Why did you choose Leith School of Art and the One Day Painting Course?
I got inspired by my friend who had attended a course with the School and really enthused about it. After having seen my friend’s work in an Exhibition, I decided to enrol on the One Day Painting Course. I have always wanted to be a part of a group of artists. Also, I wanted to learn how to paint in oil. I had never used oil paint before so I was slightly afraid of it, and I felt that I needed proper tuition, rather than just trying to teach myself.
What is special about this course?
I have loved going out sketching. It’s something I didn’t do on my own. Going out sketching, and being able to experience an environment along with the course members - that has been special. What I really like is that at the end of a day we can have a look at each other’s sketchbooks. Seeing how other people use theirs has inspired me and helped me to find my own way. I stopped using a pencil and I started experimenting with linseed oil and oil pastels.
Recently we had a lecture from an artist, Janet Melrose. It was really inspiring to listen to another artist talk about her experience and her work.
What is your best memory of the course so far?
I think it’s opening my eyes to the environment. Our tutor, Kittie, has really made it much more visually appealing. That has opened up my awareness.
What is your favourite project so far?
We went out sketching one day when it was raining. Lots of people thought that it wasn’t going to be a great day, but actually, it was really inspiring because when it’s wet the colours are more vibrant. Also, if it’s raining, it makes you work harder to finish quickly, because you know you only have a short while before your sketchbook gets soaking wet. I was really amazed at my results.
How did the course help you to develop as an artist?
It’s helped me in so many ways. First, it’s improved my confidence. When you are painting and drawing on your own, you can be hard on yourself and over-analytical. We were encouraged just to enjoy our work, to go out and feel the atmosphere, not worry about what we were trying to produce or what other people were going to think of it, to try something different and not stick to a specific idea. And that’s what I’ve very often done. I’ve just gone out, felt light and come to the course with an open mind.
What’s next for you?
I’ve applied for the Landscape Course at Leith School of Art. During this year on the One Day Painting Course I’ve developed so much - my sketches have really improved. That’s why I decided to move on to another course. I want to carry on making progress.