Brian is a passionate and dedicated teacher. He puts his students first and strives to support their learning and personal creative journey. He began ‘Creative Art Courses’ in 2010 after teaching adults for over 18 years on community-based workshops across the North West; adult classes for Oldham Lifelong Learning, Salford, Bury Adult Education; and HND courses at Blackburn College since 1997.
Unlike many artists who teach to support their arts practice – Brian is a teacher first and brings all his teaching knowledge and pedagogy to planning and delivering his courses. This understanding, knowledge and experience of how adults learn, progress and achieve lies at the heart of his structured learning courses.
His personal style is friendly, relaxed, supportive and generous.
Brian believes learning should be a wholesome experience, developing our practical skills, understanding, appreciation and love of art. He teaches in a very informal way with lots of 1:1 tuition that includes demonstrations, practical help and guidance. His step by step approach ensures no-one feels left behind. The studio atmosphere is relaxed and students progress at their own pace and are encouraged to develop in a personal direction.
Brian studied art at the Cape Technikon School of Art in Cape Town, South Africa where he grew up. In 1986 he qualified with a HND in Textile design and a second HND in Fine Art specialising in Drawing and Painting. He spent 10 years designing commercial textile and wallcoverings in the UK (Design gallery), before teaching and working with communities across Greater Manchester on community and public art projects.
In 2007 Brian took a career break and studied for an MA in Public Art for which he was awarded a distinction. Most recently he acquired his QTLS, enabling him to teach art within Secondary Schools. He works part-time in schools alongside his teaching for Creative Art Courses.
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 continued to create her own artwork over the years, and since leaving college in 2015, has been busy working on 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)
Paul is a professional illustrator and an associate artist at The Lowry Arts Centre and Turnpike Gallery. He has successfully led adult courses in 3D design, contemporary painting, landscape painting and life drawing for over 10 years years and has been awarded a Roots and Wings prize for engaging students with culture.
Paul works in the comics and illustration industries alongside delivering art workshops. Work with adults includes projects with Start Inspiring Minds, creative arts and well-being centre and 3-D modelling and graphic novel design workshops at HMP/YOI Styal together with life drawing, painting and contemporary art courses for The Lowry. He has also delivered corporate life classes for staff and clients of Boss Design Ltd and players from Manchester City Football Club.
His work teaching children includes successfully leading workshops with pupils from all educational Key Stages in a variety of drawing and painting techniques. Paul has delivered workshops for school groups and in the community, working with special needs students and excluded hard-to-reach groups. Projects have included the creation of animated films including designing and making sets and characters, murals, graphic novels and public artworks.
His love of drawing and design started with reading comics as a child and the influence of comic books continues to inspire his artwork today.
Art and Design Foundation Course Certificate
National Diploma in Art and Design
BA (Hons) in Illustration with Animation
Arts Award tutor at Bronze, Silver, Discover and Explore levels
Tracy has over twenty years experience within art and design, working in both education and as a self-employed illustrator. She continues to work within the publishing, advertising and editorial fields, using a wide range of media, primarily inks and watercolours and cut-paper, with the addition of digital applications. She began her career illustrating children’s publications and was nominated for the ‘Mother Goose Award’ for her BBC picture book ‘Owl’ and more recently she has returned to her love of fashion illustration, where her clients have included: Ann Inc, M&S, Starbucks, Christian Louboutin, Selfridges and Dior. This has resulted in working as a ‘live artist’ up and down the country, drawing portraits and fashion accessories for promotional events.
Tracy also worked as a lecturer in Stockport College for several years, teaching life drawing, image-making and print. Her career spanned over several levels from managing Level 2 Art & Design to specialising in drawing and printmaking for the BA Electives programme. Her main role was to introduce visual skills to a variety of creative courses; this included the delivery of both traditional and digital media within Graphics and Illustration. This role has slowly progressed into working with students with learning needs, both physical and mental health conditions and her current role in Buxton and Leek College.
In the last five years Tracy has also been involved in teaching creative workshops, concentrating on life drawing and visual skills in ‘the studios’ in Derbyshire. The aim has been to be create a course where the general public can relax and enjoy the art of drawing, using the human form as a primary source, experiencing various methods and materials and exploring their potential, and bringing a fresh interpretation and approach to the understanding of drawing.
BTEC HND Visual Communication (NEWI College of Art, Design & Technology)
BTEC ND General Art & Design/Foundation (NEWI College of Art, Design & Technology)
Certificate in Education (University of Central Lancashire)
Special Guest Tutor
Residing in Denmark, Heather Spears makes annual reading and lecture tours to Canada. As a practising draughtsman and teacher she has thought deeply about drawing and visual perception, and has written a book on creativity, The Creative Eye, (Arcturus 2007). She is preparing a series of manuals of modelling and drawing the human head and on drawing the figure in motion.
Heather has 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 travels widely and has drawn 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 writes 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 is 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 Heather 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.