A concientious and innovative teacher. He has inspired our members with his informative demonstrations and expert knowledge of artists, media and constructive drawing, showing his versatility in many areas.   L. Cooper, Chairman, Maidenhead Painting Club
What is GDS Artschool?
 
GDS Artschool is a series of painting and drawing sessions devised and run by Gary D Spencer in various locations. Each session provides at least one task for you to focus on, and sometimes tasks may last for two weeks or more. All tasks suit beginners and those with more experience, as individual one-to-one advice is given during sessions.
 
Some tasks will be traditional and conventional, and some more contemporary and experimental. Some are inspired by the ideas and techniques of artists from past and present.
 
GDS Artschool believes that to really get the most out of painting and drawing, considering the range of ideas and approaches that already exist is essential. Then, if you wish to develop further, you can look at ways of creating your own style and identity.
 
It will run loosely as Autumn, Spring and Summer schedules of ten to twelve sessions each. A gallery trip and tour may also be on the schedule.
 
GDS Artschool can be also be accessed via email outside the session time for queries, and will also send you the occasional item of interest related to the tasks.
 
 
What do I need to bring?
 
Materials are generally not included in the sessions, though there will be exceptions about which you will be told in advance.
 
A basic painting and drawing kit will be suggested when your join. Some items of equipment you will need to get started with, and some you may obtain later on, as and when you feel you need them.
 
The emphasis on the course is on acrylic painting to begin with, though working in watercolour, ink, charcoal, pencil, pastel, oil paint and other media will also become part of the sessions over time. Good quality paper will also be available to buy at very reasonable price within the actual session. 
 
A free-standing easel is something GDS Artschool believes will come in very useful for your development, but boards are provided for you to work on at a table until you feel ready to obtain one.
 
Enthusiasm and an open-mind about what art can be will also come in very useful!
What is a typical session like?
 
A session is usually three hours long, and introduced by the tutor. Depending on the nature of the task for that session, it may be started with a short demonstration of how to go about getting started, and explanation of some of the main things to consider, suggestions and tips, and even a look at examples of related artists (sometimes a short slide show may be included). The task may be based on first-hand observation, interpreting photos, or other experimental processes.
 
You may also be given a handout to take home that relates in some way to the task for that day.
 
At the end of the session there will usually be a brief overview of yours and each others work, and some suggestions for optional homework if you wish.
 
In addition, an 'artist of the week' will be looked at as part of your ongoing appreciation of the wider world of drawing and painting.
 
Refreshments are included with every session.
 
Do I need talent?
 
The definition of what constitutes talent in painting and drawing is actually part of the discussion within the sessions. 
 
Engaging with the various tasks will give you the opportunity to discover more about your own strengths and areas for improvement, and therefore allow your particular abilities to develop at whatever pace you wish. Whether you are a beginner, or unconfident about your abilities, GDS Artschool will give you suggestions and tasks that can help to develop your approach, so that you can start making personal progress. 
 
GDS Artschool believes everyone can find some aspect of painting and drawing that can become rewarding and productive. Part of developing as any kind of artist is learning about the various ways in which one can actually be an artist, so that you then have more horizons open to you. 
 
Bring your determination and willingness to explore, and you will discover and extend your talents.