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Explore a New Picture Every Week. Tell Your Own Story About Them Every Week.

In this course, we'll be using famous paintings as jumping-off points.
We'll be using them to tell stories, to learn about the past, to expand our imagination, to improve our creative writing, and to see things more clearly and describe them more precisely.

A picture, they say, is worth 1,000 words. And yet, a storyteller can use words to make pictures come alive in each and every one of us ... all at the same time. That's magic ... priceless magic!

This 'Picture Perfect' course draws on this rich cultural heritage of linking pictures and words through exercises such as Ekphrases (detailed descriptions of a painting, object, or scene), artistic observation using techniques devised by mystics and artists such as Goethe, and rhetorical exercises in description and observation to make pictures clear and lively for readers and listeners.

On this course you will:

  • Learn different ways of looking at a picture.
  • Explore specific pictures, and the people, objects, or events they depict in detail.
  • Explore the contexts in which they appeared.
  • Learn a useful framework to use to describe something comprehensibly.
  • Expand your vocabulary and use words more precisely.
  • Find different ways of presenting your knowledge - frame your descriptions as stories, as riddles, and as pieces of descriptive writing, in the first and third persons.
  • Use your imagination to bring something to life - and tell its story.
  • Learn to see things and describe them from different points of view.

You'll be able to use the techniques you learn and practise on this course in school and beyond. 

Leon is a teacher steeped in the wonder and wisdom of the traditional integrated and integrative classical liberal arts, and is a keen supporter of living traditions, including living traditions of oral storytelling. He is author of several books including Aesop The Storyteller (Aladdin's Cave Press, 2008), a collection of 12 versified Aesopic fables, and History Riddles (Liberalis Books, 2013).


Students will need standard stationery supplies, and access to digital resources And EITHER a digital shared workplace OR a hard copy A4 ring-file binder with dividers. In both cases, they will need facilities to upload clear scans or pictures of homework tasks. All courses will be taught on line in a specialised learning environment - teaching will be to the whole group, with breakout sessions for smaller groups. A fast broadband connection is advisable.

Accessibility and Flexibility

Content will be adapted to individual levels and interests as much as possible. Special needs students can be provided for (please contact the tutor to discuss before enrolling) and assessments can be handed in via video rather than in written format, with videos uploaded to YouTube and shared via private link.

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