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2nd March 2007 at 00:00

Philomena Long

Job: Artist. Born: 1930

Attended: Amersham and Wycombe College

Philomena first went to Amersham and Wycombe College 17 years ago to study fine art and history of art A-levels. She still attends workshops there and recently was presented with its new art award for outstanding personal progress, given in memory of Geoffrey Vivis, who taught art at the college from 1980 until his death in 2005.

I have been fortunate to have had two great teachers at the college, Geoffrey Vivis and Daphne Cousins. I first met Geoffrey at a painting weekend at Missenden Abbey and he suggested that I come along to the college to study art. I did and began a journey which transformed both my art and my life. He was inspiring, kind, encouraging, had a great sense of humour and was a great artist.

Daphne, my present teacher, is dedicated both to art and her students.

Daphne has a way of seeing where her students are trying to go with their art and is able to offer timely assistance which helps us to get there.

She's a great inspiration.

My time at the college has been a journey of self-discovery. It started with the painting weekends at Missenden Abbey. I then studied A-level fine art for two years with Geoffrey, followed by history of art for two years with Thea Andrews.

Painting is my great passion and so I continued painting classes with Geoffrey. Since 1995, I have embarked on a series of painting workshops and combined studies modules with Daphne Cousins.

The college has changed me in three main ways: competency, commitment and confidence. My increased awareness of my competency as a painter has fuelled my confidence. My commitment to painting has subsequently increased exponentially.

Adult learning has been a lifeline for me. It has helped me to explore and express experience in a supportive environment with other committed painters. I really couldn't have asked for more.

Philomena Long was talking to Shekhar Bhatia

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