In the last three years I have attended several of Dawn’s courses ranging from an Introduction to Painting and Drawing through to Level Two of Recovering the Creative Spirit.

When taking on a course I want to be engaged as a whole person. That is to say, I want to go away from a session, not just with more knowledge (though I do expect that) nor even more skills (vital of course in any art course), but I want to go away at least a little different as a person. I find all of these needs met beautifully in Dawn’s teaching.

This is particularly the case in the Recovering the Creative Spirit courses, but it was evident to me even in the introductory course. Dawn treats each person as an artist. Thus she provides constant and genuine encouragement, constructive criticism and advice about each work in progress in a way that takes into consideration the needs of each person.

I believe, too, there is a beautiful balance among general instruction, actually painting or drawing with guidance, and processes to facilitate reflection and interaction. All of these I believe encourage us as participants to move beyond the class to being an artist at home. This has certainly happened for me. Testament to that is not only the development in the work I have done but also the fact that I felt confident enough to arrange an exhibition at a local library gallery space.

The Recovering the Creative Spirit sessions warrant a special word: here there is more focus on reflection as part of the art process and indeed art as part of the life process. Personally I have found these particular courses enormously beneficial for my whole life including my art.