Josie Jenkins studied Fine Art (painting) at Norwich School of Art and Design, graduating in 2002. She has worked as an artist based in Hull and Nottinghamshire before settling in Liverpool. In 2011 Josie was featured in the BBC2 television series ‘Show Me the Monet’ and her most recent exhibition, ‘Pathos and Entropy’ resides in Cork Art Gallery.
Josie will be teaching an oil painting class in the room that houses the Art Sheds, Gallery 6 on 22nd October and talked to us about her teaching techniques.
Josie Jenkins with one of her artworks
What part of the Art Sheds inspired the themes of your painting workshop?
I was inspired by the Art Sheds as an opportunity for anyone to have a go at making art from observing life and I hope that my workshop will do the same. My workshop looks at still life but I will be using all sorts of things in my display. I do like the vase of flowers that Susan Forsyth chose though. I will have to use some flowers somewhere as they are great for painting. I was also fascinated with the pieces of work that Susan Forsyth selected to display from the VGM’s collection. I think that the added information Susan gives about each piece of work brings it to life. There is something in her selection to inspire everyone.
What teaching techniques did you use in this class?
The workshop will teach some of the basic principles of observational drawing and painting. It is about looking carefully and representing what you can actually see, rather than what you think you know is there. We spend so much time looking at the things that interest us through the lens of a camera or on a computer screen. Painting from still life is about trying to create the essence of something existing in the real world and there are different ways of doing that. I will also teach the basic principles of using the water soluble oil paints we will be working with, but really, the end result is completely down to the person making the painting and their interpretation of what they can see.
How do you approach different levels of skill in workshops like yours?
I usually start by getting an idea of how much painting or drawing the individual group members have done before, but the instructions I give to everyone as a starting point are the same regardless of their skills. It is the kind of subject where individuals can move at their own pace but still enjoy working alongside other people who have different skills. What I do find is that some people like to be left alone to work things out for themselves and others respond better to having more direct help, so when I teach one to one, I tailor it to each individual.
Can I take part in your workshops if I am a first timer?
Of course. It is the sort of thing where anyone can have a go. Sometimes it’s not even the finished piece that matters to people taking part, but more the experience and what they learn in the workshop.
What do you think of the Art Sheds (either coming from the view of the past real sheds or the present exhibition) as a teaching/learning environment?
“Until I saw the exhibition I didn’t know about the original “Art Sheds” that had been used to house the School of Architecture and Applied Art. It was really interesting to learn about this! My favourite exhibitions are the ones that do many things for the viewer and I think Susan Forsyth’s is a great example. It teaches you something about local history, it presents some fantastic pieces from the VGM collections, it offers an opportunity to participate and it is also visually exciting. I love the way the sheds are painted, they are fun! Art doesn’t always have to be so serious.”
Josie’s Art Sheds oil painting workshop is currently fully booked, but if you want to book Josie to conduct a workshop or find out where she is teaching next, then you can contact her in the following ways: Via her website at www.josiejenkins.co.uk or by calling her directly on 07811 081341.