What The Students Say...
Julie's class is informal in style but thorough in intent! The atmosphere is light hearted and non threatening. Her classes are creative and challenging but always empowering. It is a "learn by doing" experience and each person benefits from advice related to his or her own personal work . Julie's pleasure in her teaching and joy in each student's achievement is evident and contagious. We all keep affirming one another! Many years ago I went to a class and lasted three sessions as there were too many people, the teacher as- sumed we could paint landscapes from postcards and spent his time with one or two students. I gave up.
Likewise I tried to learn from books but couldn't transfer the words to the action of drawing/ painting. I gave up again which was sad as I genuinely wanted to learn. When I found Julie's blog I saw that she was a teacher of drawing as well as painting. My intuition proved true in that she teaches by observation and in a classical way. We are not just scribbling or splashing paint around on paper! We are trying to draw/ paint true, learning a skill that will carry us forward. Now I feel that I am really learning. I have grown in confidence. I have learned to look at and see things differently. It is an exercise in wonder that has put me back in touch with my creativity and the possibility that one day I may draw and paint with distinction!! I am delighted to have found such a gifted teacher!
Hi Julie, Your classes are enabling, because you don't just teach us how to draw and paint, but also how to see and what to see.. and then how to draw and paint what we see. When I'm not in the class, I often look at things through the same 'prism' as in class - looking at light, colours and overall feelings from things as much as the things themselves. There is no sense of competition in the group, but I often compare my work to everyone else’s because all our styles are so different and I always find something I can learn from everyone else’s work. It's actually a very supportive environment, even when you are having a "my teapot looks like a cartoon elephant" kind of evening, there will be someone encouraging you that the shading on your elephant looks great.... I always feel like I'm learning, and enjoy that I always feel like I've got so much more to learn. If I had the time and money I would come twice a week! I get a real sense of achievement when I do a piece that I like, even if I don’t finish it because I'm painfully slow, because I feel I couldn't have done that work a year ago. And finally, its fun, difficult, occasionally frustrating but nearly always relaxing too.
“The first I'll say is that you actually TEACH us! I've been to too many classes where you "just get on with it". You're a fabulous artist in your own right but just because you can do something really well doesn't mean you can teach others to do the same.....you can, you have the gift! I enjoy your class because you encourage us to look at things properly and because your classes are small you give each of us individual direction, praise & encouragement. (you give everyone equal time and we all learn from you ;) We are actually told how to start and what to do next as opposed to just having a go. I've learnt so much already. Another thing I love is.....what's it going to be today! I love walking in and seeing what you've set up on the table. Every week is different and you shake us up by alternating the medium we use.
We don't get a chance to get bored!!! I'm hoping you have Daniel Craig's number so we can advance from plastic torsos to yummy real life ones!!! And then I love the conversations that seem to come from nowhere! The importance of doodling, the left side of the brain v the right side, blogging! Delicious! And last but definitely not least we have a laugh! And a loud one at that! It's so good for the soul to sit down in your room knowing that we have 150 minutes set aside in the busy week for drawing, and we have such fun when we are there.”
“Can’t live without it.“
“I look forward to my Thursday evening art class, it's a form of therapy for me . I always feel more chilled out afterwards. It's also a great excuse to spend time with like- minded people. Julie is always the same way, friendly, encouraging and upbeat and despite being a hardworking and very talented artist she has great patience with all her students. The room used for the class is warm and comfortable with plenty of space to work easily. There is always great music playing softly in the background which adds to the relaxed atmosphere. Refreshments are served half way through the class which is always nice. Julie works us hard and she has an endless supply of challenging projects for us each week.
She has taught me the art of observation, the use of negative space and drawing in all of the details to create a more accurate picture. A completed work is not expected at the end of the class and I feel this takes the pressure off. In this class various mediums are taught so you never get bored. I'd strongly recommend this class for anyone interested in improving their artwork.”
“I think of your class as my weekly opportunity for therapy, me-time, indulgence .... However it's the teaching that's great - it's not an easy two hours, and that's what makes me learn. I've been to lots of classes over the years, and whilst other teachers also share their in depth knowledge of art and convey their enthusiasm, I have never been given one-to-one clear instructions on how to draw. I have been totally amazed by what I have achieved when tasked with concentrating on one still life and not being expected to finish it, being re- assured that whatever is completed is OK and should be completed well. That's the nub of it, I think!!!”
“For me the class provides a warm, not just in temperature, and friendly environment in which to learn. The sessions are relaxed but structured and due to their size provide ample opportunity for individual attention.”
“Julie Douglas's class has a very different approach to teaching students from any previous classes I have attended. I have been able to see immediate improvement in my art work, particularly in my drawing skills. The drawing skills are the basis of all good paintings, and we have been taught how to start at the centre of our subject and work gradually outwards, which takes care of perspective and the other difficulties encountered when producing a 2 dimensional drawing from a 3 dimensional object.
This is the part I like best. There is a lot of emphasis on learning to "see", and as time goes on I realise how superficial my "seeing" was before I started my classes with Julie, and what a lot of colours are in everything that I didn't notice before, which makes paintings to look more realistic if I can include them. Classes are small and everyone gets the individual attention they need. We use a variety of media, from graphite, pastels, watercolour pencils, watercolour paints and extra classes if wanting to use oil paints.
The weekly classes are fun and everyone is encouraged by praise from Julie and opinion of peers. We also go to different venues to widen our drawing experience.”
“When I started the classes I wanted to learn to draw but I had a longer list in my head of what I didn’t want. I didn’t remember being taught anything in art classes at school but did remember en- joying being allowed to play around with paint. I didn’t want “assembly line“ lessons where the teacher dem- onstrated their considerable skills and the class attempted to copy. I didn’t want to be told what was wrong with my efforts unless it went with being helped to improve. I didn’t want the teacher to do it for me and was more interested in the process than the product. I didn’t want to clone the teacher’s style. I enjoy the classes and feel I am “playing” and learning in an open and encouraging atmosphere, the teaching is done with a light touch but doesn’t avoid constructive evaluation. None of the things I didn’t want have materialized and by an osmosis like process I have absorbed a new way of looking.”