Is online tuition for you, or are you strictly hands on? Judge for yourself at our Complimentary Studio Talk Lesson.
Link and Password at the end of this Article.
In the fast moving world of contemporary visual art, painters are accused of many things - but from the most avid modern painter to the most ardent of anti painting conceptual artist we all agree on one thing : We oil painters, do tradition.
Oil painting is redolent with it: imprimatura, camieau, ebauche, velatura, gesso... there's no getting away from it; painting is a seriously old skill.
So when my students, who love to be steeped in this tradition of painting, tell me that they really don't think that digital sketching, online tuition or Facebook critique groups are for them, I get it, I really do.
However, things have changed, and while we can always argue that change is the only constant, it's hard to ignore that things have changed a little too much, a lot too often and often too fast, for everybody this year.
At the start of 2020 for instance, we had three full Diploma groups ready to paint like mad in our Norfolk studios, plus a full calendar of our long established hands on studio workshops.
Then.... nothing. No classes, no hands on tuition, no date for resumption. Even my scheduled painting shows were put on ice.
But, while we had no classes, we did have a plan B.
We know that in painting the transmission of enthusiasm, the demonstration of skills and the passing on of inspirational ideas, are at least as important as any hands on teaching. So, we got very digital, very quickly , and were able to start online tuition as the lockdown fell into place.
We never kidded ourselves that Digital teaching was the same as face to face tuition, but we would never have done it, if we thought it wasn't just as good in some ways, or even better in others, than physical tuition.
Take watch on demand for instance. You'll look in vain for any of the thousands of studio based lessons we taught between 2007 and 2020.
At the School you got our full attention, and lots of tuition, when you were there - but once you got in your car, you had your memories a few prints and notes.
Now online students routinely get to watch and rewatch - and rewatch their lesson for 7 days after it ends. Our students tell us passionately that on demand tuition has been a game changer for them.
If they don't get it the first time around, they can get it the second, third or fiftieth...Our students tell us that online tuition has improved their outcomes incredibly, if only because they can watch it again and again as they paint. No need to work faster than you would like, catch up if you can, or hang around to ask questions if you don't get it. On demand will change your learning experience, its as simple as that.
Then there's community.
We've always recognised that sharing images and vocalising ideas is a learning multiplier, so with our online learning community firmly based on Facebook, it's become incredibly easy for students to keep in touch with us and each other.
Each week we host a live facebook StudioTalk demonstration, which has enabled students to become part of an inspirational art community each and every week. As much as we think our studio cafe is a great place to hang out; it could never provide the 24/7 global connectivity which our site does.
Now I don't want you to get the impression that we're jumping ship, leaving our studios and abandoning hands on teaching for the world of the internet. Far from it. In fact we have a full calendar of events resuming in our COVID secure studios from September.
However, we would very much like you to have the best learning experience you can with us, and we honestly think that while Digital can't do everything our studio courses offer, it brings a lot of things which face to face courses can't give you.
So we have a plan. We'd like you, love you in fact to do both, so you get the benefits of both.
Take face to face workshops for the things you feel that you simply have to do in person, but back them up with online sessions for the things you can't get in real time, such as watching the session again and again as you paint.
To make this possible, our online tuition starts at just £2.50 per week for a full year of community feedback, 50 inspirational on demand demonstrations, and all of the resources you need to take part - all for less than stopping off for a coffee on the drive to a workshop.
See for Yourself
We've seen the benefits of incremental online tuition, and hear each and every week from our students about it, but we understand that in such a traditional world as painting, going online can seem like a big step. So in conjunction with our friends at The Artist and at Leisure Painter we're putting a free on demand video online so you can see if its for you.
There's no cost, and no strings - just what you'd expect from a company which provided free community art broadcasts to adults and children for the first three months of lockdown. We might not always do tradition - but we will always do the right thing for your tuition.
If you enjoy the video then please check out our free Facebook site, where you can share your work and get a feel for our community. If its not for you, then enjoy the painting and check out our hands on workshops. They are starting again from September, and thanks to our large premises we are COVID secure; well at least under current guidelines: Now there's another reason to try online!