Hi, I'm Mary Kemp, passionate painter of anything to do with the seaside.
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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

So What Did I Learn at Art School?

Back in the day I spent a year at art school in Salisbury, my only formal art training.
It was a year of excitement and discovery played out in an atmosphere of eternal youth and love and peace.
I remember floaty dresses and sandwich spread sandwiches, Stonehenge, and driving through the Wiltshire countryside without a care in the world.

So what did I actually learn?
Mary Kemp. Stonehenge.


  • Drawing accurately is not everything, but it is VERY USEFUL.
  • Watercolour is not fashionable.
  • Real artists splash paint around a lot and don't wash.
  • The only true vocation is to be an artist.
  • Money does not matter as long as you have enough to buy materials.
  • There's a lot of ways of being an artist, the wackier the better!
  • It's cool to look the part.
  • Colour theory.
  • Composition theory and the golden square.
  • A Kit-Kat is the most perfect snack for elevenses.
And what didn't I learn? Which is more to the point as I've since spent an awful lot of time discovering these things.

  • How to package, market and sell my art.
  • That you've got to work hard and consistently.
  • It's a job, albeit the best job in the world.
This was a great year and I shall never forget it. I wish I had recorded it in some form. I can't even find my sketchbooks, but I know I drew a lot in green ink because Wiltshire is so green.
It was a good kick start to the art bit, and I'd like to heartily thank all my teachers, but we all needed to learn so much more on the business front.
Now the word is art schools have changed and business features much more prominently, but drawing has almost dropped off the radar.
Will a happy balance ever be achieved? I somehow doubt it.

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