Porthmeor Programme Online

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Course details

A six month online intensive, to develop you as an artist, enabling you to find and express your individual creative voice.

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.

This year 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 7 years, guiding over 100 students through our unique programme so far. We have used this experience to develop this online version so you can benefit from this powerful 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

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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. When the platform closes we will send you a PDF as a record of all its content.

You will also be eligible to join our long weekend studio sessions in St Ives exclusively for alumni who would like to touch base again and refresh. These sessions incorporate a practical workshop and individual tutorial sessions. After that we have several offers including artist retreats ranging from five days to a weekend.

How is the programme structured?

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

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.

Working in two groups of 6, your lead tutor will follow up each class on the Monday to maximise your learning.

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

You will have the benefit of two lead tutors who will each 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.

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, drawings and rituals. Her work brings together an interest in new networked technologies and ancient wisdoms, alchemy and calendar customs. 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 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 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 Monday following the workshop.

Your tutor will schedule monthly 1-1 tutorials on Saturday mornings at times to be agreed.

Spring Group 2023

6 January

Introduction session 3-5pm

7 – 8 January

The Alchemy of Creative Practice – Kate Southworth

4 – 5 February

Motivation Through Materials – Kitty Hillier

4 – 5 March

Dreams and Drives – Ilker Cinarel

1 – 2 April

Discovering Your Voice Through Nature – Greg Humphries

6 – 7 May

New Dimensions – Camilla Dixon

3 – 4 June

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

What our students say

I was introduced to so many new ideas in a very organised but inspiring way.

Sarah Fleming

Something new and special, this course helped me a lot to discover my own style.

Barbara Waldkirch

I learned so much about my art and myself, and how to think about my own art. This course was the most valuable and just what I had expected from the programme.

Barbara Waldkirch

Very relaxed, amazing to get all the feedback. Amazing to see the group getting feedback. Amazing to give feedback. I enjoyed the whole process.

Claire Fried

The last six months have been interesting, stimulating, surprising, challenging…..and all the other  fascinating ingredients of a successful alchemical journey! I’ve learnt loads…..thank you.



Online Live Broadcast

Do I need a webcam/any equipment.

For our webinar sessions which are broadcast on the internet 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.

I have registered for the webinar but I cant find my joining link

The link will be emailed to you at least 30 minutes before the session. Please check your junk mail and if you can’t find the email please contact info@schoolofpainting.co.uk and we will resend it. 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, can you send me the video?

Currently all our online sessions are recorded and the video recording will automatically be sent to all who booked on the session. You will have access to the course for up to six months from final broadcast date & a month for online life drawing webinars.

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.

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