Banish the winter blues by exploring your creativity – Creative Courses & Workshops


pens&pencilsBanish the winter blues by exploring your creativity

I’d had a long, tiring day. It was a cold, dark winter’s afternoon. I was an hour’s drive from my home turf and I had to get back. I had an appointment to keep. My sanity depended upon it. With my face set in an expression of grim determination I set off.

An hour later, weary but with a warm sense of achievement I pulled up in the college car park. Glancing at my watch I grabbed my bag from the boot and ran into the building. Making my way through the deserted corridors I finally heard the hum of conversation as I reached the art department. I opened the studio door and was embraced by a warm glow – ah, I was just in time. The model still had her robe on. Breathing in the familiar dusty smell I picked my way between the other students, found a spare easel and settled down, charcoal in hand, to an absorbing evening of life drawing…

Such was the importance of getting my weekly creative fix. It was the one point of stillness in an otherwise stressful and unfulfilling working life. What I learned in those 3 hours every Wednesday evening altered my viewpoint as an artist and changed my life.

pens & pencils image courtesy of Lindfield Art Studio

Lindfield Art Studio – ‘the hub of all things arty’

As well as holiday clubs and art parties, throughout the year there is a wide range of art classes and workshops for both adults and children at Lindfield Art Studio. Contemporary art workshops and courses for adults include: Printing Techniques • Life Drawing • Mixed Media Art • Acrylic Painting • Pastels & Charcoal • Collage • Book & Paper Making • Clay & Mod Roc Sculpture • Crafts.

Each course is fun and aimed at developing your own individual creativity, whether you are a complete beginner, looking to broaden your art ability, learn new skill, or just meet new friends.

All your materials, equipment and inspiration are included together with tea, coffee and scrummy cake on the day/morning sessions, or a relaxing glass of wine on the evening sessions.

Visit or call 07738 288730.

Mary working on a lino print - Lindfield Art Studio

Mary working on a lino print – Lindfield Art Studio

Farncombe Courses

Farncombe Conference Centre_lo

Farncombe Conference Centre

New year is a great time to recharge your batteries. Take up a new hobby, or resurrect an old one: Farncombe Courses in the north Cotswolds has been staging weekend leisure courses for ten years, welcoming thousands of adult students to one of the most stunning settings in England.

Fully-inclusive, residential courses take place almost every weekend on the 400 acre Farncombe Estate near Broadway. Subjects range from art and history to music, photography and singing, such as ‘Sit Back & Sew – Enjoy the Piece!’ – a weekend of crafts and textiles (14th-16th March), or for anyone looking to get better results from their Digital SLR and ‘bridge’ cameras, there’s a weekend course on photographic techniques (11th-13th April).

“People love to get away for the weekend and meet like-minded friends,” says Farncombe Courses programme manager Mandy Morrison. “Our programme changes each year and we like to stay on trend: cupcake decorating courses are proving very popular!”

Other new courses for 2014 include Paper Cutting, a cheap and simple way to create beautiful, bespoke designs.

Day courses start at £75pp and weekend residential courses start at £275pp. For more details or to book your place visit or call 0333 456 8580.

Ways With Words


Ways with Words - Italy class

Ways with Words – Italy class

Ways With Words have a number of festivals and holiday courses planned for 2014. They all offer opportunities to discover more about the world around us and about ourselves.

Words by the Water Festival of Words & Ideas; Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, Cumbria; 7th – 16th March.

Ways With Words Writing & Photography Holiday Course; Fingals Hotel near Dittisham, Devon; 18th – 23rd May.

The Telegraph Ways With Words; Dartington Hall near Totnes in Devon; 4th – 14th July.

Ways With Words Art & Writing Holiday; Villa Pia in Umbria, Italy; 20th Sept – 4th Oct.

For all the information visit

 Emily Ball at Seawhite Studio

Emily Ball - painting in progress

Emily Ball – painting in progress

Emily Ball has been offering contemporary painting courses for 20 years. Based at the Seawhite Studio in Partridge Green, Emily and her colleagues specialise in teaching painting and drawing and attract students from all over the world. The artists who attend the courses range from 18 to 80, from absolute beginners to professional artists who exhibit their work on a regular basis.

The studio offers a range of courses, from one-day taster and inspiration days to short courses, master classes and year-long programmes. The ethos of the studio is one where artists are encouraged to be more adventurous with their work; to take risks and enjoy discovering unpredictable, exciting results.

As well as being an artist and tutor, Emily is also an acclaimed writer who has written several books. Her latest Book, ‘Emily Ball Painting’, beautifully documents her painting practice over the last 25 years. ‘Drawing and Painting People – A Fresh Approach’ reflects her teaching of contemporary painting and has been praised by leading critic and Turner Prize judge Matthew Collings: “It is very rare to find a ‘how-to’ book that is as clever, spontaneous and surprising and at the same time very, very wise and intelligent”.

The Seawhite Studio continues to grow and extend its reach with two residential courses taking place in the beautiful Algarve, Portugal in 2014. Artists can choose from five days painting or drawing. Everything is provided for you to make your stay as comfortable and productive as possible; food, accommodation and most materials. You can just arrive, make paintings and drawings for a week and leave invigorated and inspired.

You can see the stunning work that is produced by artists attending Emily Ball at Seawhite courses by visiting the Course Gallery website:

Visit the Seawhite Studio website to find out more about the courses – including our Portugal courses – offered by Emily Ball at Seawhite:

 Red Hot Press


Collagraph by Helen Harvey

Collagraph by Helen Harvey

Why not kick off 2014 with a printmaking course? Tucked away in central Southampton, Red Hot Press open access print workshop has nearly ten years’ experience of offering a huge range of courses for those interested in trying printmaking for the first time, or who want to take previously learned skills further.

Throughout the year we run a rolling programme of courses catering for all levels and techniques ranging from beginners’ level introduction courses to masterclasses in single techniques taught by nationally renowned artist/printmakers.

Many people who attend our courses move from beginner level to confident, independent practitioners who present and exhibit their work to a professional standard. We are particularly proud of our Foundation in Printmaking, a 30 week in-depth course designed to make you a better printmaker, which runs from September – April each year.
In the coming six months we have a huge choice of courses and there really is something for everyone. Techniques you can learn include etching, collagraph, drypoint, screenprint, linocut, monoprint, wood engraving, photo transfer, bookbinding, letterpress and photo etching to name but a few. We also have masterclasses in making handmade paper and making a handmade portfolio.

If you are not sure which is the best technique to start with, then our popular introduction courses are a great choice as they cover three different techniques and by moving onto a further printmaking course afterwards you can really get your teeth into the techniques.

For more information about our courses, the techniques we teach, workshop membership, our work in schools and all the other activities we do, visit or email (above: Collagraph by Helen Harvey)

Beach Girl - PC

Beach Girl – PC

 Strings for All

Hailing from the Grampian Highlands and now based in Eastbourne, Adam Phillips is a highly regarded violin, viola and Celtic fiddle tutor whose students come from all walks of life.

Adam has developed his own unique teaching method, which utilises the best of mindfulness and reflective techniques. Adam’s method raises students’ confidence and playing ability by greatly increasing their awareness. “It’s a person-centred approach with a strong emphasis on releasing tension and reinforcing an outstanding technique, all delivered in a kind and gentle manner,” said Adam.

In 2013, due to increasing demand, Adam launched the first Strings for All Workshops and Masterclasses in East Sussex. During the summer, Adam ran more than a dozen highly popular Strings for All Workshops in Eastbourne, attracting violinists and cellists from all over Sussex and Kent.

Adam added, “One of the drivers behind the workshops is mindfulness. It has been demonstrated in a number of UK conservatoires how incredibly effective mindfulness techniques can be when applied to instrumental playing. They can lower stage fright and vastly increase playing confidence.”

Please contact Adam at for Strings for All Workshops in Eastbourne and Lewes.

Strings for All

Strings for All

The Mill Studio near Arundel

There is always ‘something going on’ at the Mill Studio. It is the creation of Studio Director Piers Ottey, who studied painting at Chelsea School of Art in the 1970’s. Collections incorporating his work include Exxon UK, Bath University, Pallant House Gallery, Worthing Museum, Seaford College, Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, NHS Trust and many more. He was recently awarded the Bath University Oil Painting ‘Peoples Prize’.

Highlights of upcoming courses include:

Life Drawing and Painting Workshop; this is an untutored workshop concentrating on longer poses over several weeks.

Portrait Workshop – Saturday 1st March; students may paint a portrait head or full figure, suits beginners and experts alike. Lunch included.

Landscape Workshop – Saturday 22nd March; a unique time of year to explore English landscape. Lunch included.

Spring Landscape – 7th-10th April; based in the Downs, this course has run for over 20 years and is still as exciting as the first one. Book early. (Local B&B’s can be recommended for those from further afield.)

Call 01243 558880 or email for more details visit

Mill Studio, nr Arundel

Mill Studio, nr Arundel

Kiln fused designer glass classes at the Forge gallery, Worthing

Having spent sixteen years running a glass workshop in both Herefordshire and Hampshire, Siobhan Jones and her partner Danny have relocated and opened The Forge Gallery & luxury studios in Worthing with a fresh and innovative outlook.

At the gallery Siobhan offers monthly ‘no experience necessary’ training workshops to enthusiastic individuals wishing to gain an insight into the world of kiln fused designer glass. Limited to just six spaces per course, anyone attending will receive one-to-one attention from Siobhan herself. Gift vouchers for the course are also available to purchase for this unique experience. The classes are ‘hands on’ workshops, the students actually cutting the glass and Siobhan tells me that some students have come back many times to enjoy the courses. “It’s a jolly day out and the students zone out and concentrate their creativity which is very therapeutic; they become absorbed in their work to the exclusion of any problems and worries. Working with glass is new to them usually, it’s a different experience to working with such things as pottery. They create a piece of work and later it’s fired, fusing the glass, and their work undergoes a dramatic change during that process and they collect it about ten days later. We also provide a mounting service if it’s required.”

Further information about the Introduction to ‘Kiln Fused Glass’ courses by Siobhan Jones can be found at If you are interested please call 01903 216425 or email

Siobhan cutting in the Designer Glass studio, The Forge Gallery

Siobhan cutting in the Designer Glass studio, The Forge Gallery

Skyblue Art Classes

Founded eight years ago in the Worthing and Angmering area of West Sussex by fine artist Jane Denman, Skyblue runs a range of art classes, from six-week evening Watercolour courses to Drop-in classes, Saturday Painting workshops and in the summer Art Weekends in the beautiful South Downs area of Arundel. “Very often people come along who have never drawn since they were at school and have always wanted to see whether or not they can draw and paint, this is such a good opportunity to learn and there is plenty that can be shown and taught with drawing and painting,” says Jane.

Beginners are very welcome as are those with a little more experience, perhaps getting a bit stuck for ideas what to do next or want some tuition in certain areas, joining a class provides support and encouragement. “I love seeing people create and have fun with art, we put all of the results on the Skyblue website to share with friends and family.”

Last Christmas Skyblue Art Classes ended off a super creative year in style. “We always celebrate by going out for a Christmas meal as a group, it is a great social get-together.”

For 2014 they have a new Wednesday afternoon Drawing and Painting course ready to tempt you into creativity. January kick-started the year, introducing essential drawing and painting techniques with even a few materials thrown in for you to try. Suitable for all levels, this structured course will help you get up and running with drawing and painting.

Visit for full details along with their super artwork, or contact Jane 01903 856999.

Liquid Acrylics, by Christine Davies

Liquid Acrylics, by Christine Davies

 The Jewellery Workshop in Lindfield

Debbie Smith is a qualified jewellery maker and designer, specialising in silver. She has many years of experience working within the industry and has now opened up her workshop for the benefit of students who wish to learn the techniques or improve on existing skills.

Small classes of up to five students allow personal coaching and ensure that all necessary safety measures and equipment used are learnt at an early stage. Everyone has their own individual workbench and all tools are provided.

Six Week Beginners Courses initially run as a set programme to introduce the student to basic skills, and the opportunity to make some specific pieces of jewellery. Students then progress to the Improver Course where they are encouraged to use their skills under expert tuition to produce individual pieces from their own designs.

One day courses are also available throughout the year as ‘taster’ days. Lunch is provided and all tools, materials and tuition are included.

Please email for dates or call 01444 483138. Beginners, Improvers and Advanced classes available.

Debbie Smith, Jewellery Workshop

Debbie Smith, Jewellery Workshop

Catalyst Arts in full swing

Now entering its fifth year, Catalyst Arts has swung into a full programme of Visual Arts workshops for 2014. A team of practicing artists and experienced tutors are encouraging students of all levels of experience to sign up for workshops in mixed media, pastel and gouache, soft pastel, acrylic, watercolour technique, portraiture, drawing the moving figure.

In preparation for Catalyst Arts Eastbourne Festival programme, a variety of Taster Workshops have been specially arranged to give interested people an opportunity to ‘try out’ before signing up for a course in any specific subject.

Throughout the coming year a wide variety of additional workshops, many as one-offs will provide opportunity for people to engage with the visual arts at very affordable prices.

Catalyst Arts is committed to encouraging learning from traditional as well as innovative approaches to art. Each student is encouraged to develop their own response to each subject and with the help of the tutor produce a body of work which carries the mark of their personal signature.

A constantly updated list of details of all workshops is viewable on the Catalyst Arts website, and you can book your place online or by telephone 01323 737839. Workshops are currently held in St.Elizabeth’s Centre in Victoria Drive, Eastbourne BN20 8QX.

workshop in progress, Catalyst Arts

workshop in progress, Catalyst Arts

Art at the Barn Adult Workshops, near Andover

Set in beautiful Hampshire countryside with far reaching views, Art At The Barn Adult Workshops runs a stimulating and vibrant programme of art courses/workshops for all abilities in every medium, including oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel, charcoal and pen. Sculpture and digital photography courses are also included alongside more general subjects such as wine appreciation and interior design. History of Art Lectures, some tailored to national exhibitions, are also popular and regular features of the programme.

The tutors that we have engaged are professional artists and experienced teachers. The courses are tailored to ensure that students will gain confidence and experience in a relaxed and non-competitive environment. We ensure that the classes are small so that tutors can get the best out of students of all abilities.

quiddity pic

Bourne to Write

At the weekly Bourne to Write creative writing workshops in Eastbourne and Lewes you can learn how to nurture your imagination while making new friends in a creative environment. Led by professional writer and columnist Roddy Phillips, the highly popular workshops are ideal for writers of all abilities and English language students.

The workshops offer a range of strategies to help you develop as a writer and members are encouraged to explore their creative writing potential through increased awareness and self-discovery.

A wide range of genres is covered, including: fiction, poetry, drama, journalism and life writing. There are timed exercises and participants are given relevant homework each week and receive appropriate and constructive feedback.

In 2014 Bourne to Write will be part of the Eastbourne Arts Festival. A reading event open to the public is planned along with the publication of the workshops’ first book featuring the work of over twenty writers. In February workshops will also be starting in Seaford and Bexhill.

You can read some of the workshop writers’ work on If you are interested in exploring your creative writing potential call Roddy on 07758 367479 or you can email him at

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