Brian is a passionate and dedicated teacher. He puts his students first and strives to support their learning and personal creative journey. Brian is a teacher who believes in the inherent creativity within each and every student. His teaching experience and pedagogy knowledge enables him to inspire and enable students to develop their creative skills and techniques needed to progress towards realising their own creative ambitions.
His style is friendly, relaxed, supportive and generous.
He started ‘Creative Art Courses’ in 2010 after teaching adults for over 18 years on community-based workshops across the North West; and adult classes for Oldham Lifelong Learning, Salford, Bury Adult Education; and HND courses at Blackburn College.
Brian grew up in the shadow of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa and studied art at the Cape Technikon School of Art. In 1986 he qualified with a HND in Textile design and a second HND in Fine Art specialising in Drawing and Painting.
On arriving in the UK in 1986 he spent 10 years designing commercial textile and wallcoverings (Design gallery), for companies such as the UK and European market leaders of the time, Dorma; Lohnro Textiles; and other smaller companies.
His passion for working with people, rather than developing products, came to the fore in 1997 after painting one flower too many! Brian left commercial design and began teaching and working with communities across Greater Manchester on community and public art projects.
Alongside his role as lead-tutor for Creative Art Courses, Brian currently works part-time in a secondary school.
MA in Art (distinction)
Certificate in Education (Adult, further, higher)
QTLS (teaching qualification for secondary schools)
HND Fine Art (majoring in Drawing and painting)
HND Textile design (surface pattern)
Brigid’s background is in fine art and theatre design. In her early career she worked as a costume prop-maker in London and as a milliner at the Royal Opera House. Moving north with her family, she became a mural and paint effects artist in the 1990s, specialising in trompe l’oeil. Subsequently she taught part time at Stockport College for 19 years delivering life drawing as well as general art and design, textiles and contextual studies.
Alongside her teaching, Brigid creates her own artwork, mural and fine art commissions as well as millinery projects. She has a particular interest in natural form scrutinised and described through colour, shape and texture. Her subject matter generally involves the human form, but more recently she has been working on detailed studies of animals.
BA Hons Fine Art (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
Certificate in Theatre Design (Croydon College of Art)
Certificate in Education (UCLAN)
Sadly, Heather passed away in 2021. Heather’s Book ‘The Creative Eye’ and her enigmatic teaching of her life drawing course inspired me and continues to infuse my teaching, drawing, and thinking about the creative process every day. I last met Heather in Denmark to celebrate the launch of the 2nd edition of The Creative Eye alongside a retrospective of her drawings in March 2019.
Heather lived in Denmark and used to make annual reading and lecture tours to Canada. As a practising draughtsman and teacher she thought deeply about drawing and visual perception. Heather taught her life drawing course The Creative Eye in my Ancoats studio between 2011 and 2016, where we also also recorded some video interviews about her drawing and The Creative Eye.
Heather wrote a book on creativity, The Creative Eye, (Arcturus 2007). She also worked on a series of manuals of modelling and drawing the human head and on drawing the figure in motion.
Heather published 3 books of drawings:Drawn from the Fire (89) Massacre (90); and Line by Line (02). Drawings from the Newborn (86), The Panum Poems (96) andRequired Reading (00) contain both poems and full-page drawings. Her latest collection of poetry is I can still draw (08).
Specialising in drawing children, in particular premature and other threatened infants, she traveled widely and drew in hospitals in the Middle East, Europe and America.
“mastery of line and movement,”… “the sureness of her hand and the sympathy of her eye. She wrote poems in the same way.”
“very fluid lines that come out in words rather than in charcoal … an almost Zen quality to her attention and emotional rectitude.”
Heather Spears was a member of PEN, The League of Canadian Poets, The Writers’ Union of Canada, SF Canada, The Society of Authors, and Tegnernes Forbund (Danish Graphic Artist’s Federation).
The Spears archive is housed at the University of British Columbia in Vanouver and is available for use by researchers and others interested. Many of Heather Spears’s drawings have been purchased by the Welcome Trust. Many other images can be found in the Wellcome Library of images, and are available for reproduction /publication.