The Old School Studio Old School Lane, High Street, Whittlesford, Cambridge CB22 4YS 01223 833064
The Old School Studio

Cambridgeshire based art studio offering Tutored Painting
Work-Shops, a Drop-in-and-Paint Club and Cambridge Open Studios

Drop in!


So here’s the thing about art…

Sometimes your dining table or the box room in your house just isn’t big enough.

Sometimes you need to be around other creative souls to create.

Sometimes you need to be all alone to create.

Sometimes you wish you had an artistic fairy godmother who would magically appear just at that point in your painting where you’re thinking “what the hell am I doing?” and tell you just what you need to do next.

Sometimes you don’t fancy creating at all and it’s only the guilt of others knowing that you’re lazing about that makes you pick up the paint brush and get into your groove…eventually.

Intense concentration at a May 2013 Drop-in.

Intense concentration at a May 2013 Drop-in.

Before I had a Studio, I always wished there was some place I could go regularly and frequently whenever I was keen to paint. So when I got the Studio the first thing I did was create the Drop-in day. In fact when it started in April 2013, it was the Drop-in days – Thursday and Friday – but Friday proved to be tricky so we settled on a weekly Thursday Drop-in.

We started out with 1 or 2 people but by the time I posted the first pics of my Drop-in artists and I having lunch in the garden, sitting in the sun with our easels at the ready… I was soon looking at a full house on some days. At one point I thought I was going to have to establish a booking system! Thankfully, things settled down and now out of a pool of roughly 25 people, there is a regular turn-out of anywhere between 4-6 artists every Thursday at the Studio. I love it!

It’s amazing to see the various projects people bring. When I open the Studio doors on a Thursday anything could come through the door – gouache, watercolour, oils, acrylics, pastels, collage, decoupage, charcoal… portraits, mixed media, landscapes, people, cityscapes, architectural themes, train yards, seasonal pieces… you name it!

Some of our drop-in regulars - Wendy, Jackie & Prue - busy creating their masterpieces!

Some of our regulars – Wendy, Jackie & Prue – busy creating their masterpieces!

At this point the Drop-Ins are a regular social gathering with some much-loved OSS stalwarts (Jackie, Wendy, Dawn, Prue, Pat and company. You know who you are!) and new faces popping up every now and then.

Sketch of Horatio Nelson done at a January 2014 Drop-in session

Sketch of Horatio Nelson done at a January 2014 Drop-in session

Looking back over the Drop-ins for 2013 there have been quite a few memorable moments like the weeks of confusion that Wendy’s bowl of artificial lemons and pears caused. I even had a toddler try to eat one! That would be one-year old Zolana who made her appearance when her mum, Stacey, hosted a few drop-ins to cover my absence. Other fond memories include: Caroline’s oil painting, Jackie’s statuesque women, Margaret’s snow scene, and Pat’s lovely dog portrait that she came to show us after getting it framed next door.

I definitely count the Drop-in sessions as one of the OSS’s great successes. I’ve managed to provide a welcoming creative social space with all the necessary facilities including easels, water pots, a good cuppa and biccies. I’m even able to help with hints, tips and techniques whenever anyone feels they need a little guidance. It’s everything I hoped it would be and more, and I have my regular Drop-In customers to thank for making my Thursdays extra special.

So will I see you this Thursday?

Finished artwork from an OSS Drop-in session

Finished artwork by Frances during an OSS Drop-in session

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 4:34 pm and is filed under Drop In Painting Day, Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.