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Jo Harris

Hello, I'm Jo, I run the HSA, all of it's Classes and Workshops and when I manage to carve out the time, I'm a practising Artist too. 


Where I came from:


I was incredibly lucky to have grown up in a house with a pretty accomplished, artistic/creative family - so it’s little wonder that a childhood of drawing, reading and making led to me pursuing Art as an adult. 


After studying Sculpture and History of Art, I went on to the City & Guilds of London Art School, a wonderfully old-fashioned school that instilled in me the true value and discipline of good drawing skills - I absolutely loved it.  After this came a fairly exploratory period of my life, living in far-flung places and experiencing as much unfamiliar culture as I could.  Though I wasn’t studying art during these years, I never stopped drawing; the amount of notebooks and sketchbooks I lugged about now fills me with awe at my own strength.  Once I was settled again, I went back to studying Life Drawing – it was the practice I’d missed the most and once I started, it never stopped, from that day to this. 


I decided I wanted to concentrate my drawing into an Illustration practice, so in my mid-30’s I sold my flat in London, upped sticks and went to live in Cheltenham for 3 years, where I did an Illustration Degree.  I learnt so much!  One of the most influential of these lessons was being part of a small independent Art School there called the Cheltenham School of Fine Art.  The spirit and creative energy that was bursting through those studio walls really gave me a taste for one day creating something similar of my own.  The encouragement and knowledge I gained during our Life Drawing sessions was massively instrumental in me taking on my own classes, not just the drawing itself, but how to run a class, how to position a model, where and how to buy materials, what materials are the best to teach with etc. - the hands on experience I gathered has been invaluable and my gratitude and great affection towards the lovely Viv Ayres (who runs the CSA) will always be ENORMOUS.


I love what I do and I love the people who come in and out of my teaching space.  Watching an artist's progression, from day one to the final day of term, is a pride and a pleasure I shall never tire of.

Some of Jo's work

as an

artist & illustrator


If you are interested in seeing more of Jo's work progress, you can follow her on instagram: @joharrisati.

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