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To join the annual Observation to Abstraction series in my Headington (Oxford) studio, you book a set of three intensive workshops, a month apart, with homework in between to consolidate learning. There are two terms: three autumn workshops and another three after Christmas between January and March.

Now in its tenth year (2018-19 season), Observation to Abstraction addresses a different subject each year. I never repeat, but each new theme always relates to observational work as the foundation of abstraction. Each of the six workshops offers a different approach to the main theme, for eight different groups (max. five people).

Observation to Abstraction is not just about watercolour, though that is the main teaching medium. It's not just about still life, though that is one of the subjects over the winter months. Participants are free to bring in drawings of other subjects to work from in class.

The course is suitable for painters of all levels, from beginners, rusty returners and experienced artists, who are open to experimenting with new approaches, and who enjoy working in between sessions, knowing that it takes practice to make progress and develop a voice. However, the 'Faster Fridays' are geared for experienced painters who know my approach and can work rapidly without re-iterations of the basics, and Fridays are not suitable for beginners.

Over time, the course articulates many fundamental elements of painting and drawing, traditional and contemporary, which are applicable to any medium and subject. It helps many painters take their work to the next level, wherever they're starting from.

Workshops run 10am to 4pm in a light, warm, private studio in York Avenue, Headington, Oxford, with all materials, equipment and refreshments included, and easy parking right outside.

To hear about future courses, please join the mailing list and tick the box for Headington classes.

Taster days: you can sometimes take a single workshop if there's a spare seat left somewhere. Taster days are only available from September onwards for Term 1 and from January onwards for Term 2. Contact me if interested.

Observation to Abstraction offers:

  • Workshop-style classes, and opportunity to focus on your painting in like-minded company, away from everyday distractions.
  • Professional artist-tutor encouraging you in observational work, loosening up, experimentation, abstraction and developing your own style. 
  • All materials are included in every class, so you don't have to remember what to bring.
  • All levels are welcome, from beginners and rusty returners to experienced painters.
  • A mixture of imaginative exercises, and more independent work.
  • Constructive feedback and dialogue, tailored to your aims and experience.
  • Input about working through the highs and lows of developing a coherent body of work.
  • Tutor with over eighteen years' teaching experience, including as Visiting Lecturer in Life Drawing at Winchester School of Art in 2011.
  • The course isn't suitable for people who just want to copy photographs, tutor demonstrations, or a well-known artist, or who are uninterested in the conenctions between drawing (in the widest sense) and painting.