Picasso spent years copying other people’s work before reaching his own expressive style. We follow the same principle; the combination of copying and creating is the way art-K teaches children to learn and self-develop. We also discuss, and take inspiration from, a wide range of contemporary artwork including Bridget Wilkinson’s narrative coastal scenes or Ann Blockley’s watercolour techniques.
In the older years, children start to learn on their own with less direction and more discussion. Children are empowered to teach themselves and take their own decisions. It is so exciting and rewarding seeing their independence grow and with it, their self esteem and confidence.
In our adult sessions although there is flexibility in the course, there is also structure for the less experienced artist who is looking to learn a new skill. The classes are lead by talented artists who are able to teach and assist you with new techniques or provide you with ideas if you are more experienced.
We discuss inspirational artists from the Impressionists to David Hockney to Ann Blockley, who is a vibrant watercolour artist, and we experiment using their techniques.
In both the children and adult sessions, we will provide you with all the materials you need as well as expert advice in a calm, friendly environment.
I started art-K club at 8 years old and I’m now taking my art GCSE. When I started I had a passion for art but with no real skill. Now after being with the art club for a number of years I have been taught many skills and techniques which have helped me with my GCSE. It has helped me to expand my love for art!
I started art-K club when I was 7 years old and I continued until I was 16. I then became an art assistant which I really enjoy and look forward to each week. art-K club was brilliant at helping me develop my artistic skills. I was given the opportunity to complete a variety of projects from canvas painting to papier mache sculptures to wire mirrors, and many more. I was always provided with exciting new ideas to help me with my GCSE projects.
My daughters both absolutely love coming to art club and it was been amazing to see them develop their creative talents and produce some wonderful pieces. Unlike school art, at art club they can experiment, take risks and really learn about different ways of doing things including drawing styles, painting with a variety of materials, produce 3D pieces, posters and even shoes! My eldest daughter has developed confidence in her own ability which has even been recognised at her school.
I have an art background myself so it was really important for me to find extra art lessons. My girls have just loved the art classes enjoying everything from collage, drawing, painting and decoupage. The projects they have worked on have been so creative I wish I’d had the opportunity at such an early age to explore so many media. I would highly recommend Kathryn’s classes to anyone.
It’s hard to believe that she has been coming to art club now for almost two years! Sadly she will finish her year at art club because she will be taking her GCSE in the summer. Many thanks for all your guidance and support and amazing knowledge and expertise. She has so enjoyed it and has learned so much.
Our Founder’s Story
In 2000 I faced a conundrum; how to find a career that included my passion for art and at the same time provided me with an income.
From an early age, I’d studied hard and enjoyed the artistic side of life. But to ensure a steady professional income, I studied Speech and Language Therapy at University. The course was stimulating and gave insight into child psychology and development. I started work helping children understand, speak and express themselves, which was extremely rewarding.
When I was promoted to management the salary was great, but the work took me away from what I loved; seeing children progress stage by stage. I was forced to review my work-life balance when I returned to work after having kids. Taking the decision to go part time, like many of us do, I started to develop ideas for an art club based on my child development knowledge.
I have spent many happy years practising and developing my projects, so they have been well and truly tested. The result is a catalogue of projects; from ‘starter’ art skills through to the more complex such as portrait painting. I learnt from my training that children learn best when they’re having fun, so all my projects are fun and rewarding!
Now my art club has been running at full capacity (140 kids a week) for over 5 years with over 40 children on the waiting list. Its reputation is outstanding and I couldn’t list here the number of art scholarships and awards my kids have won! I’m bursting with pride when the students progress to GCSE, A level and even degrees. It’s also never been easier to recruit as many of my students become art assistants during their A levels. This year one of my first art-K students, who started at 6 years old, had her first post-uni exhibition in London.
Kathryn Harper Founder and Creative Director of art-K