“10 + EXTEND”: how can we teach painting to students who already think they know what painting is?

Horton, Sarah and Longworth-West, Sarah (2017) “10 + EXTEND”: how can we teach painting to students who already think they know what painting is? In: Teaching Painting: How Can Painting Be Taught in Art Schools? Black Dog Publishing, London, UK, pp. 58-63. ISBN 978-1911164104


Paint is the medium of choice for many new art students, often through familiarity, especially as painting is a cheap and accessible form of teaching art in compulsory education. To first year students this is in contrast to the majority of ‘new’ subjects and media in other areas of fine art such as sculpture, print, digital media. The challenge for the first year BA tutor, therefore, is to construct a painting programme that questions existing preconceptions whilst not directly undermining students’ previous formative experiences with paint, nor their enthusiasm for this, their chosen area, when launching into their BA. This paper outlines a series of workshops developed over a number of years introducing painting on the BA Fine Art course at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). We are indebted to our colleague Simon Grangeri who has worked on the first year programme for many years until recently moving to work with Year Two students. He created the general shape of the first year delivery in painting that is updated and amended on a year-to-year basis. The Fine Art course at NUA has no defined pathways. However, it operates on the premise that technical and conceptual skills need to be taught in tandem. In the first term of Year One students rotate through four workshops entitled Image, Edit, Copy and Object (principally covering painting, new media, print and sculpture). Thus, the first encounter with paint that students have on the course is during the Image workshop that all first year students undertake.

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