Over the next few days I’ll be gathering together brushes, paper, paints, charcoal and canvas ready for a week at Sarum Studio, Salisbury. Sarum Studio is run by Nick Beer, formerly senior tutor at Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence.
I spent a month or so training in Salisbury with Nick back in 2012 and had such a fantastic time. The cathedral close and Wren Hall (where the studio is based) are really beautiful and are highly conducive to feeling inspired and motivated. The small scale of the studio is a big advantage, allowing the training to be tailored specifically to each student’s needs and to addressing the ‘weakest links’ in their technique. The improvements to my technique and overall visual sensibility in the short time I was there were more marked than at any other stage in my training so far.
Nick has spent many years working closely alongside Charles Cecil (himself taught by R. H. Ives-Gammell). Training with him, you really get a sense of the lineage back to Ives-Gammell, McGregor-Paxton and beyond to the great academies of Europe. My lasting impression of training at Sarum Studio was that I was getting ‘the real thing’: a ‘philosophy of seeing’ and a solid grounding in the principles of naturalistic painting. What I learnt during my time there has formed the framework for all my subsequent self-directed efforts, so I can’t wait to go back – even though it’s only for a week.
Ben Laughton Smith
Aspiring artist, training in the classical tradition.