‘A true artist not just a painter’ Catherine Severac – (Director of painting. Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts).
Martin Kinnear is an award winning painter, writer and world recognised expert on oils. He founded, and is the Course Director of the Norfolk Painting School.
An Open Letter from Martin
I wanted to take a minute of your time to set our my vision for the School, and how I think I can help you to become a better painter.
Painting is without doubt the most beguiling and accessible of the arts. Beguiling because, no matter how good you become, the painting on your canvas is never as good as the one in your head, and accessible because given just a couple of hours of tuition and a few pounds on materials, anyone can do it.
Did I mention that painting is relevant too? They have yet to invent the camera which can depict not just what was there, but tell the viewer how you felt about it. Painting in short is, for me at least, the perfect route to personal creative expression.
So that’s the starting point for all of my courses: getting you engaged with paint, engaged with your creativity and in love with the act of painting.
I started the School because I wanted to show as many people as I could that they could paint. The ability to paint is not some kind of divine gift, but the product of self awareness, and a little applied technique.
I know it sounds commonplace to criticise art schools but you’d be shocked how many times students on the first day of my foundation course Simply Oils have told me that they have learned more from us in the first morning session than on their degree.
I am aware that degrees are wider in scope than my short foundational art courses, however I’m convinced that skills facilitate creative expression.
For this reason all of my courses – however creative they may become – are rooted in teaching you useful practical techniques with which to express your creativity with paint. More than that, the courses – and there are dozens now – are written to tie into each other, so you can explore your creative ideas down a route to suit you. This means that you can take a broad foundational course and build your style from there, take a specialist course for more direction, or mix the both up as you develop.
We deliver this creative direction and stylistic flexibility by teaching you the skills, ideas and approaches of the masters, so you can build your own creative painting style upon their principles. As Picasso observed there are no old ideas in painting, and as Wilde might have added the test of any painting, however it is painted, and whatever its subject might be, is whether it is also a self portrait of the artist.
That then is my aim, to teach you to paint like you. Thank you for taking an interest in your creative development and I sincerely hope you’ll allow us to help you take the first, or next , step in your painting journey.
Martin Kinnear. January 2019
A profesional oil painter since 2002, Martin works from his studios in North Yorkshire and North Norfolk, as well as at The Norfolk Painting School where he shares his knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for painting.
Pieces from Martin’s 2018 solo show Beyond Here were selected by The Societie Nationale des Beaux Arts to hang in their prestigious 2018 Paris Salon, where Martin was awarded the Medaille d’Argent for his painting, ‘Burnsall, Winter’.
Martin has regularly exhibited at major shows including the Affordable Art Fair, at the NEC and with the Paris Salon as well as with The Royal Institute Of Oil Painters, The Royal Society of British Oil Painters, The Discerning Eye and at The Eastern Open. His paintings are collected both private and corporately by British and international collectors.
Martin creates bodies of new work every two years as part of his Diploma teaching as he believes in leading by example and that ‘those who can, paint’ His sell out 2015/16 Show The Painted Garden was featured in the national art press.
Martin founded the Norfolk Painting School to share this passion for painting, and has been its Course Director since 2007. Martin has mentored thousands of students in both traditional and contemporary painting skills, and, unusually, is noted for his knowledge of both classical optical glazing and as a contemporary colourist.
Martin’s approach to tuition is based in teaching artists the principles of painting, so they can learn to work in their own style, rather than just get drawn into working like him. This means that Martin has an enviable track record in helping painters to develop their own creative voice and practice.
Martin’s teaching practice is grounded in the simple principles of tell – show – do. Which means that all of the tutors he has trained to work with him at the School must know their subject, be able to demonstrate it in class, and be able to help students do it themselves. For this reason all of the courses, and all of the tutors at the School are orchestrated by him to work together, to deliver an effective teaching programme.
This means that we never bring teachers into the school or put on stand alone courses
Martin writes many articles for the specialist art press, particularly for The Artist, Leisure Painter and The Artists & Illustrators Magazine, with whom he has been published on painting since 2009. His writing credits include many series including ‘How To Paint Like A Master’, ‘ Kinnear On Oils’, and ‘Stronger Painting’ , plus dozens of stand alone articles of technique , materials and creativity.
In 2019 Martin will be contributing on colour, and on old master ideas for contemporary artists to national magazines.