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Back to life…

Here is a little resume of how I started teaching in the life room, how I turned it into something where I could practice and pass on my knowledge and understanding to others and how it continues…

In 1997 I was working as a freelance Graphic Designer in Montpellier in the south of France. When I’d moved there in late 1994 I’d gone in search of art groups to join - to improve both my drawing and my pretty ropey O’Level French! Soon I was attending an evening course in a beautiful little art school in the centre of a local village and another course in a converted mechanics workshop in the Arab quarter of Montpellier. Both my drawing and my French improved and in 1996, I was pleasantly surprised to be asked by both schools if I’d like to teach drawing and painting. 

Having never taught before, I of course said yes! 

The idea of teaching far outweighed my fear of standing up in front of a class of students, speaking a language I had only just grasped and teaching a subject which I did instinctively but had never had to teach before.

The two schools that had asked me (within a week of each other) obviously saw something of the teacher in me. My Mum was the most brilliant teacher at home and in the classroom and my sister and two of my nieces went on to do it full-time. I guess it’s in the genes. It didn’t interest me to teach full-time as I loved my design job so short courses and evening sessions suited me perfectly. I soon realised that teaching a subject is a great way of learning even more about that subject as well as HOW people learn and the best way to teach, sometimes tricky concepts. 

Teaching out in a little village meant a 7km cycle ride through vineyards so bike lights and a full moon late at night were really helpful! I taught both an adult class and one for teenagers in a municipal school and in those days the arts were heavily subsidised and supported by the local authorities. Students would sign up for the whole year and pay absolute pocket money to attend. (I once attended a sculpture class for £30 a term!). The art school in Montpellier paid me in life drawing sessions so each night of the week I was either out teaching or drawing… and during the daytime working through different graphics projects on my little Mac, a 28.8K modem and a fax machine!. I was having the time of my life.

Early 2000 I moved back to the UK and found myself living in Brighton. Life drawing classes were abundant and I went to as many as I had time for. 

In 2004 I started working as a drawing tutor for Evolution Arts and here I remained for over a decade teaching three sessions a week. A couple of years later I had moved from Brighton along the coast to Worthing, where I found regular life drawing sessions were non-existent so eventually in 2016 - after many train journeys to Brighton, I set up Drawing Room specifically to bring life drawing to town! 

I could now draw, paint and teach right on my doorstep and either make some pocket money or draw from life for free! I started with just one session a week but within a couple of months I was running both a tutored and an untutored session. I soon decided that I needed to up my game in portrait painting in oils so set up a 3hr oil painting course to teach and a Saturday long pose session where I could paint… slowly but surely a wonderful artistic community was formed and I was learning so much about the tricky nature of portrait painting! 

Drawing Room also put on special events and in 2018 I teamed up with AMi (Artists, Models, ink) to put on a Weimar Berlin themed life drawing session to huge success.

A 360 degree life drawing event which culminated in everyone producing animations of their artwork.

Since then we have had a 360 degree drawing session run by the incredible Aaron Jacob Jones, a ‘Surrealists and Other Strange Phenomena’ life drawing event partly funded by the Creative Commissions initiative and attended by more than 70 people, a DUO event with the amazing performers who are Castor and Hester (previously Lilith and Arthur) and more recently a Sound and Vision event with the super talented poet Katrina and harpist Esme (who played almost continually for the whole duration!). More are planned!

Drawings from the Sound and Vision event 2023

Our only blip was of course when covid hit and our doors were closed immediately. Our lovely friends along the coast - Draw Brighton went into action really quickly with running sessions online and they were really helpful in giving me advice on how to do the same. It all seemed impossible and strange but I made it work with lots of help and a steep learning curve. The first 3 sessions were free to a small group of 6 people who were my Zoom guinea pigs! Although not as good as in-person classes, it was WAY better than nothing and so a couple of regular sessions were run every week. I decided to keep it to small, intimate groups so that I could still give one-to-one advice if needed and we used the unique capabilities if a Zoom session to it’s full potential!

In August 2022 we opened our doors again to a much reduced timetable as my personal work was taking up my time. Drawing Room has now increased the number of weekly sessions thanks to two local artists who I have encouraged to run and facilitate their own life drawing courses and sessions all under the Drawing Room umbrella. We have some great plans for Drawing Room in the future - we want to help keep Worthing drawing! Head over to for all the latest.

Outside of Drawing room I have also been guest tutor at Draw, Brighton to teach oil painting and at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.

Leading a life model workshop amongst the artworks of Glyn Philpot as part of Pallant House Gallery Summer lates 2022

Courses and workshops coming up

I’m really happy to announce that I’m now back on the teaching circuit in a small capacity whilst I negotiate commissions and my own practice

Below you will find a list of courses that I am really excited to be teaching - quite a few sold out VERY quickly (sorry) - but all being well, I will be asked back again and I may teach some courses in Worthing in 2025.

I look forward to meeting and teaching some of you along the way.

Pallant House Gallery

Life Drawing workshops 

16th May, 20th June, 18th July, 19th September, 17th October 6 til 8pm

(Running in conjunction with Pallant House Summer Lates), Cornwall CIC is a friendly and especially inclusive, community directed, not-for-profit creative studio with the current central focus of teaching being on the rigours of seeing, representing and expressing the human form.

22nd May 2024, 10am til 4pm

Translating and Expressing the Human Form 


28th-30th May 2024, 10am til 4pm

The Emotive Portrait 


Draw, Brighton

Painting Portraits with Wendy Barratt

6th - 7th July 2024, 10am til 5pm


West Dean College of Arts, Chichester

Portrait Painting in Oils

4th - 6th October 2024


Drawing Room, Worthing

Regular life drawing sessions both tutored and untutored.

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