Art School in a Book!

I often hear people say – “If I lived my life again I wouldn’t change a thing.”  I really don’t think like that at all. In fact, my autistic logical self thinks such an idea is a bit ridiculous.  I want to learn from my mistakes –  not go on repeating them.    🙂

I think the biggest mistake I made when I was young was to ignore my heart in choosing a career.  At the time I wanted to ‘do well’ and to ‘fit in’ and to ‘be what the people I loved wanted me to be’ which are not terribly bad ambitions but I failed to take any notice of what I actually liked and where my natural strengths were.  This wasn’t a purposeful decision, or anything forced on me in any way, it was more of a default response caused by the fact that I was really very unaware of my own likes and dislikes at the time.  So if I could live my life again that is something I would change.  I would still try to do the three things I said before but I would also try to  follow my heart as far as my abilities and circumstances would let me.  That way I’d keep in sight the things I loved to do but I would temper that with the reality of my abilities and circumstances.  This is what I am teaching to my son.  I hope it helps him.

If I had made different choices I wonder if, instead of rocking up at university as a science student, I would have ended up arriving on the front steps of an art school somewhere and what that would have been like?  Given the chance I’d still love to do it.


Anyway, while looking through some of the brilliant blogs on WordPress I found a blog were the author, Nicola Schofield was working through a painting book  (Nicola’s blog is here: Artistic Adventures ).  The book she was using is called:

‘Painter’s Progress – An Art School Year in 12 Lessons’

Now this sounded great and I managed to buy it second hand on Amazon Marketplace:


As the title suggests it’s broken down into twelve ‘lessons’ which are designed to take 12 months.  It looks pretty good.


Another book I got recently which I’ve found to be invaluable is

‘Watercolour Painting’ by George James


This book is divided into smaller 2 to 4 page sections with a specific teaching point for each one.  There is so much information and, for me, the info is really at the right sort of level – it’s fabulous!  So, my plan over the next couple of weeks is to research and find a book to really work through.  Because I got on so well with the ‘Expert Answers’  Watercolour book I’ve ordered, again second hand, the other books available in the same series.


Art Answers - Expert Answers books

I’m particularly keen to get the ‘Acrylic Painting’ one.

So, for the next couple of weeks  I’m going to have some fun, painting and drawing, until I’ve got all the books and then I’m going to review each one and choose.  Art school in a book it should be fun!   🙂



10 thoughts on “Art School in a Book!

  1. Hi Jo, great post, I totally agree, I wish I had known myself more, maybe I too would have completed an art course at uni, instead of a science degree? We will never know, it’s never too late to learn and change. Great blog, thank you for finding me, I have enjoyed reading your blog, and still am. Bec

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know just what you mean. My scientific education wasn’t wasted – I’ve worked in research and as a teacher, but more than that I learned how to think and solve probelms clearly using science – a skill I still use every day. It’s all valuable. Thanks for a super comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I totally agree with learning from your mistakes…which leads me to say…What I learned from my mistakes was more valuable than not making the mistakes…I believe nothing is wasted, I choose business and computer technologies instead of art…my very structured brain could not wrap itself around making living as an artist while I was younger, now though…I see it as totally feasible…I loved art my whole life, but only recently made the switch to taking that route of making it as a way of life, and everything in my life was a way for me to get to this point…I wish I could go to art school, but I also wonder if it had been meant to be, it would have had happened…maybe art school would have changed something in me that needed to be there for my own journey. All that to say I don’t have regrets, but I often wonder how differently things might have been had I chosen a different route. In the end, I believe we arrive at exactly what we were meant to do…we just sometimes take different paths…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s great that you’ve found a place where you can be happy in the now! I went back to studying after university and work ,to train to teach, and I enjoyed and appreciated it much more because of the different perspective which working and being a bit older gave me. Your studies sound exciting!


  5. Thanks! I’ve had experience in Acrylic and I’m going to wokr on that some more very soon, but I want to try oils after that. I worked in oils at the very beginning of my artistic adventures back when I was a student but I’ve done little else with them since. It’s lovely to find another artistic scientist!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I had my life over, there is so much I would change. So many regrets about missed opportunities of the past. However, I am very happy with where I am now. I am studying Literature and Art at Uni, where as when younger, I don’t think I would have appreciated, not only the works but also the talented lectured I am blessed with.
    I’m so glad I have found your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome! You’ve reminded me I should have another dive into painter’s progress. If you’re into acrylic then I’m sure the oil exercises could just as easily be done in acrylic. This post could have been written by me! Physics graduate here who, if I won the lottery, would definitely spend a few years learning art full time. For now I’ll just sketch and paint when I can 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Look forward to your reviews of your new purchases…I am in need of watercolor tips and advice…Thanks for sharing, I have wondered what be different if I had gone in other directions…..for me, I regret I didn’t try harder, let set backs and refusals decide my directions….you can’t change the past, so it is good not to dwell on it too long, but it is important to try not to make the same mistakes twice….or quadrupal times….

    Liked by 1 person

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