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

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

New Year! New Tutors! New Workshops!

Published on December 23rd, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Uncategorized

Are you ready for 2018 at the Old School Studio? Because we’ve got over 50 workshops for you to choose from! Plus, there are 14 new tutors for you to learn from. Let’s get creative in the new year!


Click the picture to see our gorgeous new brochure designed by Stacey Leigh Ross at

There are a lot of new things to look forward to this year, so get ready!

View our Workshop Diary.

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Did you miss our latest Newsletter? Never fear, click here!

Published on September 21st, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Cambridge Open Studios, Class, Drop In Painting Day, Extra, Review, The Old School Studio, Work-shop

Welcome to My World by Valerie Pettifer


You can find all the latest info about what’s happening at the OSS as it happens on our Facebook page.

But if social media isn’t your thing, or you just want to be sure you don’t miss anything then click here to subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter.

Welcome to our art family!


Please note: Workshop spaces listed in newsletters are only correct as at time of publication

25/12/2017 –
Merry Christmas! We’ve got 2018 covered.

21/09/2017 – (correction)
Life Drawing Surprises, Limited Spaces and the Drop-In Exhibition is coming!

20/09/2017 –
An Invitation for You!

14/09/2017 –
Life Drawing surprises, Limited Spaces & the coming Exhibition!

30/06/2017 –
Open Studios, Award-winning Tutors, Wildlife Workshops & More!

30/04/2017 –
Summer School, you say? And the good stuff is almost sold out?

23/03/2017 –
4 Yrs old in April and Let’s talk Women Artists!

25/01/2017 –
Announcing Drop-In Mondays, New Tutors & More!



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Drop-In Exhibition is almost here!

Published on September 21st, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Drop In Painting Day, Extra, The Old School Studio, Uncategorized

Don’t forget it’s on next weekend!

Come see a year’s worth of art from our dedicated Drop-In artists who paint and draw every Thursday or Friday all year round. See their 2017 catalogue while you have a sip and savour a nibble!


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New Tutor! New Book!

Published on August 14th, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Extra, The Old School Studio, Work-shop

This winter at the OSS, we’ll be exploring mixed media like never before!

Join us for Atmospheric Seascapes (Dec 2) and Expressive Fenland Scenes (Dec 3) with mixed media artist extraordinaire, Robert Dutton. So to get you even more excited about the impressive skill set that will be coming to our Studio, check this out!

Robert has LOTS of new paintings featured in this brand new book – Artists Drawing Techniques – recently published by DK Life (in association with Penguin Books) showing step by step paintings in progress, bags of art techniques, hints and creative tips with pastel full of expression!

Just think, you can try out several of these techniques with Robert if you join his exclusive studio based mixed media art course here at The Old School Studio in December. Best be quick though, places are filling fast!

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It’s our 4th Anniversary!

Published on March 21st, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Extra, Review, The Old School Studio

Saturday 22nd April
11 am – 5 pm

Come join us for a glass of Bucks Fizz, good art and good company as we celebrate the Old School Studio’s 4th birthday!

4 years ago on April 20th I threw open the doors to this studio thinking I’d host a few workshops and spend the rest of my time painting in my lovely new studio. I think it’s fair to say that I was sadly mistaken.

Yes, the studio is lovely – a warm and welcoming creative space we work hard to maintain.

Yes, we host workshops – but it’s a lot more than the “few” I had anticipated.

Yes, I paint in my lovely not-so-new-anymore studio – but I don’t get to play with my paints and pastels as much as I’d like. It’s a lot harder to finish a painting than it used to be because, I’m not sure exactly when it happened but, my little hobby very quickly turned into a business!

When it all started (read that story here), I never would have anticipated having so many workshops with notable artists that I would need an annual workshop diary and brochure!

There have been changes I never would have anticipated but through it all, we had so much support from our Drop-In regulars, art tutors, workshop attendees, and neighbours in beautiful Whittlesford. We never would have made it 4 years without you.

So this year we’ve started celebrating by asking our regulars why they love The Old School Studio so much. You may have seen some of their pics on the home page, and we’ve posted some more here too! Their answers have been heartwarming and quite the inspiration to keep on keeping on. (If you’d like to say why you love coming to The Old School Studio please contact us. We always welcome feedback.)

It’s been quite the journey and we’ve made so many new art friends. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all for making the Old School Studio such a wonderful art hub. Long may we continue to do so!

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Cambridge Open Studios 2017

Published on March 21st, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Cambridge Open Studios, Extra

  1st & 2nd July
  8th & 9th July
15th & 16th July
11 am – 6 pm

Every year, Cambridge Open Studios allows locals to discover the artists operating in their midst, explore their studios, and get insight into their techniques and styles. Lesley & Val have been playing with a few new things this year, so step right this way. It’s Cambridge Open Studios 2017 at the OSS!

Every year, when 300+ Cambridgeshire-based artists open their studios to the public over four weekends, the aim is to help bring artists and local people together.

Lesley paints Cezanne

Resident OSS Artist, Lesley paints Cezanne

This year, OSS resident artists, Lesley Rumble and Val Pettifer will be taking part again.


The Studio will be open the first 3 weekends in July – 1st & 2nd, 8& 9th, 15 & 16th – lots of opportunity to see up to 50 paintings in a seriously wide selection of mediums including watercolours, oils, acrylics, mixed media, pastels, gouache and more! So what’s new? As ever, Lesley has been experimenting and exploring with her watercolours, while Val has taken a foray in the world of Pebeo glass paint effects and a more in-depth look at pan pastels. Works-in-Progress will be on display from both artists.

Val Pettifer, Proprietor & Resident Artist

But if that’s not enough, stroll through beautiful Whittlesford to see the work of fellow artist and Whittlesford resident Jan Smail who will also be opening her studio on the same weekends.

And finally, if you’ve worked up an appetite with all that art, conversation and exploration then mosey down to the home of Whittlesford’s sumptuous gastronomic delights, The Tickell Arms Restaurant, which is only a two minute walk from the Studio.

Cambridge Open Studios is about more than just viewing art. It’s about understanding the story behind the art and the creative soul who made it. Visit us in 2017 on the 1st & 2nd, 8& 9th, 15 & 16th July. We’d love to share our creativity with you!

Click the links to see more of Val’s art and Lesley’s art.

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Summer School at the OSS

Published on March 21st, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Class, Extra, The Old School Studio, Work-shop


Click image to enlarge

Here’s an opportunity to firm up your artistic foundation. Need to sharpen your drawing skills? Feeling stuck and need to break out of your comfort zone? Want to try new mediums? New techniques? New ideas? Curious about how and why the Masters painted the things they did? The way they did? Well here’s your chance! The Old School Studio is reverting to its heritage – art school is in session!

Book 1 day or book all 3. This school is flexible. Pick the artistic areas you’re interested in strengthening then sit back and enjoy learning!



Debbie Bellaby starts Summer School with her stunning Illustration magic! Want to up your drawing skills? Learn how just the right dab of the right colour in the right place can make your drawing come to life? Call to book your spot asap!



Ronnie Ireland is going to teach us how to use Chance as the ultimate Creative tool. This is the workshop to break you out of your comfort zone. Always wanted to try something a little different? Then come Drip, Gamble & Splat with us!



Pebeo seems to be popping up everywhere and Matthew Squance is the man to get you in the know! Try a completely new medium that yields amazing results. You’ve probably seen a few paintings and wondered “how did they get the paint to do that?”  Pebeo Special Effects are going to blow your mind!


£60 for 1 day

£110 for 2 days (£10 off!)

£165 for 3 days (£15 off!)

So pick and choose what you want to learn.
Summer School is all about improving your creativity!


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Drop-In Exhibition 2017

Published on March 21st, 2017 by Stacey Leigh Ross in Drop In Painting Day, Extra, The Old School Studio

Saturday 30th September & Sunday 1st October 2017
11 am – 4 pm

Drop-In Exhibition 2015Can you imagine how much art our Drop-in Club members produce every year? We can’t just let it all disappear into folders and private homes without celebrating their commitment to art! So we’ll roll out the wine, soft drinks & nibbles, and you bring all your friends. It’s Drop-In Exhibition & End of Year Social time! I hope we’ve got enough wall space for all that art!

Every Monday, Thursday and Friday a wonderful ever-changing group of local artists (amateur and professional) drop-in at the Studio, where either Lesley or Val is ready and waiting to provide expert advice as drop-in artists get creative.

The last time we did this, OSS regulars were surprised they actually sold some art!

If you’ve been thinking about starting to paint more regularly, join us.
And if you just love to see beautiful art, come to our Drop-In Exhibition.

We’d love to see you there!


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New Year! New Tutors! New Workshops!

Published on November 26th, 2016 by Michael McGarrity in Uncategorized

Roll on 2017 because we at the Old School Studio are ready for you!



There are a lot of new things to look forward to this year, so get ready!

View our Workshop Diary.

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New Year! New Tutors! New Workshops!

Published on January 21st, 2016 by Val Pettifer in Uncategorized

Roll on 2016 because we at the Old School Studio are ready for you! There are a lot of new things to look forward to this year, so get ready!


The Old School Studio 2016 Brochure

The Old School Studio 2016 Brochure

If you haven’t got the new 2016 brochure, click here AND here to download and print it now. Alternatively, you can call 01223 833 064 or email to request that one be emailed or posted to you. Stacey’s designed a new slim line brochure that is certainly standing out in leaflet display stands across the Cambs and North Herts.



This year we’ve also got some fantastic new tutors to boast about. Guess who’s coming to the OSS this year?

Thomas Plunkett PRWS thank you very much! Yes folks we’re hosting the President (uh huh, I said The President!) of the Royal Watercolour Society and if you think you can handle all that watercolour royalty in one day, then be sure to book your place on his Adventurous Watercolours workshop on Mar 20th!

Chris Lockwood, our own local watercolour royalty will be joining the OSS line-up this year. You get 2 chances to learn from this talented and prolific watercolourist. Sign up for Spring Blossoms on May 10th, and/or Autumn Fruits & Berries in Watercolour on Ink on October 4th. The OSS Facilities Manager (i.e. Dave) loves her work so much, that he made his first original art purchases and now he’s got two of them proudly hanging on his walls.

Melanie Cambridge is bringing her oils! When a professional artist and author of 4 books, including the popular Collins “30 Minute Painting – Oils” brings her kit to show you how it’s done, you get to booking your spot asap! Join Melanie on June 14-15th for her workshop at the OSS, Oils, Capturing the Moment.

Clare Crossman is adding a new kind of creativity to the OSS workshop diary. On Jul 20th 2016, this passionate poet and writer will be showing OSS students a new way to experience the seemingly random words in newspaper snippets, poetry fragments and word collages used in various art pieces. Bet that got you thinking!

The Akib brothers are in the house! Yes, you heard right. Jamel Akib will guide students through high energy painting with his Pastels in Action workshop on August 6-7th. Then on September 17th, Hashim Akib and his stunning acrylic skills will be tutoring a Sunlight & Shade workshop you won’t want to miss!



Not to be left out, some of your returning tutors are coming back to the OSS with new workshops to tempt those itchy paint fingers back to paper, canvas and beyond! Check these out:

  • Adventurous Watercolours with Thomas Plunkett PRWS
  • Art of Modern Impressionism with John Shave
  • Spring Blossoms in Watercolour with Chris Lockwood
  • Essential Drawing Skills with Rachel Haynes
  • Wildlife Painting on Wood Block with Val Pettifer
  • Oils, Capturing the Moment with Melanie Cambridge
  • Birds of Prey in Pen & Watercolour with Vic Bearcroft
  • Impact, Creating Light with Marilyn Allis
  • Creative Writing – To Make of the Moment, Something Permanent with Clare Crossman
  • Pastels in Action with Jamel Akib
  • Summer School at The OSS with Lesley Rumble, Paul Alcock & Val Pettifer
  • Kids, Create a Famous Painting with Prue van der Hoorn
  • Kids, Paint a Carnival Mask with Prue van der Hoorn
  • Chunky Acrylics with Marilyn Allis
  • Brusho in Control with Marilyn Allis
  • Sunlight & Shade with Hashim Akib
  • Autumn Fruits & Berries in Watercolour with Chris Lockwood
  • Painting Wildlife & Pets with Simon Williams SBA
  • Painting in the Style of Cezanne with Lesley Rumble
  • Amur Tiger in Pastel with Vic Bearcroft
  • Colour & Texture with Soraya French
  • Recycle that Old Canvas with Val Pettifer



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