Thursday, 30 October 2014

Professionals - Leonora Phelan, Quince Art School

Where do you live? 
Cerne Abbas, Dorset

First thing you would do if you won the lottery? 
I’d buy a lofty barn with big views and convert it into a beautiful art studio/gallery/workshop space 

Last supper? 
A barbecue on the beach at Ringstead Bay, Dorset. 
I would start with hummus and warm pitta bread, followed by char-grilled trout, pearl barley salad and stuffed potatoes… and to finish, it’s got to be Rocky Road and ice-cream

First dance song at your wedding? 
Toots & The Maytals - Pressure Drop

If you could only live with 3 colours on your palette what would they be? 
Red, yellow and blue – with these I could mix any colour. If I’m allowed white (it’s not a colour!) I’d use that to make subtle lighter tones

What is Quince Art School? 
A place to discover what you are capable of – it’s where people who want to draw and paint find out that they can

Why did you set Quince up? 
Because making art is an exciting and rewarding experience, that everyone should have access to. I am adamant that absolutely anyone can learn to draw and paint if they are only given the right tools

What is your background as an artist? 
I did an Fine Art degree after which I travelled and worked in Uganda for a year. I returned home and worked as an art teacher in a large secondary school in West London before uprooting for a quieter pace of life in Dorset and well…. set Quince up!

Where are classes held? 
Mostly in my home in Cerne Abbas - I wanted to create an inspiring yet comfortable environment where people, of all levels and experience, could relax. For my Landscape Workshops, we tend to spend a lot of time outside – the geography around the village is stunning - I often find inspiration for my own art in the nearby hills and fields

How many people in a workshop? 
No more than six people – its important to me to be able to spend quality time with each student

Do I need to have any experience as a painter or artist to attend a class? 
Not at all – my mission is to help people find the artist in themselves so my workshops are designed for all abilities

Do I need to bring all my own equipment? 
To get the most out of my workshops it’s important to continue to work on your art after the class – I encourage this by setting homework. If students invest in their own equipment it builds a more long-term relationship between the artist and their craft

Are the workshops over a period of weeks or are there shorter ones I can try out first? 
I offer a range of workshops from one-dayers to weekly. I’m in the process of developing two-day weekend workshops for people who live in London or further afield 

I am quite confident with watercolour but would like to develop my skills in acrylic - do you run courses in specific media
Yes, I run acrylic, pastel and drawing workshops. Your experience with Watercolours will help you with acrylic painting, despite the differences

How do you prepare for your workshops?
I want my students to get the most they can out of each session so I put a lot of thought into the lesson structure and the type of ‘homework’ that feels most appropriate. Each of the tasks we do during the lesson has a specific learning objective so that all the way through, the students understand why we are doing something. I also always try to share my own personal examples of the exercises we are doing 

What do you hope your students will go away with?
An inspired mind, a new confidence in their artistic abilities, and a finished piece to put up on the wall!

Where can I find out more? 
For information on upcoming workshops please visit, give me a call on 01300 342151 or check out my Facebook page

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