I joined the OCA in July 2015 and am nearing the end of my first year of my painting degree.

I chose the OCA because it looked flexible, more reasonably priced than conventional university based degree courses and to be honest. less threatening. At my age, I didn’t want to feel intimidated by confident young people, when I was just starting out on my degree journey. Also it helps me carry on my normal working and family life so that the art fits around it.

When I first started, I was plodding along with local art courses, but after joining the OCA, I really felt I was being encouraged to creatively ‘fly’. Anything feels within my reach to try now. My weaknesses were tactfully challenged, and this allowed me to really push forward to new levels. When I look at work I produce now, I am amazed at how I’ve developed a completely different way to approach it.

The enthusiasm within the student community is fantastic and  they have been very welcoming. I can ask a question online and get five answers within an hour! I meet students at the free study visits too, which means I have built up my own little community of support and travelled all over the country.

Who would have thought a year ago  that I would be printing, painting enamel on metal and writing for a new student art magazine?

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