After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art with Gail

Gail Astbury

6 Jun - 11 Jul

OPEN Ealing Arts Centre W5 2TD

Course Fee : £105 (Pay As You Go £20 per week)

Class details

This 6-week course takes inspiration from the National Gallery’s blockbuster exhibition; “After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art” which ends on August 13th. Join us on Tuesdays for an exciting course exploring the “isms” in painting with Gail Astbury.


6 June – 11 July

Two sessions:

  • 10am – 12.30pm
  • 2 – 4.30pm

Course Fee: £105

Pay As You Go Fee: £20 per week

This course is fully booked : if you would like to go on a waiting list in case of cancellation, please email

Throughout the epoch from the final Impressionist exhibition in 1886 and the first world war in 1914, opportunities created by the invention of Impressionism attracted hundreds of artists. It was an incredibly inventive time, and the National Gallery’s overview After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art is very instructive and packed full of superb examples of some of that era’s greatest achievements.

As there was so much stylistic change, we shall focus on the various ‘isms’ and movements, that
critics used to group these new ideas and artists together. We will start with the first set of artists to break away from the core Impressionists principles and then follow the tracks of other trailblazers soon to follow.

The Course Outline

6 June : Post Impressionism

This umbrella term starts in France with artists who saw impressionism and ran with it in another direction. Each feeling liberated from not having to reproduce photographically, they
focused on how a painting could be constructed, like faceted jewels or tapestries.

13 June : Pointillism

Perhaps due to this fertile period of industry and relative peace in Europe, artists were able to
explore the science of colour and application to create even more controlled jewel-like paintings.

20 June : Symbolism

We begin to see artists reintroducing narrative and story telling through the use of shape,
colour, memory, and imagination.

27 June : Fauvism

These experiments in colour enabled younger artists to set their palettes free.

4 July : Cubism

Started by the now famous creative partnership between a young Pablo Picasso and George Braque, the duo saw their new century as fast, furious and fragmented through a kind of exploded crystal lens on their new modern world.

11 July : Expressionism

Personal expression was being unleashed to reveal emotional outpourings, thoughts and feelings that had been largely hidden from
the visual arts mainstream until this period.


Each week we provide support notes for you to keep. We send them to you before the class so you can bring the right equipment. Don’t worry, we also give you a hard copy for the session. We also share any links of video clips that Gail shows in class so you can refer to them again.

You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy our watercolour classes, but you’ll get more from it if you have some experience in painting with watercolours. We limit our class sizes which means that you not only benefit from personal tuition, but also enjoy peer support. So why not join us for this six week course


We supply the following equipment and materials

  • Watercolour Paper for the preliminary class and colour mixing exercises
  • Palette
  • Water Jars
  • Kitchen Paper
  • Cotton Buds
  • Sponges

You will need to bring:

  • Watercolour paints
  • Watercolour pencils
  • Brushes (various shapes round/flat/mop and sizes ranging from 4, 6, 8,10 and 12)
  • Watercolour paper for the final class painting
  • Watercolour sketchbook
  • Your Apron

Course Details

OPEN Ealing Arts Centre W5 2TD

Dates: 6 Jun - 11 Jul
Tuesday 10:00 am
Fees: Course Fee : £105 (Pay As You Go £20 per week)

About the tutor

Gail Astbury

Gail Astbury has a B.A. (Hons) Fine Art Painting from Wimbledon UAL and has recently gained an MA in Contemporary Arts Practice from Goldsmiths University and Tate Galleries 2014. Her work has featured in many prominent locations such as London’s Trafalgar Square, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Academy and she has works held in the collection of the MMSU Museum of Modern Art in Croatia.

Gail makes series of paintings and watercolours in her studios in London and La Péruse, southwest France. Her work starts with her immediate surroundings, taking photos, sketching and amassing a picture library to draw reference from. She then plays with the imagery, using scale, colour, edits and zoom to select and highlight interesting focal points. She uses a range of techniques from renaissance lighting and brushwork to the colour and decorative compositions of 20th century modernism through to contemporary mass media image making and production. The resulting paintings are celebratory, they tell visual tales and proclaim societal hopes and fears. 

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