Art + Creativity: Self-expression – Autumn 2022

“I feel that my way of being in relation to art has monumentally changed from my experience on this course.”

Hazel B

It was wonderful to be joined by 7 students on this Self-expression course – the final section of the year-long Art + Creativity course. Some students had completed the whole course in a single year while others did the course over 2 years with a break between each 10-week course. It was great to be able to work with the students to help pull all the ideas, skills, and techniques together in a final course and support them in becoming independent creative visual thinkers.

This 3rd course is very different to the first two and is a definite jump in learning and expectations. Saying this, I was hugely impressed at how all the students threw themselves into the learning challenges, creative projects and the group critiques that are a feature of this course. Some found taking a proactive role initially scary and challenging but in the supportive environment of the art studio everyone flourished and soon looked forward to sharing their ideas with the group each week.

Read further to find out what the students thought.

Student Comments

“Challenging and thought provoking. Feedback within the group was an unexpected bonus.

Sketchbook and practice have been the main learning points – helps with process and structure for me. [The course has helped me grow as an artist with] better understanding of the value of sketchbooks, greater confidence and more effective practice. [The projects were well planned] in a good order to develop ability and understanding – they will help with everything in the future. [The projects helped me] tackle different materials and techniques and researching and analysing other artists work was really helpful.

Overall a liberating and very helpful experience.”
Lesley C

“[The course provided] a safe place with just enough structure and freedom to move forward creatively. [I have learnt] how to develop ideas. The benefit of spending time exploring with the Art Elements and materials before making my [final] image. Sharing the same brief with others on the course and seeing how many different interpretations and techniques emerge [has helped me grow as an artist]. [The projects] were loose enough to allow individual interpretation but open enough to allow us to learn from the process. Looking at other students interpreted the project briefs and having the opportunity to talk about my ideas and images [helped me develop my self-expressive skills].”
Kathryn F

“The trilogy of courses (Drawing Skills, Material Techniques and finally the Self-expression course) have been a joy. The experience has proved to be incredibly developmental with regard to all the skills and techniques along with use of materials that are integral to expressing thoughts and ideas visually. I have learnt not to be afraid, to take chances, to experiment and express myself visually. This process has been most formative and valuable.

The whole [course] has been a delight. Working through the project briefs was a challenge that also helped to explore and push different ways of visual expression – each project offering different opportunities for development. Having deadlines provided the push to make sure the work was completed on time – good work discipline. [Making art within a group was] absolutely liberating! It’s always a huge pleasure to see the work of other students and hear what they have to say about it. It’s a wonderful learning opportunity.”
Sue M

“I have allowed myself to become obsessed with thinking about creating art… I feel that my way of being in relation to art has monumentally changed from my experience on this course. [I have learnt to] allow myself to experiment. Take risks. Develop ideas – especially in my sketchbook. The use of the latter I believe will especially help me improve. [My course highlight was] the Vessels project and just getting so absorbed in it all.

[The course] has helped me develop my confidence and skills. To think more expansively, to let the process develop over time. The projects were challenging and asked of me increasingly complex and thoughtful responses. [My creative confidence has grown] by doing and sharing.

[Working within a supportive group was] liberating as time went on. It was interesting to learn about their processes, ideas and techniques.”
Hazel B

“It’s an opportunity to learn how to go from idea to finished piece using sketchbooks for visual and creative thinking. I’ve learnt how to develop my ideas from a theme into either the beginnings of or create a final piece. [My course highlight was] being given a theme and the background artists to look at for inspiration.

[The first project] helped me understand the process. I loved the creative opportunity of [the second project] as it helped me consolidate the learning. [Sharing with a group was] very scary, mainly due to my own harsh critic while sometimes I felt deflated due to over-comparing myself.”
Robin M

“It’s a wonderful course that helps you develop ideas via sketchbooks to more established work. [The course helped me] be more confident in my thinking and sharing work and getting feedback [from students] has helped me develop and be more confident in my thought processes and ideas.

[The projects were] engaging and just at the right level and helped me build ideas up from the ground level. [The group sharing was] a bit scary initially as I didn’t think I had any concrete ideas or found it difficult to verbalise my ideas, but soon became very helpful. Thanks so much. Its been a great course – just what I have been needing.”
Sarah H

“A gathering of ideas from head to paper and into artwork. The process of going from an idea or theme and following steps to produce an artwork or outcome. [A course highlight] was working with a group and seeing what other people came up with and sharing of ideas and going through the processes together. It has helped me to do more sketchbook annotation. The process of going from learning the creative process during [the first] project to individual interpretations on subsequent projects helped me in talking about my projects and what I do.”
Jude S