Christian de Ferranti and Katie Rockley started College Arts as a means of learning to draw and paint from home. Both having children at home and busy lives, it would have been difficult to set off to university. 

Christian’s early career was in teaching 4 – 7 year olds and dyslexic children.  Katie worked at Christies in the watercolour and prints department.  Uncertain where to begin in their quest for making art, they decided to begin with Botanical painting in pencil and watercolour. 

Mariella Baldwin was suggested by a friend as the best teacher for this and luckily Mariella transpired to live only 30 minutes away and was willing to give them a go.  A few weeks later, armed with new paints and paper and 8 friends also keen to learn, College Arts was born.  Soon they decided to give Life Drawing a go, followed by oil painting the following year.  Adam Roud, a local sculptor, still teaches their students Life Drawing and painting.  Sculpture and painting are taught in a myriad of exciting ways.  The school has developed and grown and there are classes throughout the year for students of all abilities.  Teachers are artists who Christian & Katie particularly admire both as artists and as teachers. 

Christian’s work, having started in the figurative genre, has moved in a more abstract direction.  The underlying form of a landscape or still life remains but the essence is more important to her than the precise image.  She works mostly in oils but her smaller pieces are often in acrylics or mixed media. Both drawing and sculpture are an important part of her art.  Inspiration is taken from the farm in Hampshire, and the colours of the Hebrides.

Katie works figuratively and is passionate for the trees and plants where she lives in Dorset.