Advanced painting: practice and discourse
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Blended (learn both online and in-person)
This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
Course Code: VM200
Duration: 41 sessions (over 40 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
Recognising the extraordinary range of possible approaches to contemporary painting – practical, intellectual, technical and philosophical – this course is designed help you understand and evolve your own artistic methods and thinking in relation to painting and wider contemporary creative practice. Primarily grounded in the activity of making/doing and reflection, projects will expose you to new ideas and approaches, while critical discussion will help you to develop deeper contextual understanding of your own painting practice in relation to historical and contemporary discourses, and methods.
This course will be delivered online and in person, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.
What will we cover?
Intensive, energetic, thought-provoking (and fun!) weekend workshops in our studios will cover, among others, four core contemporary themes: Supports and surfaces; Form, space and scale; Image and automatism; Erasure and addition.
Artist-led projects will provide stimulating and proactive starting points, enabling you to interrogate your own thematic and material interests from fresh perspectives, and to explore different means of bringing agency into your work.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- more fully and confidently engage with and explore approaches to painting in intellectual, material, technical and thematic terms
- engage with a wider range of painting concepts and critical ideas, through practice, reflection and peer-group discussion
- produce a body of work in response to set project briefs and your own ideas/interests that demonstrates engagement with ideas and processes, and is responsive to critical feedback, at an appropriately advanced level
-recognise the value in incomplete or unresolved ideas or experiments in formative and developmental terms, as a tool to support yourself in taking your practice forwards
- more clearly understand and (for your own purposes) articulate your relationship to your practice in material,.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an advanced course, and is therefore most suitable for painters with a minimum of 2 years independent practice, or experienced painters returning after a break. You will be looking to probe in greater depth, skills and ideas that you have built working independently, and/or on other longer/higher level courses such as, for example, City Lit fine art, Developing art practice, Contemporary painting studio, Contemporary practice personal project, Foundation Diploma.
You will examine your starting point, and, with the help of feedback from 1:1 tutorials and peer critique, set provisional aims for the course. This critical framework will form the basis of your self-directed study plan, and will be revisited at intervals, with tutorial support.
We welcome applications from advanced practitioners (e.g. BA or MA level) in other visual media who have some painting experience and can demonstrate the necessary commitment to engage in discovery-based painting practice.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Monthly intensive weekend projects in the studio provide practical focus, including individual tutorial, feedback and group review:
Sat 7th – Sun 8th October 2023
Sat 11th – Sun 12th November 2023
Sat 16th – Sun 17th December 2023
Sat 13th – Sun 14th January 2024
Sat 17th – Sun 18th February 2024
Sat 23rd – Sun 24th March 2024
Sat 20th – Sun 21st April 2024
Sat 25th – Sun 26th May 2024
Sat 6th – Sun 7th July 2024
Weekly on-line seminars: Monday 6-8pm (3 sessions per month)
In addition to the practical workshops, weekly online seminars provide an opportunity to reflect on practice, learning, and concepts that infuse painting discussion. You will receive an advance programme at the beginning of each term, to include artist-practitioner talks and focused discussions or presentations.
1:1 mentoring tutorials will take place on-line once per term (3 in total), and you will be encouraged to prepare a short synopsis of your current work in progress and meet with your tutor on-line. You will have the option to remain with an individual personal tutor throughout the year, if appropriate and depending on your intentions. This relationship can be particularly valuable in supporting you in, for example, application for a higher-level course, an artist’s residency, setting up an exhibition, or developing effective promotional networks and materials.
Learners will be required to keep a sketchbook and/or journal (or digital equivalent) as a routine part of their individual practice, both as a research tool and a personal space for the capturing, investigation and development of ideas. Occasional set-tasks will involve short self-reflective assignments, and/or presentation to peers.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Information received in advance regarding each project will include anything you need to bring or research prior to the class. Basic drawing and painting materials will be provided for studio sessions (acrylic paints, oil paints and mediums, cartridge paper and hog brushes). A full list of materials and studio digital-resources (projectors, laptops) will be made available in the course handbook.
Students wishing to work on canvas or panels will need to provide their own. Work-in-progress may be left at the college on a term-by-term basis, however you will be reminded to take work away where possible to ensure its safety. You may also wish to continue working on it at home.
The course will refer to one set-text (book) per term, at an approximate cost of £15 per book (around £50 for the course). This forms part of the delivery and your tutor will advise you in advance of the term starting.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Suitable progression routes from this course may include other advanced City Lit courses (eg: City Lit fine art; Contemporary practice: personal project VM676; Developing professional practice: contemporary art VM563), which your tutor will advise, as suits your individual interests and practice. Other options include application to HE courses (BA/MA) in relevant subject specialisms, or practice independently as an individual or as part of a collective.
In addition to our expanding range of advanced long courses, you will find a new and growing range of professional practice workshops in the school of Visual Arts, aimed at providing support, skills and context, and developing communities of practice. These workshops can be taken individually, according to need or interest, or as complementary components of a modular course, which you design for yourself; either way, they are there to provide you with the skills, knowledge and connections you need to take your advanced creative practice forward.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.