Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual post – Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn is an artist who is known as “one of the finest abstract painters” in America. He has done abstract work as well as figuration, making him a versatile artist not tied down by one thing. His work focused a lot on places he worked and lived using balanced compositions and beautiful colour palettes.

I have decided to research Richard Diebenkorn as I find his different angles and perceptions very unique, as well as the way he makes flat paintings come out of the canvas and pull the viewer in. I also like the limited colour palettes as it is realistic yet achieved in a way that shows everything isn’t a solid colour, there are often a lot of colours that build up things such as the sea and the sky which is something I would like to explore in my own work using washes of colours and layers.

‘Cityscape #1’ – Richard Diebenkorn (1963)

This is an oil painting on canvas by Diebenkorn which features a view of a rural area which is quite flat but the colours and shapes used work well to pull in the viewer. I like that this painting is quite simple yet it is still easy it identify what the painting is of. I especially like the way that other colours show through in sections creating little subtleties that makes the eye look at all of the piece in a rhythmic sense.

‘View from a Porch’ – Richard Diebenkorn (1959)

This oil painting by Richard Diebenkorn uses a darker colour palette and has a much different technique and texture to ‘Cityscape #1’ which I like. This painting reminds me of an oil pastel drawing through the scratchy elements and I really like the ways the warm and cold colours work together to create a really interesting composition. I feel that the colours effectively portray the light on each part of the scene, with the shadows in the darker areas and the sunlight on the warmer areas, as well as portraying what materials were in each section. Again, the different elements aren’t just solid colours and are built up of several layers which is realistic, a surprise from an abstract painting.

Information I got from video above:

What an artist does is all about what’s around it, what’s his environment culture, physical, visual. Wandering through the countryside of California Sonoma County, he appears every bit the outdoorsman. I used to think I was really a landscape artist. I think I revise that little bit he is in fact a recent arrival from the big city who has come to this land of colour and quiet to paint to paint the quiet colourful words that have made him famous. He is Richard Diebenkorn, a master of contemporary American art. I think it’s hard for an artist to see to see himself really, I’m aware of a predisposition to sparing this or our aloneness is something I value. Right now, his sense of aloneness extends well beyond the canvas in an age of publicity hungry artists Richard Diebenkorn has always felt uncomfortable in the spotlight, the solitude of the studio suits him well. For years, his working procedure has been the same, to sit and contemplate a canvas sometimes for hours before ever picking up a brush, pieces must go through several sessions. “I never seem to be able to get anything one shot right off, sometimes I get sort of rooted to the to the chair and then sometimes I think well you know I can’t just sit here, I’m going to do something so then I’ll be really rather arbitrary the feeling you feel like you’re wasting time or sometimes yeah it’ll intends going by the pound you describe it in its current state possibly almost finished but to those are kind of famous last words almost finished and I’ve said that about pieces and found my still self still working on them a year later”. Nearly 50 years of it includes early abstract paintings a period during the 50s and 60s when he turned to landscape to still life a human figure and in the last 25 years, the series of serene geometric abstracts that sealed his reputation the ocean park series named for the area in Santa Monica in Southern California where his studio was. It was a place that inspired many of his greatest works, but the pressures of the Los Angeles area began to intrude too much on this most solitary of men in the last year. “I felt each time I went out in the in the car to West Los Angeles for errands or whatever every trip I made it was that much worse I felt that it was I was more hemmed in, more closed in on. The traffic was heavier that shows you something about how high the water was but I am so it was that deep in corn came to the Russian River of Northern California where his dogs Amy and Lucy can run free and where the River itself attracts him again then again do you ever sing a scene like this say alright now I’m just going to go back to representational painting one time just to get this for sure pencelli yeah, I just thought I was down here with Amy several days ago and I thought well next time I come down I’ll bring sketch pad number like draw Richard I’m going to I guess in the 50s when I was doing abstract painting I thought well to do representational stuff is just beyond the pale when the artists ability seriousness is sensibility simply couldn’t do that you know it was so this sort of mindset that for a set of reasons when had and now I am most artists don’t have that mindset. So, if you see something out there that earns you one, well it’s subject. I feel subjects working one measure of demon court standing in the art world this current display of his drawings at the Museum of Modern art in New York another the recent sale of a Diebenkorn painting for $1.2 million which puts him in a very select club of living American artists whose works command such prices. His friend and this exhibits curator John Elderfield said,  “for me he is a very important artist,  he had managed both to be pioneering and to remind one in this work of another great Masters of the past and to reinvent their message for new generations a sort of reimagining of Matty’s of Cezanne or even earlier artists who he admires very deeply got a bit more chaotic all the analysis.” Richard Diebenkorn marvels just like the rest of us at the mystery of how art comes to be created, each of his works a road map of its own making with changes on second thoughts right there on the canvas for anyone to see there’s a trial and error and the budding one’s head against the wall and I might say it’s alright except for one little corner and so I changed that little corner and then that all his other parts and pretty soon then back into it and then maybe it changes completely the aim is not what we might call finish in a conventional way because some of the words look unfinished but rather having fought that fight to his satisfaction and when he feels somehow that his work that out then he can leave it alone.

How Richard Diebenkorn’s work is influencing my project:

The number one element which drew me into Richard Diebenkorn’s work was the way he used shapes to build up a composition as I found his technique really unique and a focus that I could take into my drawings and even paintings. When it comes to his application of colour, I especially like the fact that the colours aren’t fully opaque, they are all transparent in areas which allows other colours to show through. For instance you can sometimes see yellow peeking through green for the fields which is something I explored in my first term and have continued to this term as no colour is fully opaque, even if it looks it. I find this interesting as although I could do things in a really cartoonish way, I want to maintain a sense of realism so it doesn’t all go to fantasy.

Websites used and images:

Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual post – Sidney Nolan

Sidney Nolan was an Australian artist who used a variety of mediums in his work. His work focused on Australian history which is one of the reasons he is so well known.

Although the subject matter of his work is not relevant to my project, I feel that his colour palettes and high amounts of contrast which he uses to draw attention to certain parts of his works could be useful in my work. His work features a lot of nature and landscapes, lots focused in desert like areas which is relevant to where he lived.

The uses of red in ‘Camel and Figure’ and ‘Inland Australia’ are very captivating and it seems like these bright colours were used to portray the intensity of the sun in the desert areas at specific times of day. The fact that places look different depending upon the time of day is very intriguing and shows that you could get different feelings and emotions from architecture and nature during different seasons and times.

Sidney Nolan doesn’t make the skies in his paintings block colours which I like to explore in my own work through adding different colours into the sky as even though sometimes the sky does seem one colour, if you look properly there is always more than meets the eye.

I find this piece very relevant to my work as it includes widows which is a key aspect of my project. I find the colours used very eye catching and I find the layering of browns in the background creates a wood effect which could be Nolan trying to capture an element of history.

Information I got from video above:

A room which is dedicated to Sidney Nolan’s famous Ned Kelly series. It’s a very important series both in the national gallery’s collection but also in the history of Australian art. Part of the reason for the importance of this series is the fact that Nolan drew on the incredible saga of Ned Kelly and the way that he brought a totally fresh response to the Australian landscape and to the idea of a national identity. This series wanted to pick on the idea of a legend based in history. He was interested in Australia’s national identity at a time when the Ward raised a whole lot of questions. One of the iconic images in this series is simply named Kelly and in this painting Nolan encapsulates the image of Ned Kelly in the way that he conceived. We need to remember that this was a totally fresh vision Ned Kelly. He places Ned Kelly on his horse very centrally in the composition and the extraordinary thing about it is he places him in the suit of Armour with the box of his head basically it’s just a black square and in the middle is this visor which stands in for the head and we see the clouds in the Sky had very much that sense of Ned Kelly integrated in the Australian landscape. Very bold and poetic it’s informed by European Modernism as the whole series is and we really get a sense of Nolan trying to nail this idea of what constitutes the Australian landscape, He painted a landscape around the wimmera that he saw when he was in the army. It’s a flat bleached yellow landscape with little trees dotting the horizon line at the spaciousness works beautifully against conic compact image of Ned Kelly with his rifle in his horse. It’s an image that was shown at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 to symbolise Australia, perhaps to give a sense of us as something anti-authoritarian with a sense of which and certainly the image has a sense of drama. Sidney Nolan had an extraordinary vision to the story of Ned Kelly. It’s now become so well recognised in Australian art that the image of Ned Kelly is very much synonymous with Sidney Nolan. It was a very important series in his own artistic life and certainly in the history of Australian art. It has assumed great significance by placing these works in an Oval room as they are, we really get a sense of the unfolding nature of the story. In an almost filmic way, we can trace that view of Ned Kelly in his Armour in a whole lot of different versions. In the way that Nolan has painted him, I think the poetry, the humour, pathos, a lot of bad sense of the struggle that went on in the saga is brought through in the way that Nolan painted this series, but he’s obviously done it in a very poetic way. He thought about how we see the landscape and these works turn just as well in the history of Australian landscape painting as they do in terms of history painting. Sunday Reed gifted the series hanging in this room to the National Gallery in 1977 and we remain very grateful to her for this extraordinary gift.

Information I got from video above:

Sidney Nolan is one of Australia’s most important artists of the second half of the 20th century. His output was prolific, his sense of originality was extraordinary. He was innovative, he took risks he was a truly Avantgarde artist and he really changed the way we understand the Australian landscape. In fact, he changed the way we understand who we are as people, by that I mean that he has become synonymous with the way we understand who we are through the legend of Ned Kelly. It is a wonderful story about this Irish bushranger, but I guess why we find Nolan so fascinating as an artist is his own life story. He started out in Saint Kilda and he grew up so adventurous to take risks,  to you know stand upside down on the Big Dipper and make everybody scream with fear at the thought of him falling off, so he was a bit of a larrikin, a bit of a lad and I think that that sense of taking risks was what underpinned his greatness as an artist. He went to the National Gallery school to attend the sketching classes but as he accounted later he only stayed ever for about half an hour and then it’s a “I’ll forget this I’m going up to read” and he go up into the Public Library and there he read he read the philosopher’s, he read the poets and in fact for some time there was a struggle between whether he would be a poet or whether he would be a painter. Fortunately painting won but his painting is always imbued with a real sense of the poetic and it’s one of the reasons he’s such a great artist. When you get into the 1940s of course he’s called up into the army, he was a pacifist he knew that he couldn’t fire a rifle and so he was sent out into the wimmera district to guard the army stores. It was the light that he discovered out in the wimmera with the horizon line and the wonderful sense of clear blue skies that really tells the story of the loneliness of this young man who had been stationed out there who found beauty in just observing the landscape. When it appeared that he might be sent New Guinea to fight after all and being a pacifist, he left the army,  and he went AWOL. It was during this that he painted the Kelly series out Heidi and it was this series that he really gave Australians a new vision of their own sense of identity. Nolan once said no one will ever know what the series is about but I think we guess that it is very much about the tangled life of Nolan and the reeds and the separation of Nolan from his first wife who he had met when he was in school. He also painted in 1946 an extraordinary image of an Australian footballer they love sport NI loved Australian rules and although for many years people thought that this image of a footballer was generic, we now know from Nolan’s own words that in fact it was someone from his favourite team that he was depicting and was one of his favourite players none other than the famous full back Billy Moore. Nolan later painted another Saint this time a real Saint turn Anthony. In the early 50s he went to Europe for the first time to really explore the old Masters, to come to grips with the great musical scene that he loves so much and in Italy he fell in love with the Renaissance. He fell in love with artists like Joto, like Piero Della Francesca and these artists always brought something new to his work but Nolan couldn’t leave behind his love of the Australian landscape. So, in the temptation of Saint Anthony, you get a Fusion of both the Australian landscape and the Renaissance world of Saints and the Renaissance landscape of Joto. With all of Nolan’s paintings you have this great Fusion of the poetic the personal and the universal as you have in this work.

How Sidney Nolan’s work inspires my project:

I have decided to research Sidney Nolan through the recommendation of one of my tutors. As he focused on the Australian landscape they felt it was relevant as I am focusing on the Architecture in Leicester. The similarity being that we both are focusing on one place only. Although Sidney Nolan’s work isn’t architectural themed, I felt drawn in by the colour schemes and layering. Leicester architecture doesn’t have many colours related to the desert but as I am being experimental with colour in my project, I feel that I could integrate some of Sidney Nolan’s colour schemes into my project, even as mere experiments and if they are successful then I will find ways to take them further. It would be interesting for me to have an icon in my pieces, like Sidney Nolan did with Ned Kelly but I’m not sure what this could be and I don’t want to take away from the architecture but I may look into this in the future.

Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual post – Laurence Stephen Lowry, film on Netflix

Laurence Stephen Lowry also known as L.S Lowry or Laurie, was a British artist who did paintings and drawings based around his hometown, Pendlebury in Lancashire and surrounding areas of Salford. He is famous for his industrial landscape paintings which feature human figures resembling “matchstick men” but a lack of lighting, weather conditions and shadows of the figure led to a lot of bad reviews from critics about his work.

I have decided to research L.S Lowry as I find his style of painting architecture very captivating yet also very simplistic, almost like a children’s book illustration. The limited uses of colour is fitting since he lived in an area which was very industrial so I like his realistic portrayal of the place he was capturing.

Netflix film: Mrs Lowry & Son:

This film focusing on Lowry and his relationship with his mother and painting came out in 2019 and had a duration of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It was directed by Adrian Noble and its description was “British painter L.S Lowry tries to pursue his passion for art while living with a bitter and bedridden mother who takes a dim view of his vocation”.

The film focused a lot on how Lowry’s mother resented him and his father for the way her life ended up since his father got into a lot of debt and they both weren’t successful businessmen. It was clear that this affected Lowry a lot as it was his ambition to pay off his fathers debts and make his mother happy.

In the film it was clear that Lowry’s mother had an issue with his painting and wanted him to be a successful businessman rather than following in his fathers footsteps and becoming a debt collector. Many times she refers to Lowry’s art as a “hobby” and says that he doesn’t have artistic attributes and so will never be an artist, which he disagreed with since he went to art school for several years.

The film mentioned an art critic’s (Mr Denby) opinion of Lowry’s painting ‘Coming from the Mill’ which caused further vexation with his mother. The painting was made in 1930 and is oil on canvas with dimensions of 42cm by 52cm. It features an industrial scene with many figures walking in different directions presumably after work from the title of the piece.

From the paper, his mother read the critics opinion which was; “An ugly painting. The painting by Mr L.S Lowry, ‘Coming from the Mill’, is confusing and appears to have been painted by a child. The figures, if we may call them figures, are nothing but smudges, ridiculous marionettes suspended in a squalid industrial scene. If this is Mr Lowry’s vision of the Lancashire landscape and its people, I feel very sorry for him. It is a most unsatisfactory picture, and an insult to the people of Lancashire.”

Throughout the film, there was a lot of things Lowry says that explains his reasons for painting, processes used and insight into how it makes him feel. I found this interesting as it allowed me to see his viewpoint and it was captured with a lot of emotion.

This is a painting which Lowry’s mother’s neighbour liked which influenced her to like it too. This painting was created for his mother as a “gift of the past” which he painted from his memory of being on the beach in Lytham with his mother when he was 7 years old. His mother liked ir so much that she paid 2 shillings for his work to be entered into an amateur artist competition but it didn’t win. However, Lowry also entered the painting ‘Coming from the Mill’ without telling his mother which someone wanted to buy for £20, this caused his mum to have a bad reaction as her favourite wasn’t chosen. Then she told Lowry that she didn’t like any of his paintings which made him destroy a lot of his work. Then he revealed that every painting he ever did was for his mother. everything he does is for her, for love.

His mother died in 1939 and later that year he got his first exhibition in London. He was offered several British honours including an OBE and a knighthood but turned them all down saying “there seemed little point…once mother was dead.”

Quotations from the film:

“I paint what I see, I paint how I feel, I am a man who paints. Nothing more, nothing less. Every picture I paint begins the same way – begins the same colour (white) Flake White.”

“I paint to fill in the time, I paint for something to do. I’m not fit for anything else. Night after night, I sit up here in the attic. Nothing in the house stirs. The smell of turpentine, the hiss of the gas jet, Outside, one solitary star watches over me. This is my world. I’m safe here. Alone. I paint, and I paint. A smudge here with my finger, a stroke of the brush there. I see light and atmosphere in the bleakest of places, a railway arch, a stone viaduct. There’s a beauty in everything. A man just has to open his eyes and look. Observe everything. Life. What does that make me? Am I an artist? What would you call yourself Laurie?”

I found these quotes really interesting and it related to my project through capturing the atmosphere of Leicester through studies of the buildings, though I haven’t considered incorporating figures into my work this is something I could try out at some point.

Overall, the film was very interesting and featured a lot of information and quotes which are really helpful in allowing me to identify some of the ways I can approach my studies of Leicester.

Information I got from video above:

In 1938 Daisy jewel persuaded the director of the LeFevre Gallery in new Bond Street London to show some of Lowry’s paintings. In early 1939, attracting many reviews in the national press his mother was not impressed but the Tate Gallery was, and they bought dwellings Ordsall Lane for £15.00 but they didn’t display for 20 years which Lowry took personally believing that they didn’t really want the painting. His mother died in October 1939 and Lowry painted the bedroom in Pendlebury in memory of the long hours he spent looking after her. After she died, Lowry lost all interest and continuing to paint was his only Salvation. Lowry was 52 when his mother died and for the next nine years he stayed in the house alone. He had no wife, but he did adopt several young female companions who he mentored and paid to go through art college. He referred to them collectively as Anne. A young girl called Carol Lowry of no relation was one of these girls. She had written to him in 1957 saying she had an interest in art and since she shared a surname would he offer her advice. He took her to gallery’s and paid for her education throughout college. Years later Carrol said he always behaved immaculately; he was always invariably extremely circumspect in his behaviour towards her. In the 1940s, he became an official war artist as he drew the ruined shelves of bombed outbuildings and was strongly affected emotionally. These paintings sold for as much as £60.00 each. You could see from his pictures how his own loneliness is reflected in his paintings but by 1948 he was earning good money as a painter, so he moved to a new house to the more affluent village of Mottram in Longdendale near Manchester. He began collecting works by other artists that he admired particularly the pre-Raphaelite painter daunting Gabriel Rossetti. In 1951 he confessed to a psychiatrist friend how he would stare for hours at empty houses with empty windows standing in isolation on derelict streets. He saw in those desolate buildings an image of himself.

How Lowry’s work inspires me in my project:

As Lowry focused on painting scenes where he lives, I felt I could easily relate to him as my project is focused on Leicester, the place I have grew up in and lived my whole life. I find his processes and colour palettes very simple yet effective and they easily demonstrate his difficult relationship with his mother, I can see how he felt isolated and alone through his paintings with a lot of the figures not interacting with each other. I find the ways he paints buildings very effective as they have a lot of detail yet are simple at the same time, reminding me of children’s book illustrations or small cartoons. This combination of realism and playful characters is something I have been exploring in my work as I feel it can really bring out the qualities of a place, even subtlety. I find the ways people reacted to his art over the years very interesting in a sense that I feel sorry for him with his passion being looked down on by strangers and even those close to him. I feel that I have been judged by people in the past for taking an artistic education rather than academic but I can’t comprehend what it must have been like back in Lowry’s experiences. I feel that his work truly captures what industrialism was like and I am going to continue to use Lowry’s work as inspiration throughout my project.

Websites used:

CPS Professional Development

CPS – Online Exhibition

I used the software artsteps to create my own virtual online exhibition as a means of getting my work into the world in the current situation with covid. I felt that the software was often quite laggy and took a while to load but I really like the overall final exhibition and am looking forward to seeing if I get any comments/suggestions of improvement.

artsteps website

I wanted to portray a wide selection of my work including large scale pieces and sketchbook work. I made the walls of my exhibition blue to make my work stand out as well as adding frames to the pieces for more of a professional look.

Wall of exhibition

I decided to keep the exhibition in the open to go along with the architectural theme of my project as the flow worked well. I feel that the blue of the wall and the blue of the sea outside of the exhibition add a lot of contrast. I may consider adding work to the outside walls of the exhibition to add more to the experience, even if it is online.

Wall 2

I made sure to space the pieces out nicely so that each one could stand out individually yet still allowing them to be collectively interesting. I especially like the fact that certain pieces have subtle colour schemes and others pop more to add areas of interest and contrast.

Back wall part 1

I felt it was effective adding sketchbook pages to my exhibition but I felt it was necessary for them all to be quite large scale so they could easily be looked at. I feel that the sizing works really well though and would be interested in making my sketchbook pages larger in prints for an actual exhibition as it would work a lot better than using them at their original A4 size.

Back wall part 2

I like that I have included collages and paintings in the exhibition as I didn’t limit myself and allowed it to be really exciting. I am very pleased with this exhibition.

Side wall

I feel that including pieces of different sizes was really important to add variety to the exhibition. It also allowed ,e to show off interesting areas of detail of pieces.

Final wall

This is the last wall of the exhibition so far. I would like to add one piece on either side of this one to fill up the space more as I like that in the other pieces. The blue walls work really well in my opinion.

Artist Talks CPS

Artist Talk – Sam Francis Read

Sam Francis Read decides to include his middle name when talking about himself as there are a lot of Sam Read’s in the world and so he wanted his name to be more distinguished and unique. During the artist talk, he mentioned that he isn’t in touch with anyone from his BA degree. He is currently doing a masters course at Leeds. He liked the fact that if you search up your name into google and add artist to it, you usually find a landscape artist.

Sam Francis Read is an artist who enjoys working with memory and animated elements. His focus is on drawing and digital compositions that extend to print, sculpture and moving image. He likes to use imagery to show him new possibilities of collections of the rehabilitation of cultural detritus trivia and phantasmagoria, as these categories really resonate with him.

After he graduated from DMU, he went to Two Queens which is one of the best studios and artist led galleries in Leicester. He joined the summer school program and they helped him identify his unique voice. He got to exhibit his work in a small space which involved contemporary ideas of collected mythology. This is where his love of fantasy and niche media began. He made a woodcut which he explored a catastrophe of a post apocalyptic situation which was the reason for the inclusion of steel girders and everything being in black and white. He decided to branch out by including primary colours (blue, red and yellow). The use of primary colours in his work was evident in his solo exhibition at Collective in Nottingham. Since then, this has been renamed. There is a space called IK Sheds in which you are able to wear party hats whilst walking around the gallery, these hats also had a sculptural function. The hats had interesting pop colours and shapes.

Sam Francis Read Work

Sam Francis Read had an exhibition in Flat 5 which is another artist led space based in their front room. This isn’t very well known as they don’t publicize events a lot and so it is based heavily on social networks. You can apply for a residency there and it is known as the sofa residency as you are based on the sofa for most of your time there. Sam had a dual exhibition with Craig Parr focused on Blue Monday which is an allegedly depressing day of the year. During this time, companies try to sell package holidays to cheer people up. He wanted to turn this idea on its head and create an alternative to the holiday, getting away from the idea of what an holiday is. They called it Red Monday so instead if it being sad/miserable, they had a party in the space and the windows/signs were inspired by January sales due to the time of the exhibition, with everything closing down. They decided to use vinyl as this is usually the material in shop windows and formed machines for that. There were drawings and paintings on the wall and moving image which was the reason for projections. He enjoyed working with Craig as it was funny and an unsubtle piece of advertising.

Sam Francis Read Work

He did a project where he worked with found objects and took them apart and changed them. After he had changed the object, he then photographed it and uploaded it to google images which gave a different image result. He then edited the image in photoshop and made it so you couldn’t tell what the original object was anymore. He then drew from these images. This process was very creative and shows how you can look at one object in a range of ways.

Sam Read made clear the importance of working with other people in collaborations which is something I would like to do to better myself and have a lot of connections in the art world.


CPS Week 6 – Planning

CPS Professional Development

CPS – Professional Development Post – Teaching

I have always been unsure of what I want to do after University but I have considered becoming a teacher afterwards, most likely at GCSE level or higher but I’m not entirely sure. I decided to do some research into what becoming a teacher involves and research into some educational courses which could benefit me in the future.,Diploma%20in%20Education%20(PGDE).

Responsibilities of an Art Teacher:

  • Encourage children to develop their skills and express themselves
  • Teach lessons, write projects, demonstrations, discussions, workshops
  • Involve the uses of different mediums
  • Prepare assignments, exams, continuous assessment plans, marking work, creating reports
  • Keep good order and deal with misbehaviour/handle discipline
  • Administrative work such as conducting registers of pupils
  • Prepare for and attend parent-teacher meetings, staff meetings
  • Supervising out of hour events or outings
  • Meeting with other departments to plan interdisciplinary projects


  • Working in a classroom, workshop or studio
  • Average working hours are 35 per week, working within the classroom from 9-3.30 and then making up the rest of the hours with planning and marking
  • Preparation and planning may be necessary to do in the evenings or weekends
  • 13 weeks holiday each year but a lot of this would involve planning for next term
  • Work evenings to attend parents evenings, staff meetings and extracurricular activity
  • Teaching is mentally and physically demanding.

You need to have:

  • An interest in how children learn and child development
  • Patience and adaptability
  • Confidence and enthusiasm
  • An assertive approach when necessary
  • Good organisation
  • Positive outlook and a sense of humour

You need to be able to:

  • Encourage students and hold their attention
  • Be independent and work as a team
  • Stay calm under pressure
  • Get on well with others

To become an Art Teacher you need a degree in Art and Design based subject, GCSE grade C/4 in English, Maths and a science based subject, and a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

I decided to apply to a teaching advice service that gives me advice about becoming a teacher and teacher training as I felt this could provide me with more information regarding teaching and possibly reinforce in my mind that it is what I want.

Update on the phone call – During the call I was given some advice as to what courses to look into for when I finish my degree and encouraged to email if I had any questions or needed any help. They even gave some interesting tips as to what to write on my application form and in my personal statement to demonstrate my passion in helping others as well as my passion for the subject. As I’m not too close to applying yet, I wasn’t assigned a Teacher Training Advisor but I was encouraged to call again nearer the time so I could have more tailored advice.

Teacher training courses will offer:

  • Qualified Teacher Status that is needed to teach as a qualified teacher
  • Classroom experience in at least two schools, 24 weeks of school experience
  • Training to meet the Teachers Standards, including classroom management and make your subject accessible to students
  • Expert academic and practical guidance from mentors/tutors

To fund teacher training I could receive a tax free bursary of £26,000, tuition/maintenance loans and could also earn a salary whilst training.

For Art and Design teaching, the bursary isn’t available but I will still be able to get the tuition and maintenance loans to cover the costs.

To find the right teacher training course:

Tips on choosing the teacher training course:

  • Do your research – once you have an idea of the courses available, you can start researching individual providers in more detail via their websites or by attending a teacher training event. 
  • You can also find out more about individual schools using Ofsted’s inspection reports, compare and contrast official university undergraduate teacher training course data at, and get greater insight into completion and employability rates from different training providers in the initial teacher training performance profiles report.
  • Use your school experience – gaining school experience will help you develop a better understanding of the different options that are available, and the teachers you meet may be able to tell you about other training providers in your area.
  • Remember, if you need to commute or relocate to be able to undertake your training, it’s important to consider the logistical and financial implications. For example:
  • the cost of public transport and length of commute; do you know where your chosen providers’ placement schools are?
  • what are your accommodation options if you need to relocate, and are they within your budget?

Since signing up to the Get into Teaching website, I get regular emails inviting me to attend Virtual Teacher Training events which I feel is really helpful as it will allow me to have more understanding of what is expected of me if I do become a teacher and hearing other people’s experiences will be beneficial.

Within the process of applying for a Teacher Training course, I will have to write a personal statement and arrange references which I will ask the helpline for advice about if I do decide to take the teaching route. I feel that this research has been really helpful as it has opened my eyes to the different routes I can take, and as I have always been uncertain about the future, this helps to settle my nerves. I am hoping to get a job doing art as it has always been something that I have loved.

CPS Professional Development

CPS – Exhibition update

In an email I got informed that the exhibition which I applied to starts from the 2nd of December and features my work on the website. I made the prices of the work fairly low as they are small pieces and didn’t take much time. Since I haven’t sold my work to people who aren’t family or friends before, I was unfamiliar with the process. I am not too fussed about if they get sold or not, I am just happy that my work is included in this exhibition as it feels good to have my work out there in some form.

My work in the exhibition

Seeing my work on the website is a really thrilling experience and I look forward to searching for more opportunities in the future. I am glad that I have more experience I can put on my CV as it was quite bare before.

CPS Professional Development

CPS – Professional Development Post – Exhibition Opportunities

During week 3, we discussed different areas we could look into for our projects including Exhibitions, Curation and MA Study. It was good to be able to think about these things individually and collectively.

There are many websites online which list artist opportunities in Leicester including artrabbit and artnet. These websites include exhibition opportunities as well as workshops which could be very interesting.

I enjoyed seeing the different places available to arrange an exhibition in Leicester and seeing the past students work was very inspiring. I would like to do things that will build up my CV yet also things that I enjoy. I will get in touch with people on my course to see if they would like to set up an Exhibition as a group attempt as I feel it could be very fun and may even get some of our work sold. I could also submit my work into competitions online to see if my work could be selected to go into an exhibition that is already set up, there are lots of opportunities online that could be beneficial for me to get involved with.

I found an exhibition called the 36th Annual Open, which you could submit three pieces of work that are being exhibited online from the 25th November 2020 to the 31st January 2021. The entry to this exhibition was free and gives me a chance to sell the pieces that I have submitted. I feel that this will give me more experience and build my confidence with getting my work out there.

Screenshot of Application
Screenshot of response

As I am currently busy with University work, I feel it could be beneficial for me to apply to some competitions over the summer as some of them have very specific briefs such as the competition above in which you have to create an artwork based on one of the ten given songs and so I feel these sorts of things would be better to do once I have more time on my hands.

Curator Space Website – Opportunities

On this website, I really liked some of the opportunities and so I decided to sign up to the newsletter to see if I would get sent any information about new opportunities for later in the year or next year when I have more work, more time and more money.

I am going to look for other exhibition opportunities to help me build up my CV and experience. As some exhibitions have entry fees, I feel that I would be in a better position to apply to more when I have the finances to do so but for now I will look for free competitions and exhibitions.

I also decided to look into videos and websites with tips for how to get accepted into an exhibition or how to get myself known in the art world.

This video opened my eyes to how many different places there are for exhibitions, including auction houses, contemporary art museums, art galleries, cultural centres, art fairs/festivals, art markets, artist residencies, art cafes, alternative private locations and outdoor public areas, some I hadn’t even considered before. A lot of places have a fee to apply to exhibitions which is definitely something I will have to consider when it comes to applying.

This video gave me some ideas as to how to promote my work and build up an established audience for myself. I feel these tips could help develop my confidence and having feedback from people on my will definitely help me in the future.

CPS Professional Development

CPS – Artists CV

In CPS this week, we went through the different areas of research we could look into for this module. I liked the ideas of working with groups of people for a workshop, being children or teenagers but with the current situation I would have to look into that further to see if that would be possible. I also think setting up a show could be interesting to discuss with other people on the course.

We were told to write a professional CV for career opportunities. As I don’t have much experience with exhibitions, publications, collections or commissions my CV is quite empty and simple right now but I am hoping to build this up in future.

Image of a professional CV I did on Microsoft Word

My CV:

Gemma Sly

  • Email –
  • Mobile number – 07505934835
  • Currently studying BA Fine Art at De Montfort University and involved in developing my painting practice.
  • Live in Leicester


  • BA Fine Art DMU, 2019-2022, still in progress
  • Foundation DMU, 2018-2019, Distinction
  • Extended Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design, Leicester College, Triple Distinction*
  • GCSE’S, Fullhurst Community College: Art and Design – A*, Core Science – B, Additional Science – B, Maths – B, Geography – A, English Language – A*, English Literature – A*, French – B, Level 2 diploma in P.E – Distinction.


  • Southpark Gallery open exhibition
  • Foundation show
  • College end of year shows, Leicester College

Publications: N/A

Commissions: N/A

Collections (sales): N/A

I decided to look on different art opportunity websites, being opportunities purely in Leicester, the East Midlands, the UK and even internationally. I found a lot of art competitions and exhibitions starting entry from next year which I made a note of as it could be good to start to get my work out into the world. With the Covid situation, physical exhibitions may not be possible until next year so looking into online exhibitions could be beneficial.