A case study with City College Peterborough art tutor, Becky Toughill.

Art classes are very popular at City College Peterborough – and that’s largely because of our art tutors’ fantastic work, passion and talent.

So, to find out a little bit more about them, we spoke to Becky Toughill, an art tutor at the College since 2014. We asked all about what her courses included and what kind of art makes her tick.

Becky currently teaches a range of art courses at the College, including Painting and Drawing, Watercolour Painting, Printmaking, Oil Painting and short courses of four sessions throughout the year on topics such as Mixed Media.

Becky’s journey

Becky has studied art and design for most of her life. Starting with a Higher National Diploma in Graphic Design, she then went on to be a silver smith in Oakham. Afterwards, Becky completed a degree in Textile Design – all whilst running a creative business part-time to fund her way through university.

After her studies, Becky saw an opportunity for a different route: “I’ve always had a love for sharing art, so completing my PGCE in secondary education seemed like a natural step forward for me.

“I taught for five years and after a year’s break, to expand my creative business, I missed the buzz of teaching and decided to return – which has brought me to City College.”

Becky’s artistic drive

Passionate about many different artistic disciplines and mediums, Becky said:

“I love botanical study and have a short course at the College dedicated to just that. Seeing what texture can be created with collage, print and layering is what really gets me going.

“The possibilities and applications are endless. I’m also really interested in nostalgia, history and art as a story. I try and incorporate this into my work whenever possible.”

The art courses in Peterborough

With a range of experience, qualifications and talent under her belt, we asked Becky how she brought her knowledge to the classroom and what someone could expect from one of her courses:

“I’m a very active tutor and like the sessions to have an ‘energetic focus’ to them. We cover a project brief throughout each term, prepared by me but interpreted by the learners’ themselves.

“The projects can be as literal or as abstract as students wish – allowing them to work within their chosen discipline.

“For most sessions there are demonstrations of new techniques, along with a dedicated one to one tutorial with each member of the group.

“We share our work on a regular basis and learners are encouraged to enter local, national and internal competitions to further their creative exploration,” answered Becky.

Art in Peterborough

In many ways art at the College helps us to be at the heart of the Peterborough community.

Becky explained: “Peterborough has a wealth of talented and passionate artists, who have a drive to learn, enjoy and enrich their artistic understanding. Since working at the College and becoming acquainted with the learners and other tutors, the city truly strikes me as artistically vibrant.”

A part of the College’s spirit

That said, art courses are also helped along by the College’s own community spirit, as Becky points out:

“Within the college, my print class is fundraising for a new heat press. We are currently exhibiting print works, jewellery, textile art and notebooks in order to reach our goal. This is also giving learners a chance to exhibit their work and build confidence in the exhibiting process, an important point for budding artists.”

Becky’s advice

To round off our one-to-one with Becky, we asked if she had any advice for those interested in picking up their paintbrushes and joining an art course in Peterborough:

“Throughout your studies, keep a record of your work. It doesn’t matter if what you end up creating isn’t what you had in mind, isn’t perfect or didn’t work. It’s evidence of your journey, so give yourself a break and keep going.

“Dating your work is also a great idea, because when you look back you will notice certain styles you picked up, successful periods in your artistic life and how you have improved.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about art courses at City College Peterborough, click here. Don’t forget we also have a range of art classes available as one-day Saturday courses. Alternatively get in touch with us today to register your interest or find out more.