Galleries - March 2014

This was 20 years ago. I had no idea these classes would inspire a magical and arduous journey towards painting as a way of life. My understanding of the complex language of art grew under the generous encouragement of many patient teachers. As my skills expanded a whole new world was revealed to me – one with which I felt a deep affinity. My imagination stimulated, I developed my own artistic voice. Later I shared life drawing master classes at the Slade with more experienced artists, where long poses were held by the model each day for a month, to develop in-depth observation skills. This opportunity to meet and work with other artists, viewing their individual approaches, and sharing ideas was also very encouraging, and enhanced my self-confidence and desire to experiment for myself. Courses I have taken over 20 years include painting at City Lit, Morley College and the Cass, life drawing at the Slade and Camden Arts Centre, etching at City & Guilds and screenprinting at the London Print Studio. I cannot thank enough those dedicated teachers who allowed me to build up my own artistic vision. Courses will not make you an artist, but they will put you on the road. You have to travel it, as I have travelled it, with delight. Rosemary Clunie Rosemary is a painter both lodestars for me. “If you can teach, you can teach under a tree in the park” one mentor pointed out. And then another seasoned tutor who pictured the Slade corridors in the 60s with tutors politely deferring at doorways, on who may best enter the studio first. Once, the NatWest Tower was the new jewel on the skyline. Now, amid the vaults and pinnacles of the city it can still be the most modest of articles, something that becomes a subject to draw – the security guard ensconced in solitude, the Hamlet figure or ‘Alan B’stard’ type reclaiming St Paul’s for a shindig after the protesters’ encampment has been hosed down . . . Daniel Miller Daniel teaches at the Prince’s School of Traditional Art The Student As an artist, I feel that learning new skills and encountering new ideas is not a luxury but a necessity. Studying a variety of art courses over the years has strengthened my line drawing and composition. At my first life drawing class, I was nervous. The gap between what I wanted to do and what I could do was too wide. I learned from the teacher to encapsulate rapidly a general impression of the figure through quick poses. The concept of negative space was a revelation. 8 GALLERIES MARCH 2014 The Tutor Alongside the many longer professional courses being offered in art education, there has always been a whole range of short courses, conducted out of house and managed within the amenities of public spaces that have proved attractive to the autodidact, the teacher or the artist who still feels the need to learn. The Prince’s School, for example, offers a variety of such expeditions and group opportunities to its Public Programme and Drawing year students who have become accustomed to the customary hoops and theories of art school life. To join any of them is to become part of a random crew that may have no more in common than an interest in modern buildings or some notion of an extraordinary neighbourhood. It is a way, also, to be part of an art group which allows you to influence the aims and paths of the expeditions themselves. Getting started on a drawing in the street is something of a leveller too – whether you see yourself as a free pirate or in the navy becomes a background matter as you sense the proximity of the deep sea. Is there a way in which weather- dependent art courses are able to sharpen the aspirations of so many drawing pilgrims? I recall two contrasting anecdotes here, BACK TO SCHOOL Art courses for all – the Galleries guide