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James Cowan, Author at The Open College of the Arts
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James Cowan

A series of triptychs thumb

A series of triptychs

In this post OCA tutor Jim Cowan presents a digital visit of his current exhibition featuring a number of paintings constructed in the format of a Triptych beside others that have been painted separately but seem to belong in groups of three.

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What is your tutor up to? Jim Cowan thumb

What is your tutor up to? Jim Cowan

All over Britain art students of all ages are setting up end of year shows. From primary school to adult education, from higher education to post graduate, artworks are filling up boards for family and friends to view and assessors to scrutinise. Open House studio exhibitions are a particularly popular way to show your work to the general public and this year I have signed up for the Richmond ARThouse Open Studio event.  

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What is your tutor up to? Chapter 20: Jim Cowan thumb

What is your tutor up to? Chapter 20: Jim Cowan

These days it is also necessary for tutors to have websites and while the appeal of a gallery exhibition might be paramount, showing your work on a digital platform is becoming increasingly important and can in some cases reach a greater number of viewers.

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Open studio exhibitions thumb

Open studio exhibitions

Presenting your work to an unsuspecting public is an interesting challenge. You find that strangers arrive at your door and the responsibility of explaining your work effectively to them is all part of the process. An enthusiastic approach pays dividends and in effect the artist is learning on the job through the triple tasks of making, promoting and selling their work.

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Study visit review: Joan Eardley's 'A sense of place' thumb

Study visit review: Joan Eardley's 'A sense of place'

Saturday morning at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was the time and place for the Open College of the Arts study visit to the Joan Eardley ‘A Sense of Place’ exhibition. With fourteen students this was a well-attended event, the participants being attracted to an exhibition that focused on drawing and painting enhanced by photographic and archival documentation of the period.

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Study visit review: America After the Fall thumb

Study visit review: America After the Fall

The Study Day gave students a chance to meet fellow art students on differing courses that ranged from drawing, painting, illustration and photography and it was a valuable opportunity to enjoy a day out with like-minded enthusiasts.

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Susan Oakley thumb

Susan Oakley

It has often been commented upon and especially by assessors looking at student submissions that too often the best work is to be found in the sketchbook. At a time when students should be pulling out all the stops and presenting work that is filled with experimentation and confident resolutions their most successful work is buried deep inside their sketchbooks in danger of being lost or overlooked at this most crucial of times.

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Study Visit: Winifred Knights thumb

Study Visit: Winifred Knights

There are still spaces available for the study visit this weekend at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. Winifred Knights was the most promising painter of her generation at a time when it was difficult for women to have a career in art. Her work embraced the new modernism of the early 20th century together with the traditional concerns and draughtsmanship taught at the Slade School of Art.

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