Canal View Bridge and Moor Hen Pond
10" x 14", coloured pencils on Arches HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The Open College of the Arts is an educational facility based in the UK which makes a structured set of courses available to any student of any age anywhere in the world. It was founded to cater for people who wish to develop their abilities but who see no present way of engaging in the traditional pathways of full-time education.
It offers people the opportunity to:
- study for fun
- develop your skills
- get a degree in creative arts
The OCA’s courses in Fine Art help you develop as a visual artist. You can explore a range of disciplines and you can follow a study pathway which can take you right up to degree level. Or, if you prefer, you can take courses just for your own pleasure and interest.The courses are based on distance learning and a prepared set of course materials supported by one to one tuition. You can use post or email to send your assignments to your tutor for a written report, feedback and advice. You can find details of how tuition works on the website.
We offer a foundation programme in Art and Design which forms a platform for further study with the OCA. Or you can use the course to create a portfolio of work in support of applications for full-time study at art college or university.
At post-foundation level, we offer specialist courses in drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking.
In most cases, these disciplines are available from Level 1 through to Level 3. These are progressively challenging, highly rewarding courses at higher education level which require a real commitment in terms of time and effort.
Guide to Courses 2008/09 (pdf)
There are three levels of courses in the following topic areas. The numbers indicate the levels from Drawing and Painting. Click the link for more details about each course - the course aims, content, teaching method and assessment.
- Art & Design - Foundation Course
- Drawing 1
- Painting 1 - starting to paint
- Painting 1 - watercolour
- Painting 2 Finding your way
- Painting 2 - Relating to other artists
- Painting 3 - Advanced
- Painting 3 - your own exhibition
- Printmaking - Introduction to printmaking - this was the one I was interested in - the course overview is below
This course has been designed to allow you to explore printmaking techniques which you can learn at home without the need for complicated equipment or materials. You will carry out a series of projects and experiments and undertake preparatory work including analysis and selection from visual sources. Design, composition and colour projects will help you to turn your ideas into printed images. The course is aimed at complete beginners or more experienced printmakers looking for a new and better approach to their work.
- Relief printing
- Collatype collage prints
- Combined processes.
There are also specific workshops held in different parts of the UK. An example of one running this month is given below
Still Life: a Bold ApproachYou can find out more about the courses in a booklet which is available to download as a pdf file Guide to Courses 2008/09
on 31st January 2009
This workshop aims to develop student approaches to still life painting with particular reference to the function of colour in composition. After looking at the work of a selection of still life artists such as Morandi, Scottish Colourists, students will learn how to lay down and build up a composition using acrylic and a broad brush whilst considering colour harmonies and contrasts.
- When: 31st January 2009 10:00-16:00
- Where: Michael Young Arts Centre, Barnsley
A degree in creative arts - with a difference
For those interested in taking a degree in creative arts
Key features of the BA Hons in Creative ArtsThe courses can be taken in such a way that a student can obtain a degree - a BA Hons in Creative Arts. This is because nearly all the courses are accredited which means they carry higher education credit points. If you successfully complete enough courses this can lead to a Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education or to an Honours degree in Creative Arts.
• No entry requirements
• Enrol at any time
• Study in your own time
• Wide choice and combination of subjects
• Previous studies can count towards your degree
• Combine study with other work and commitments
• No need to travel
• No compulsory summer schools
• No sit-down exams
• No accommodation fees
• Highly cost effective.
- a Certificate requires 120 credit points at Level 1
- a Diploma requires 120 credit points at Level 1 plus 120 points at Level 2
- a BA Hons degree requires a further 120 points at Level 3.
The above is just a summary of what can be found on the website. The institution has been around for a while and the scope and content of a number of the courses appear to offer opportunties for learning which are a tad different from many short workshops.
I'd love to hear from anybody who's completed a course with the OCA and to hear about their experience of the set-up and how well it worked for them.
[Note: The drawing was developed from the sketch I did and the photos I took on 2nd January - see yesterday's post on my sketchbook blog An introduction to the Ecology Park Pond series]