Why did you choose Leith School of Art and the Figure Drawing and Painting Course?
I’d already done one course a couple of years ago and I thought that the whole calibre of the School, the course and the tutors is extremely high, which is why I was attracted. I did a weekend Figurative Course with Alan McGowan who is a tutor on this course. I really like his work and him as a painter, I had seen it before and I thought that he was also a good tutor. The combination of all these things were so appealing that I decided to get back to Leith School of Art, despite the fact that I live in Cumbria, which is a long way to travel.
What is special about this course?
I think it’s the focus on figurative work and all the completely different approaches to it. I like the fact that Alan encourages us to find our own way within the remit of the course. Although the course is basically figurative, there are many different ways of expressing the figure, which makes it so interesting.
What is your best memory of the course so far?
For me, the best moment was putting into practice something that I had in my head. I’ve been trying different things out for a little while, using a similar medium like oil but a completely different ground like paper, which is what the tutor does for some of his work. Expressing myself in a way that I’ve developed and seeing the outcome was incredibly exciting.
What are you working on now?
I have developed a passion for sketching un-posed people in various places like airports, queues or souk in Morocco just last week. I really enjoy doing this, it’s something different than painting I’m doing on the course. I am really enjoying the combination of the live sketches and paintings, that’s something I’m moving towards.
How did the course help you to develop as an artist?
It provides me with lots of different ideas, I get to hear about contemporary and established artists that I would never have heard about otherwise and I can see their work. What also helps to develop is having the backup of experienced tutors like Alan McGowan and Brigid Collins, who both contribute very different things to each student and who are able to follow our particular line of development.
What’s next for you?
I want to continue developing the work that I’m doing and I’ve got an exhibition that’s happening in Cumbria in August. I think I may come back to Leith for a short while to take part in a mentoring scheme or something similar.