What to expect in Observation to Abstraction workshops

  • Workshop-style classes, and opportunity to focus on your painting in like-minded company.

  • You book a term at a time. A term consists of three one-day workshops, about a month apart with homework in between. Term 1 runs each autumn. Term 2 runs early in the year up to Easter. Each term can be booked separately.

  • You join a group for the term that runs on the same day of the week. Each workshop is repeated for all the different groups.

  • Now in its tenth year (2018-19 season), Observation to Abstraction addresses a new subject each year. Each annual theme uses observational work as a foundation for loosening up, experimentation, and degrees of abstraction.

  • The course title provides a starting point and a focus for experiments and direction of development. But students work in a wide variety of styles from realistic (figurative), through loosened up/relaxed interpretations of the subject to the wholly abstract. There is no pressure to work in a particular style or to imitate Ella’s work or that of any other artist.

  • The subject matter varies, between still life and students’ own drawings and preparatory work.

  • A mixture of imaginative guided exercises, and more independent work, practicing and developing the theme.

  • All materials are included, so you don't have to remember what to bring. However, you do bring your own apron, lunch, and rags/paper towels.

  • All levels are welcome, from beginners and rusty returners to experienced painters. Hhowever, Faster Friday groups are only for experienced painters already familiar with Ella’s approach and methods.

  • 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.

  • Constructive and generous feedback and dialogue, tailored to your aims and experience.

  • Input about working through the highs and lows of developing a coherent body of work and taking your work to the next level, wherever you’re starting from.

  • Tutor with over nineteen 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 want to copy photographs, tutor demonstrations or a well-known artist, or who are uninterested in the connections between drawing (in the widest sense) and painting.

  • Taster days: you can sometimes take a single, one-off workshop if there's a spare seat left somewhere. Taster days can be arranged from September onwards for Term 1 and from January onwards for Term 2.

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