Porthmeor Programme 

A year long study programme over 9 months with a Summer break

We start in Spring with an intensive 3 days study followed by 8 tutored weekends (alternating 2 or 3 days)  working with carefully selected artists and 1-1 tutorials with your lead tutor throughout.

Open Evening to meet the tutors 10 Nov 5pm.

Applications close 24 Nov 2018


Are you open minded, motivated and excited about making work? Then joining our one year programme could be just what you need.

Our Porthmeor Programme, now in its fourth year, is ideal for those looking for a longer-term structure to learn with a supportive group of peers. Set in a nurturing and safe space, you can take risks and gain the confidence you need to move your work to the next level. An artist tutor will be with you all the way, so they get to know you and your work.

Workshops run over weekends so students can travel from across the UK to join us. They always  have a practical making element. These can range from skills and technique development to exercises exploring ideas and motivations. Their primary purpose is to encourage risk taking and expansion of your personal practice. In addition there are one to one tutorials and group discussions. Carefully selected visiting artists will join the lead tutor.

We cater for a range of students from early stage artists to those with more experience looking to challenge and stimulate their practice. We believe that developing a strong practice is where you start. The focus is not on the secrets of getting gallery representation or making a living as artist. It is about helping you become the artist you want to be. This is the first most critical and exciting step and we believe this is what we can help you with.

Following an intensive three day study weekend, a rich and varied programme of 7 weekend tutorials and  practical creative workshops will be provided around every four weeks with a break in July and August.

These sessions will be a mix of long (to include a Friday) and short weekends to allow people to travel.


Payable in 3 instalments: £150 initial deposit, £1,200 by mid Jan, £1,200 as course starts.

The fee includes tuition, your materials during the workshops, access to free life-drawing classes throughout the programme and professional seminars to plan next steps.


What makes the Porthmeor Programme different?

  • We have kept numbers small. Only 8 and 10 students. The small group size means tutors spend more time with each student.


  • We design the programme to combine learning new skills, finding your own voice with group and one to one feedback. It’s this balance that makes it work so well.


  • A number of guest artist slots are flexible so we can respond to the needs of the group and bespoke the programme each year.


  • The programme will include a final weekend focussing on next steps and professional development.


  • It includes 8 weekends (4 of which are long 3 day weekends)  working each time with your lead tutor and a guest artist.
  • Over the summer period the lead artist will have a telephone or Skype tutorial with you.


  • Between teaching weekends you can take advantage of our weekly life drawing sessions for free.


  • Materials are included on all the weekend workshops.


  • And of course we have a view from our studio that has inspired artists for centuries!


“I feel I am more confident in my ideas and approaching work in a freer more experimental way. I’m more able to push through when the going gets tough. I spend less time worrying and more time painting. 

This programme is a real tonic for artists, the playful approach and the serious are well balanced. It’s great to have surprises and learn something new. I have felt nurtured and challenged throughout”   Jill 

Applications have now closed but please email to join a reserve list or express interest for 2019/20

Two groups will run concurrently: Peter Skerrett will lead a group of 8 and Kerry Harding a group of 10. Both artists have a wealth of experience in teaching and their own artist practice.

We want to make sure the programme is going to be a good fit for your current needs. Participants will be selected based on their desire to develop, their ability to commit to making work between sessions and the impact on their practice from joining the programme now. The selection panel will also consider the mix of the group in terms of approaches and experience.

The Application Process

Please send us up to five images of your work and no more than five hundred words explaining why you will benefit from joining the programme now, your ability to commit to making between sessions and what you would hope to gain.

If you are short listed by the selection panel, we will then be in touch to have a chat via telephone or skype, so we can get a better feel for how it might work for you.
For more information please contact us on 01736 797180 or info@schoolofpainting.co.uk.

Please email to info@schoolofpainting.co.uk   subject: Porthmeor Programme

St.Ives School of Painting 12 August 2015

News From Past Students


Artist Lynette kay who participated in the Porthmeor Programme 2016/17 was invited to take part in the Pink Floyd Exhibition in 2017 at the V&A.

Lynette explores painting through her synaesthesia, where even a single bar of music can fuel hours’ worth of colour and shape. The audience are invited to watch and discuss her work as she paints, listening to the sounds of Pink Floyd.

Artists Statement

In 2016/17 I participated in the Porthmeor Programme at the Painting School, St Ives. This course offered many new opportunities, enabling me to bring clarity and increased confidence to my work. I also discovered that the solitary existence of being beside the sea seems to mimic being in the studio with my music.

The nature of how music surrounds and enfolds me is what drives my approach to painting. Total immersion and the meditative rhythm of mark making happens when I respond to music. This way of working stems from my Synaesthesia, where even a single bar of music can fuel hours’ worth of colour and shape, using organic forms and un-primed, uneven canvas pieces. Familiar but unexplained motifs appear again and again.





Dates of 2019/20 Programme

Group 1 Group 2
5 – 7 April 22 -24 Mar
17 – 19 May 4 -5 May
15 – 16 June 14 -16 June
27 – 29 Sept 6 -8 Sept
9 – 10 Nov 12 -13 Oct
7 – 8 Dec 9 -10 Nov
1 – 2 Feb 2020 18 – 19 Jan 2020
29 Feb -1 Mar 2020 29 Feb -1 Mar 2020
27 -29 Mar 2020 27 -29 Mar 2020

Our Lead Tutors



Kerry’s paintings are her own particular view of nature with paint remaining the hero.  By years of exploring more experimental uses of this medium Kerry has a distinctive vocabulary of marks and surfaces that successfully interpret the textures and atmospheres of the Cornish landscape.

An experienced painter and skilled tutor, Kerry studied fine art at The Ruskin School, Oxford University in 1991 followed by an MA in fine art at Falmouth and has been teaching at St Ives School of Painting since early 2014.

Kerry has exhibited extensively with her most recent show at the Hilton Fine Art Gallery in Bath.

See more images at kerryharding.co.uk


Peter Skerrett is a Senior Lecturer in Drawing at the Falmouth School of Art, Falmouth University (since 2001) After a career as a set designer for the theatre and as an Architect, Peter now has his own practice as an artist in his studio at Potager Garden in Cornwall which he co-founded in 2001.

His practice is diverse; now mainly concerned with painting and drawings but also incorporates rug making,  writing and furniture design. Design commissions include an alter for Truro Cathedral, conversion of an industrial building to artists’ studios in Penryn and many private houses and gardens around Cornwall.  As both an artist and designer he is interested in the threshold between our private and public nature. Observations made in a variety of places take on new narratives while he works with them in the privacy of the studio. Three years ago (2015) he was awarded a fellowship at the Florence Academy of Art where he learnt the sight size method of drawing.

Peter’s diverse approach to his personal art practice and his experience supporting other creatives makes him an exciting lead artist on the Porthmeor Programme for 2019. He also delivers a course using an experimental approach to drawing to help students discover exciting new ways to develop their own creative voice.

 Travelling and Staying

.Looking for accommodation? Do browse our website  St Ives Accommodation  but if you are on a tight budget you might like to consider the Cohort Hostel.

Cool, contemporary hostel accommodation in the centre of St Ives. Beds from £20/night (room only). WiFi, Courtyard, Bar, Lounge, TV Room, Fully equipped kitchen, Secure dorms and private rooms. Tel: 01736 791664

Travelling from London?  The sleeper train leaves Paddington on a Friday evening arriving at St Erth on a Saturday morning  at 7.40 with the cost of a single cabin £60.