
It was brilliant! We worked on series and were encouraged to discover what is emerging from the work, what is persistent. Peter was a wonderful tutor, bringing each persons individual artistic qualities out. Thank you!
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.
Just loved being there. A painting holiday to remember always and so worth travelling from Australia to attend.
Peter gave 110%, each of us had affirming feedback and guidance, delivered with humour!
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?
Our courses start at 10am and end at 4.30pm.
Short workshops for adults start at 10am and end at1pm except during September festival when they run 10-12.30 and 14.30 – 17.00.
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 2 days if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.
You can pay a £60 deposit with the balance 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...
Experimental Oil Landscapes - online course
Mon 21 Sep - Tue 6 Oct - 16 days
This is a unique opportunity to take part in an inspirational 3 week online art course with renowned artist Kerry Harding. Combining videos you can watch in your own time with live group tutorials using Zoom, you will work through a series of tasks and learn to incorporate the playful exploration of oil paint into a series of landscape inspired paintings.
Mon 31 Aug - Wed 2 Sep - 3 days
Explore the hidden pathways, hedgerows and hills around St Ives, creating evocative oil paintings. Learn the art of underpainting to make your paintings glow and master the colours of the Cornish landscape.
St Ives Harbour + Town
Mon 14 - Fri 18 Jun 2021 - 5 days
The winding cobbled streets, whitewashed cottages and iconic harbour of St Ives have captivated artists for centuries. Learn a contemporary, immediate and effective approach to capturing this special place.
Drawing From a Fishing Community
Mon 5 - Wed 7 Oct - 3 days
Hilary Jean Gibson
Master the subject of boats and the inspirational setting of St Ives fishing harbour. Using pencil, line and wash learn tips and techniques to embrace this evocative subject matter with confidence.
Developing your Portraiture Painting
Mon 25 - Fri 29 Jan 2021 - 5 days
Gary Long + Hilary Jean Gibson
Taking inspiration from the likes of Lucian Freud and Stanley Spencer, work from a clothed model to understand the anatomy, tone and composition of the face in gouache and oils.
Lanyon's Landscape (3)
Wed 31 Dec 1969
Learn the secret of creating lively and contemporary landscapes inspired by Peter Lanyon. Sketch iconic locations around St Ives and create dynamic compositions using paint, mixed media and collage.
Unlocking Your Creativity
Fri 23 - Sun 25 Jul 2021 - 3 days
This transformational course gives you space to explore your personal approach to making art. Structured creative exercises will help silence those doubting gremlins, generate new ideas and reignite the artist in you.