Porthmeor Programme Online (2024)

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Course details

A six month online intensive, with 1-1 tutorials and small group creative sessions to develop you as an artist.

The Porthmeor Programme Online is a unique opportunity to find and develop your individual creative voice over the course of 6 months. Making is at the heart of it. We combine professional guidance and support from 1-1 tutorials with our lead artists, with practical making workshops led by guest artists.

We will take just 12 students on our online programme and this small group size means a generous amount of tutor time alongside a close, supportive peer group.

Many students go on to exhibit together and establish valuable long term networks. This online version has evolved from our face to face model and without the need to travel to St Ives every month, widens the opportunity. We have run face to face version now for 8 years, guiding over 150 students through our unique programme so far. We have used this experience to develop this online version so you can benefit from this powerful and motivating programme from your own home.

The process will take you on a journey over the 6 months with the primary purpose of expanding your personal practice. Running through the programme is the development of your critical voice through personal projects, one to ones and group crits.

You will learn to develop key ‘creative muscles’: risk taking and experimentation alongside the art of translation and interpretation.

What skills will I learn?

The sessions are varied, and most people will come across a new technique or nugget of information they will find valuable. However, the primary focus is not on developing your painting skills in these sessions. It is about discovery, taking risks and gaining insights.

We design the sessions to limber up your creative practice, to energize and to build the critical voice you need as an artist. We are happy to advise you on our shorter courses online and face to face that offer a range of practical skills development.

To help you supplement the Programme with practical learning we offer a 15% discount on all our online sessions for the duration of the programme.

Who would this course suit?

This will suit both early stage artists and those with more experience who are looking to challenge and stimulate their practice. We believe that developing a strong practice is where you start.

The focus is not on the secrets of getting gallery representation or making a living as artist or even how to improve your painting technique. It is about helping you become the artist you want to be. This is the first most critical and exciting step and this is what we can help you with.

Porthmeor Programme Online (2024)

Book Selected Date

Payment Option

Instalment plan possible, enquire at [email protected]

What to Bring

You will be given a full materials list in advance of each workshop and your lead tutor can offer advice on materials for your own developing practice.

How much contact time is there with the tutors?

Every month there will be a weekend workshop, a small group follow on discussion and you will have a personal 1 to 1 tutorial.

We will also have an online platform for your group to discuss and share work on, offering peer support and encouragement. Your tutor will also interact between sessions here providing ongoing feedback and support.

What happens when the programme ends?

You will retain access to your group platform for 6 months after the programme ends including all the recordings of your live sessions.

There is the opportunity to come on an artist retreat in St. Ives ranging from five days to a weekend, for those who would like to touch base again and refresh. These sessions incorporate practical workshops and individual tutorial sessions.

How is the programme structured?

Over 6 months, you will enjoy a mix of individual tutorials and guidance from our lead tutors Kate Southworth and Greg Humphries, accompanied by a structured and varied creative programme taught by both lead and guest artists.

Each lead tutor will give you a distinct perspective on your work. They will run the sessions together at the start and close, with Kate Southworth taking the first half of the programme, followed by Greg Humphries.

Live classes run monthly, via Zoom on Saturday and Sunday mornings with you working independently in the afternoons, gaining feedback at the end of the day.

Your lead tutor will follow up each class on the following Thursday, to maximise your learning.

In addition, you will receive a 45 minute 1 to 1 tutorial on a Saturday morning between every session.

Taught by


View Greg’s Work

I try to connect people to their environment with my art. I started out as a landscape painter, but it was only through undertaking a masters degree in 2009 that I realised the best way to connect people to their environment was to take them into that environment and get them to make the art! This is now the core of my practice and through my work I specialise in outdoor education and woodland management.


View Kate’s Work

Kate Southworth makes paintings, spells and rituals. Her work explores calendrical and alchemical transformation. In addition to solo and two-person shows, her work has appeared in more than 35 group exhibitions including Craftivism at Arnolfini, Bristol.

Timings and Breaks

The week before the course starts (5th January 1pm-2pm), there will be a technical session with our digital administrator to make sure you are comfortable with the technology and everything is working correctly.

Live broadcast workshops will run on Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 1pm.

Your first weekend will start on Friday 12th January 3-5pm with an introductory session. A chance for you to meet your tutors and fellow students.

You will be expected to work independently in the afternoon and upload your work and comments to our online platform for feedback and discussion.

Follow up short discussions will take place in two groups on the Thursday following the workshop.

Your tutor will schedule monthly 1-1 tutorials on Saturday mornings at times to be agreed. (On some occasions, the 1-1 tutorials may require to take place on a weekday morning.)

Spring Group 2024

12 January

Introduction session 3-5pm

13 – 14 January

Harnessing Chance in Painting – Kate Southworth

10 – 11 February

Motivation Through Materials – Kitty Hillier

9 – 10 March

Dreams and Drives – Ilker Cinarel

6 – 7 April

Discovering Your Voice Through Nature – Greg Humphries

11 – 12 May

New Dimensions – Camilla Dixon

8 – 9 June

Next steps for Your Creative Practice – Greg Humphries & Kate Southworth


Online Broadcast

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

Do I need a webcam/any equipment?

For our webinar sessions which are broadcast on the internet and no webcam or microphone is needed as you just need to be able to see/hear hosts and you can communicate using the chat function. You can watch using a PC, Smart TV or tablet. A phone isn’t ideal as you will struggle to see enough unless you can miracast to a screen or smart TV.

For the longer online courses on Zoom you will need a laptop or tablet with audio and camera enabled so you can have a screen near where you are working. If you have a PC without camera or speakers, you can purchase a plug and play webcam for approx £25 which connects to a usb port. You will also need reasonable broadband connection and speed.

All the art materials and equipment needed to participate in the course will be listed in full on the online learning platform, for live webinars this will be a minimum of two weeks before the session starts.

I have registered for the webinar but I can't find my joining link

You can access all the resources and joining link for your webinar via our online learning platform. You will need to have set up an account on our online learning platform in advance. You can do this during the checkout process when purchasing your webinar. If you are having trouble accessing your online account, please contact [email protected]. You can use a PC or tablet or even cast from your phone to watch on your Smart TV.

I paid for the session but missed it, how can I watch?

Currently all our online sessions are recorded and you can access the recording on our online learning platform until it expires. Usually 60 days for a webinar, 90 – 180 days for multipart webinars or online courses.

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.

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