Studying as a distance learner with Aberystwyth Lifelong Learning.

A piece of Art  work by  Carol Alison: You have created some fabulous work through our art history distance learning programme. In fact it is always a delight to open a parcel from you. (see image on right) The work is presented so creatively; unwrapping it is like Christmas! Why did you choose Distance Learning?


Carol: I had been going to a local art group and a friend recommended the 
Colour Exploration course. I enrolled and got hooked!
I ventured onto lifelong learning through my New Year’s resolution to try something new. I hadn't done art since I was at school so I was well out of my comfort zone. But the tutors are very supportive and have given me the right encouragement that has produced results I have been happy with.


Alison: Has it trained you to look at art in a different way?

Carol. Absolutely! I am more observant when viewing art with regards to 
textures/styles and equally observant about what's around me......the 
number of sketches and quick snaps to record skies and waves never 
ceases and I look at nature and work out  how I can interpret what I 
see.


Alison: How has it moved you as a learner? How do you research?

Carol:  I am always keen to learn more. I visit exhibitions, attend talks, 
use the library and internet for sourcing. 



Alison: Has your family noticed a difference?

Carol: Both family and friends have seen how more inquisitive and interested I 
am in the subject. And I have passed on my enthusiasm to them too! 



Alison: Any revelations or 'Aha' moments?

Carol: The life drawing course! Definitely a work in progress on that one!


 Alison: What do you propose to do next after completing the Certificate of Higher Education, Art and Design?

Carol: I would like to carry on with art.....a degree would be really 
stimulating.  


Alison: What is gripping you at the moment? Describe it....

Carol: It depends on your definition of "gripping"! On the one hand it’s trying 
to come up with an interesting way of putting together a timeline which 
will encourage the viewer to want to read it all. On the other it’s that 
stage in the course where I am sopping everything up like a sponge, re-
assessing, researching and then finally submitting my thoughts and my 
newly gained knowledge on a variety of artists and styles for the 
various tasks. 


Alison: What would you advise a student to do when starting the learning?

Carol: Don't be overwhelmed by the course work. You have enrolled so are ready 
for the commitment. For the written modules I read through the whole 
syllabus and then work out a mental timetable of workable achievements. 
For the practical art courses you need to get yourself into a 
creative zone. I love to get all my paints etc. out and put the radio 
on. I find Radio Jazz, a Moscow radio station and the BBC Asian radio 
station are brilliant for this!



Alison: Which artist would you like to share a desert island with and why?

Carol: A difficult one because many of them are /were mad/bad or sad. However 
I think I would choose Vincent van Gogh because I would love to tell 
him that despite the setbacks in his own lifetime he would become one 
of the greats in art, that his paintings would fetch many millions and 
that even if people were not interested in art itself, his vase of 
sunflowers would be recognised by everyone around the world. 

Alison: That’s an interesting take; I think I would want someone practical with me or someone mad to spur me in to leaving the island! Thank you Carol, it has been most interesting.

Alison: You have created some fabulous work through our art history distance learning programme. In fact it is always a delight to open a parcel from you. (see image above) The work is presented so creatively; unwrapping it is like Christmas! Why did you choose Distance Learning?

Carol: I had been going to a local art group and a friend recommended the 
Colour Exploration course. I enrolled and got hooked!
I ventured onto lifelong learning through my New Year’s resolution to try something new. I hadn't done art since I was at school so I was well out of my comfort zone. But the tutors are very supportive and have given me the right encouragement that has produced results I have been happy with.


Alison: Has it trained you to look at art in a different way?

Carol. Absolutely! I am more observant when viewing art with regards to 
textures/styles and equally observant about what's around me......the 
number of sketches and quick snaps to record skies and waves never 
ceases and I look at nature and work out  how I can interpret what I 
see.


Alison: How has it moved you as a learner? How do you research?

Carol:  I am always keen to learn more. I visit exhibitions, attend talks, 
use the library and internet for sourcing. 



Alison: Has your family noticed a difference?

Carol: Both family and friends have seen how more inquisitive and interested I 
am in the subject. And I have passed on my enthusiasm to them too! 



Alison: Any revelations or 'Aha' moments?

Carol: The life drawing course! Definitely a work in progress on that one!


 Alison: What do you propose to do next after completing the Certificate of Higher Education, Art and Design?

Carol: I would like to carry on with art.....a degree would be really 
stimulating.  


Alison: What is gripping you at the moment? Describe it....

Carol: It depends on your definition of "gripping"! On the one hand it’s trying 
to come up with an interesting way of putting together a timeline which 
will encourage the viewer to want to read it all. On the other it’s that 
stage in the course where I am sopping everything up like a sponge, re-
assessing, researching and then finally submitting my thoughts and my 
newly gained knowledge on a variety of artists and styles for the 
various tasks. 


Alison: What would you advise a student to do when starting the learning?

Carol: Don't be overwhelmed by the course work. You have enrolled so are ready 
for the commitment. For the written modules I read through the whole 
syllabus and then work out a mental timetable of workable achievements. 
For the practical art courses you need to get yourself into a 
creative zone. I love to get all my paints etc. out and put the radio 
on. I find Radio Jazz, a Moscow radio station and the BBC Asian radio 
station are brilliant for this!



Alison: Which artist would you like to share a desert island with and why?

Carol: A difficult one because many of them are /were mad/bad or sad. However 
I think I would choose Vincent van Gogh because I would love to tell 

him that despite the setbacks in his own lifetime he would become one 
of the greats in art, that his paintings would fetch many millions and 
that even if people were not interested in art itself, his vase of 
sunflowers would be recognised by everyone around the world. 

‌Alison: That’s an interesting take; I think I would want someone practical with me or someone mad to spur me in to leaving the island! Thank you Carol, it has been most interesting.‌