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  • Writer's pictureKate Moores

Short Courses, why I love them!

Yesterday I attended a one day course on collage techniques, by the quietly subversive and hugely talented Josie Beszant!

Mother Nature - a collage piece about the climate crisis.

I do love a short course. I do a lot of them these days. In fact, I was brought up on the benefit of a short course! My mother, a textile artist, would often go on a one day course, or even escape on a week long summer school, and would come home with, as she put it " a new pair of spectacles!" Even over just a few hours learning a new skill or technique from another artist, she started to see things a little differently. I loved the buzz of excitement and inspiration she brought home with her, and now I have that experience for myself.

Fragments - J Quinn. Mixed media textile art.

After my first taste of making ceramics, with Charlotte Morrison, I suddenly saw texture and pattern everywhere! I wanted to try pressing all manner of random objects into porcelain clay just to see what effect they produced. It was the same with print techniques, from lino cut to collagraph, under a variety of tutors, but mostly with Hester Cox, even though I struggled with picturing things in mirror image!

I'm lucky enough to have a place near me, called ArtisOn, in a converted stables building outside Masham. Here they specialise in running a wide range of, predominantly, one day courses. These are often beginner level, but also some follow-on, more in-depth courses, in an incredible array of arts and crafts.

I have tried my hand at many print and ceramic courses, made art kits, a willow orb that got rather larger than planned, stone letter carving, made a nun felt tunic and even tried stop-motion animation! I have yet to try the blacksmithing, oil painting or the range of jewellry making courses, but there is always something new and suprising to try!

It was through ArtisOn that I first took my very fearful steps into life drawing....which seems to have unleashed a beast!

In fact, there are, I find, many places on my doorstep running all sorts of courses. Simple, cheap and cheerful and a little basic to other more advanced and in-depth, such as the 2 or 3 day courses run at Lund Studios, outside Easingwold. This is where my collage journey reall took shape, under the calm tutilage of Anna Poulton, who's work and drawing style I am especially envious of!

Yesterdays Contemporary Collage course added some new techniques to my repertoire, made me some new friends and most of all, I am again seeing the world a little differently...with a touch more subversion...thansk to another short course!

Check out what is on your doorstep, or do you prefer to travel and make more of an event of it? What has been your favourite short course experience? I'd love to hear!

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