For the more jaundiced amongst us, the phrase Adult Education might conjure up images of a cheerless school classroom, repurposed for half-a-dozen lovelorn grown-ups with a feigned interest in lampshade-making. The last place they’d think of would be somewhere like Dillington House; a Somerset County Council-owned Adult Education establishment with an air of independence that easily transcends the clichés of Lifelong Learning.
Aside from the splendour of the surroundings, the excellent food and accommodation and the friendly staff, what makes Dillington buzz is that on any given day you could be rubbing shoulders with guitar enthusiasts, history students, bird-watchers, singers, amateur archaeologists, garden-lovers and genealogists. Unsurprisingly, you’ll also encounter that denizen of all Adult Education institutions: the art student.
Today, on the sunniest day so far this year, we drew the blinds in the art studio and squinted through the twilight at our backlit touchscreens for an intensive iPad art workshop. Unfortunately there isn’t an app yet that knows what you want to paint and you still need to think creatively and be able to draw. On top of that, if you want to paint, scribble, erase, resize or a zillion other things, the instruction is always the same: ‘tap the screen.’ And if you lose your paintbrush or your pencil, it’s no good searching behind your ear; it’ll be on the screen… somewhere…waiting for you to tap on it, if you only knew where to look!
For more on iPad Art, check out my gallery, here. I use Brushes XP or Brushes Redux, new iterations of the app used by David Hockney. And for my next course at Dillington House, using old-fashioned paint, click here!