Moorhouse Art @ The Mill
‘Being creative is an ongoing way of being. It doesn’t start when we walk into a studio and it doesn’t stop when we leave.’
The Mill Studio in Arundel has been a hotbed of creativity for many years, with renowned artist and tutor Piers Ottey running art classes there since 1984. He has now decided to focus purely on his own painting and has passed the reins to Karin Moorhouse, herself an artist and tutor of some note.
Karin is understandably very excited to be initiating this brand new phase at The Mill (covid 19-secure, naturally). So we caught up with Karin amid the whirlwind of activity and quizzed her about it.
On the subject of The Mill, you said there were “big changes round here and I am now one of them!” What is your goal for ‘Moorhouse Art @ The Mill’?
My immediate goal is to uphold the long time respected profile of The Mill, which under Piers Ottey’s wonderful guidance has held such a good reputation. Our teaching methods are very different but in essence we share the same sense of passion about the subject and integrity about its application. To this end I have opened with a few of the long running drawing and painting courses, while looking further ahead I will be introducing printmaking courses. For these classes I will concentrate on monotype printing and dry point engraving. I have chosen to go with these two methods as they are so flexible and fluid. Also as neither of these methods demands the use of acid there will be no necessity to find another space in which to operate safely. It can all take place under one roof.
What excites you most about this new venture?
One of the main aspects of this move for me is that I now have a dedicated teaching studio, while next door I have my personal studio. I have taught for many years and gained my teaching qualification a long time ago and now for the first time since moving down to West Sussex I have everything in one place… and what a place it is! The studios are round an enclosed courtyard which is beautifully landscaped and full of interesting plant shapes and a gold fish pond to boot, so there is plenty of inspiration all around. There is also a rather good coffee place just down the road!
What can students, either regulars or new, expect when they come along to The Mill?
Hopefully they can expect and will get the same standard of dedicated one to one teaching but with the bonus of learning in a group dynamic. To my mind working in a group is so important for many creatives, as more often than not we work in our own bubbles and it is easy for one to feel isolated. Joining a class here will feed everyone – students and teacher alike. It is a place where theories, ideas, artists and just about anything creative (and sometimes not!) is talked about and explored. As the weeks unfold and everyone settles into their groups I will set a weekly subject for discussion – talk about your (current) favourite… artists/ colour/ make of paint/ gallery etc etc to encourage group engagement and discussion. I will also, when and if we are permitted to given the current global health situation and way we are all living, plan the occasional ‘Day Out’ which will take the form of gallery visits and open places to paint en plein air when the weather allows. I will also be holding exhibitions/talks from various art involved people and offer weekend and holiday workshops, sometimes with invited guest painters and printmakers, and am also working with a local venue to run residential courses… so not much really!
Do you find that teaching informs or influences your own work?
Absolutely. I have always been of the mind that teaching is a circular thing and as the lovely book of the same name tells us – to “Steal Like an Artist”. In essence I believe we are influenced by everything; our surroundings, the people who inhabit them, current social political and creative flavours. Being creative is an ongoing way of being. It doesn’t start when we walk into a studio and it doesn’t stop when we leave. Inspiration and influences seep into us all the time.
Full details and booking information for all the courses are available on the website, where you can also sign up for the newsletter. Booking is essential for certain classes due to current health situation restrictions. Visit www.moorhouse-art.com for further information and booking details.