Year 9 GCSE Art students enjoyed a treat on Wednesday. The incredibly talented artist Kate Brinkworth retweeted a Sharples Art tweet and asked if we would like to join her in her art studio for a Zoom call. I was so excited to get the meeting set up and provide this experience for our Year 9 students and the Year 11 students who are taking art at college.

Kate greeted us with a smile on her face and a cup of tea in her hand. The bright white of the studio walls illuminated the glossy photorealistic oil paintings that she is currently working on. She immediately made the Zoom call feel warm and friendly. I sat comfortably on my couch in awe of the whole experience.

When the students had logged into the Zoom call, Kate gave a friendly hello and started to scan her laptop around her spacious studio. She showed our students how to create a still life set up and talked through the importance of lighting the objects. From here she showed us the commissioned Cola bottle paintings she is currently working on. We were able to see the stunning array of colours she uses. It was interesting to hear she doesn’t use much white in her work. We must give this technique a try, as we have a joke in the Art Department that our white paint is as precious as gold dust, because students use so much! She gave tips on how she uses the oil paint on the canvas and discussed the types of paints she buys to make her large-scale canvases. 

Year 9 had prepared questions before the Zoom call, so throughout the session we were able to find out more personal information which the students can use to develop their artist research pages. I sent Kate a few examples of Year 9’s work, as one student wanted to know if Kate had any advice on ways in which they could improve their work. She gave some great feedback. What an experience to say the artist Kate Brinkworth evaluated my work!

It was interesting to listen to how Kate’s art career began. Students listened to what her day to day work life is like as an artist and the ways she sells her work. Myself and Miss Molyneux have been pricing up some work to purchase but I think we will have to save for a very long time if we want to own a Kate Brinkworth original. 

The live Zoom was a truly impressive experience. We are so grateful that Kate invited Sharples’ budding artists to give them lots of inspiration for their artwork and future art careers. She has said to pass on her details, so I have shared them with the Bolton Hub so other aspiring artists in the Bolton area can benefit from meeting Kate. 

I don’t think words can describe how much I enjoyed sharing this interview with our students. It has definitely been a memorable moment in my teaching career.

Article by Mrs Fletcher, Head of Art.