Find the right art and craft course for you with KAE

Some of our most popular courses are arts and crafts, of which there are plenty to choose from. No matter what you want to try your hand at or where your artistic talents lie, you’ll be able to find something in our course directory.

But exactly why should you take an art course with Kent Adult Education? We spoke to Sylvie Buat-Menard to find out why she has enjoyed the courses we offer so much.

Sylvie has attended a number of different art courses and is currently taking flower painting in Canterbury. She opted for this course because she has a love of plants and spends every second she can in her garden.

“I wanted to do something recreational rather than academic. I’m very interested in gardening, it’s my passion, so I thought I’d like to draw flowers. Because I was working in Broadstairs I went to the course there to start with and really enjoyed it.”

What type of art course would you try?

Like many people that take our courses, Sylvie hadn’t picked up a pencil or paintbrush in years, having not done any art since school.  She has found that learning with an adult education course has been a very different experience.

“It’s funny because I hadn’t done painting or drawing for around 40 years because I did it back at school and like a lot of things, I just didn’t pick it up again. I find that the course is incredibly supportive and helpful. Back at school there was a lot of criticism of art but when you go to the adult course it is more encouraging and you’re much more likely to make progress that way.”

Flower painting also wasn’t the first course that Sylvie tried in her hunt for a fun, recreational activity. She gave a few of our courses a go before finding something that she fell in love with.

“I tried quite a few of the craft courses before starting an art course, like felt making, which I enjoyed but didn’t pursue afterwards. But I did find it quite easy in some ways to start painting after this but it was also a challenge. There’s a lot to learn because I had not done watercolour, which is quite difficult, but I was okay with drawing and other painting work.”

While she enjoyed the course, Sylvie admits that she did find the watercolour aspect quite difficult. However, she never felt like giving it up because she has enjoyed the challenge. She told us: “It has taken a while before I started to think that I was making progress at watercolours, but I never thought of giving it up because really you always seem to gain something from the class each time you go.”

While many people will attend their course in one location, Sylvie has gone to classes in both Broadstairs, where she used to work, and Canterbury. This means she’s been lucky enough to learn under two different tutors, which allowed her to benefit from different teaching styles.

“I’ve had two different tutors for flower painting, one was Gail in Broadstairs and I have Judith now in Canterbury. They are both very different. One gives an overview that included different mediums, which was really interesting while the other is slightly more academic in the sense that you learn more techniques. Both approaches are very useful.”

Because we offer courses throughout Kent, you can find the right one for you in terms of location and atmosphere, allowing you to learn in a comfortable space and at your own pace. Sylvie has found that the tutors are great at adapting their teaching style depending on the needs of the class or individuals, ensuring that everyone gets something out of it.

“I think that the tutor is very conscious of the fact that some people work completely differently and at different speeds. She sets them things according to their ability or what their tastes are. There’s no rigid frame that you have to follow, which is good if you really hate a certain medium.”

But it isn’t just the tutors of the subject that are important to your experience; it is also about the other people attending the course. We get a great range of people attending our courses so you can benefit from their knowledge and strengths. You also know that they are like-minded as they have selected the same course as you.

Sylvie has found that she’s been able to learn from the others on her course and that she greatly enjoys their company during lessons.

“The company of the people on the course is very important because you learn a lot from the others. The course I’ve joined now is quite advanced because it is intermediate, but some people have been there for ten years or so, so they are very very good. By watching other people you can learn quite a lot.”

So would Sylvie recommend Kent Adult Education’s flower painting course?

“I would recommend this course to anyone. Obviously you have to be prepared to do some work because if you don’t put the work in, you won’t get anywhere. So you’ve got to be dedicated. But I would definitely recommend it because you do learn a lot and it’s fun as well as full of information.”

If flower painting doesn’t sound like your cup of tea but you still want to try your hand at some arts and crafts, have a look at our course directory to see what takes your fancy. With so much on offer and courses available during the day, evening and at weekends, you’re sure to find the perfect fit.

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