BETA Complete a survey to provide us with feedback about our website.
Courses starting in September 2024 will be available for enrolment from 10 June 2024. View more information.

Jennifer Drake – Art, Drawing and Painting

I am 70 years old and have been interested in art and craft since I retired.


I was educated to CSE Level in various subjects at a school in Romford. Although I gained Grade 1 Art I didn’t always get good marks for my work. One teacher commenting ‘Earthquake’ by the side of a pencil drawing of a house. This negative comment would not be tolerated in today’s classes. I am not sure if it was this that made me always doubt my ability.


I enjoy exercising each day, joining in with the classes and ending with swim at the local gym. Gardening is another passion of mine, taught to me by my father from a very early age. I like to take photos of my flowers and use them in my paintings. I have yet to take a photography course but it is something I would like to get to do.


When I retired I completed an Open College Network Floristry course run by Essex County Council at Spring Lodge in Witham. Here I was encouraged to draw and paint some of the flower arrangements I had constructed for my course work. At this time I was also enrolled onto a watercolour painting course at the same venue.


I am never bored as I help out with the family and encourage the smaller children by having art afternoons where they experiment with some of the techniques that I have learnt such as using clingfilm, sponges, salt etc in their pictures.

I decided to enrol on the Art, Drawing and painting Course as I needed to improve on my drawing skills and to try and understand perspective. It was also nice to interact with people after the pandemic as I had tried my hand at art during the lockdown. I entered a couple of online competitions during this time run by ACL and to my surprise was successful.

I was thrilled when I saw the classes had resumed at ACL Witham, my local, purpose built classroom with plenty of free parking. The seasonal decorative painted windows providing a welcoming entrance as you arrive.
I enjoy every minute of my art class, also enrolling for the workshops that are run in the holidays. I feel I want to paint all the time, and never want to waste time and do the housework! I have a lovely life, family and friends and the week would not be the same without the highlight of the art class each Wednesday.


This current course has a fantastic set of people, all different levels, we gather early before our class and discuss our art and homework. As students we learn from each other regardless of ability All of us have good and bad days but we pull each other through. That is what is so remarkable about this course, I cannot take all the credit for my achievements as my fellow students have also contributed to my improvement for which I thank them.


I would advise any one who has an interest in a subject not to hesitate but to enrol. I encouraged two friends and they thank me for pushing them to enrol and have not looked back, both producing good work after initially having some doubts. It opens up new opportunities, you meet new people, you share things, you share your anxieties and it boosts your confidence. I never thought I would have the confidence to do some of the things I have done, including writing this article. So come on and ‘Just Go for It’

Scroll to top