Neil Godden

Prior to this course, my experience in art other than a very brief sojourn in my twenties was at school during the 1970’s, where we were left to our own devices and radio 1 playing the hits of the decade. Having retired from paid work I decided to take up watercolours. No masterpieces, but very mindful. I had a desire to improve. Over a year or so, I investigated the library and learn to paint in 10 minute books and then got lost in the you-tube painting worm hole, while wholly inspiring, and there is some wonderful stuff in the ether, none of it really helped my ability to see and draw what I could see. I remained inspired and decided I needed to go back to basics and learn to draw. I searched for a long time and found there is drawing and painting in an expressive fashion at most UK institutions or realistic classical rendering as taught in a few private ateliers. I was of a mind that I needed to draw accurately at first and then I could be expressive when my skills allowed. Having made this decision i again got lost in the internet.

While looking at formal institutions, very expensive loans to attend, I came across the London Art College. As I read the syllabus, I realised that the Drawing and Painting course through distance learning was suggesting that the course would provide everything I was looking for at a minimal cost. I enrolled and have never looked back.

From the outset, my work improved. The course book is excellent. Every unit gave guidance and references to research. Assignments helped me produce ‘finished’ work. The best part though was the tutor support. I owe much gratitude to my tutor Paul Weaver whose enthusiasm for art and the course subject is so genuine. Paul’s positive constructive feedback was a revelation. 

I don’t think I have a clear favourite medium that I like to work with. Charcoal, watercolour and oils all appeal for different reasons, I like charcoal as it is forgiving, watercolour for its speed, and oils as they allow change and correction. Graphite I prefer to use for sketching prior to producing larger work. There is also something special about pen and ink, not sure what it is at the moment,  but I will have to explore this further.

Going forward, the course has inspired me. It has provided me with a firm foundation to work from. It has allowed me to realise art as a purpose.  I have fallen in love with mark-making. I think that when people ask me what I do, or what I did, I would like to say I am, or he was an artist.

Neil Godden
Drawing and Painting Diploma 

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