Forthcoming Session Details

Course beginning Monday 21st February 2022


Michael Kennedy will conduct the next six sessions on Monday evenings.  



Suggested Starting Points


These starting points may be carried out in any order.  You may do each one in turn, or just select those that interest you and ignore all the others.  The final week of the course will as usual be given over to a crit.  Keep all your work!

1.            The first suggested surface is card, selected from discarded cartons or packaging.  It was the surface of choice for the painter Alfred Wallis; he cut the card into random shapes, perhaps accidentally, perhaps not.  Lautrec, Vuillard and others also painted on card.  Try painting in different ways, on different types of card, shaping it perhaps like Wallis.

2.            Watercolourists habitually paint on white, toothed paper, to take maximum advantage of the reflected light of the surface coming back up through the washes of colour.  Turner on the other hand deliberately stained his paper blue or grey, often after tearing it into small sheets so that he could carry them in his coat pocket.  Try painting on stained paper or a stained surface, experimenting with different tones and colours in watercolour, oils, and acrylics.

3.            The Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida makes drawings on paper that he has manipulated in some way, as if it were metal for example, weaving, collaging, or folding inserts and additions, and cutting the paper into asymmetrical shapes.  Colour is kept to a minimum.  This is a good way to take this project in a sculptural direction.

4.            Printmaking is almost always about surface, especially the relief and intaglio processes.  Try your hand at making prints – simple ones are best at this stage.  Make collagraphs, card and paper prints, foam board prints, even lino.  Don’t worry if you haven’t got ink or rollers – a lot can be achieved with the most basic things.  I will demonstrate some of these where required. Alternatively, make found object prints and even rubbings.  The latter can be further developed by treating them as collage materials.

5.            Try painting and/or drawing on a variety of surfaces – purpose bought canvas and board, primed and unprimed, different papers and card, coloured and printed, rubbish materials, especially those that have been distressed by weather or time or carelessness.  Use unlikely things: Bonnard drew in a blank pocket diary; Picasso drew in school exercise books with ruled or squared lining, Cézanne drew on paper that had previously been printed with line drawings for commercial purposes.  Miró painted on newspaper and occasionally worked on sandpaper.

Additionally, you might choose, while thinking more closely about your support, to concentrate literally on surface, in the way that Monet for example painted the surface of water or Matisse the surface of a printed textile.  Whatever you choose to do, you will inevitably discover new ideas of your own as you start to work on the theme.