Tony O'Malley

Postcards from St Ives - Tony O'Malley - Between Sound + Silence

Drawing / Mixed Media / Landscape

Book Selected Date

Course details

Join us for this St Patrick’s Day special and get inspired by St Ives painter Tony O’Malley’s intuitive and playful approach to capturing the Cornish landscape.

Take inspiration from O’Malley’s approach and create transcriptions inspired by his approach. Let artist Hilary Jean Gibson guide you through O’Malley and his peers’ work to inspire your own panoramic abstractions of Porthmeor Beach.  

This new series of online classes, ‘Postcards from …’ will use the places in and around St Ives that inspired an international roster of artists including Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, Bryan Wynter and Patrick Heron.  

Focusing in particular on sites which captured these artists’ imagination, Postcards from… will take you on a creative journey to the famous spots around St Ives including its harbour, Porthmeor Beach and its cobbled, winding streets, lined with stone fishermen’s houses. Using films of these familiar landscapes, led by one of our experienced tutors, this series will transport you to these inspiring St Ives locations, wherever you are in the world. 

Born in Ireland, artist Tony O’Malley held a long connection with the landscape and people of St Ives.  O’Malley lived and worked in St Ives for 30 years and was influenced by his artist friends there: Lanyon, Heron and Wynter. Self-taught, O’Malley spent most of his life working as a bank clerk but kept a daily practice and kept visual diaries. Of becoming a full-time painter later in life, he said:

‘I have no time for people who mess about doing nothing when it suits them… There’s so much to do. If I run out of canvas, I just paint over something I’ve already done. I’m an old man, and started painting late. I don’t want to waste any time.’ 

Grounded in nature and history, he worked intuitively, painting on everything from scraps of recycled paper and canvas to fragments of wood and slate. After marrying Jane Harris, who had connections with the Bahamas, he divided his time between the two places, eventually returning to Ireland for the last part of his life.  

Following from O’Malley’s exciting approach to art and practice, join Hilary live from our studio above Porthmeor Beach where Hilary will paint both from O’Malley’s paintings and from a live-streamed video of the beach. Hilary will use waterbased materials for her mixed media pieces, but following O’Malley’s anything-goes-attitude, you can use whichever medium you like!

What will I learn?

  1. Delve into the processes and techniques of Tony O’Malley, an exciting St Ives artist from the 1960s.
  2. Enjoy working more intuitively through following O’Malley’s urgent and playful technique..
  3. Learn new ways of capturing the landscape around you, wherever you are in the world!

Who would this course suit?

Beginners and those with more experience are both welcome to join. If you are looking to learn new ways to expand your drawing and painting practice, or just inspiration by looking to other artists, this course is for you.

How does an online session work?

We will send you a link the day before the session so you can join in live.

You will be working from the same recorded video as Hilary so you will see both Hilary at work and the video on screen

You can put questions to the tutor using the online chat function. We record the sessions so you can watch on demand, as often as you like, for up to 6 months after. You will also be invited to join our Facebook Alumni group so you can share your discoveries with fellow students from around the world.

Please note as this is a live broadcast from time to time there will be technical challenges that are beyond our control. When this happens we may have to delay the start while we resolve them. We kindly suggest you enjoy the recordings instead of attending the live session if this might not suit your plans.

Share your work live with others on social media using the #schoolofpainting

Postcards from St Ives – Tony O’Malley – Between Sound and Silence

Drawing / Mixed Media / Landscape

Book Selected Date

Taught by

In 1995 I became a tutor at the St Ives School of Painting. Offering inspiration through my passion for drawing, water-based media and art history, I strive to liberate a creative vision by teaching skills and techniques through direct observation and en plein air.

What to Bring

We will email you a full guide on setting up ready for the course covering equipment and materials when you book. Hilary will use gouache paint, but acrylic will work in a similar way. You will also need cartridge paper or watercolour paper, at least two A3 sheets.

You will need access to the internet and either a Smart TV, PC or laptop or a tablet with audio. Phones are not really suitable however cast your phone to a Smart TV.

Timings and Breaks

Live broadcast: 4.30pm-6.00pm, Thursday 17th March.

During the session please pose questions to the artist using the chat function.

We will be sending you a recording of the sessions so you can revisit as often as you like for up to 6 months after broadcast.


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 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

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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