top of page

Student Stories: Christian Boult

"I am now in my early 50s and started with OCA in 2013. I work full time and have done throughout my study time. It has been a challenge especially whilst working away and with lots of early starts to paint before work but needs must."


What is your previous educational experiences and what drew you to OCA?

I found an OCA flyer by chance, loved painting and thought "that seems like a good idea". That was it really, I sometimes wonder if I would have progressed or developed as well without the academic involvement but all the painters I admired were classically trained so I thought it a good idea!

Can you describe your OCA journey?

From starting out not really knowing what I was doing, I had not a clue how to structure my work to having found my way and being able to navigate the academic hurdles relatively smoothly now, I feel that I have definitely grown as a person. The bane of my life is the Harvard Referencing system, it really slowed me down and still does although it looks pretty when seen at the end of academic text. The biggest challenge was direction, really knowing what I wanted to do, some of the briefs were really outside my circle of creativity. However the latter parts of the course were far easier to dive into, being able to do what I wanted and still present for assessment carried far more value as far as I could see.

When I started out with OCA it was a happy little team who always seemed on the ball, even able to receive and send out physical work!! There was a lot of change during lockdown and I do hope that the merger with OU allows OCA to be a vibrant, communicative and listening organisation that understands the motivations of its students.

What was the Tutor and/or Peer Support like on your course?

My tutor Emma Drye has been much of a constant throughout several parts of my final OCA study. She has been both patient and helpful, always ready to provide insightful guidance when sometimes I was a bit at sea with it all.

What does studying with OCA mean to you?

It has provided a constant but at times an annoying feeling of guilt that whenever I was enjoying myself doing something I should have been doing college work instead. I think the sense of accomplishment is a joyful one though. I feel as though I have suffered for this so it must be art right? OCA has given me a focus and means to express a desire to improve in technique and vision. It has facilitated rather than given these tools but has provided an interesting journey with many surprises, those moments when you stand back and look at what you have achieved.

What's next?

I will allow my head space to refill with normal everyday stuff then continue on my painting journey without pressure, stress or early morning pre-work easel sessions! I have tuned into my inspiration especially during Major Practice and am evolving these ideas. I would like to sell work but on a small scale and individually.

Any advice?

Keep at it and don't loose sight of your goals, remember at the end of the day the only opinion that counts is yours. Be true to your beliefs and the rest will fall into place. Bleed, sweat and grimace your way to success.


Follow Christian

Christian's exhibitition ‘FOUR THIRTY A.M.’ is now open at Truro Arts Company, 26 River Street, Truro, TR1 2SJ. until 10 May.

‘FOUR THIRTY A.M.’ showcases classical deities from the ancient world and is a reworking of sculpture from that same era and the Baroque. Painted in glazed oil, over detailed underdrawings, these works represent immutability and the infinite, cast in human form. Presented in a style of classical realism these deities showcase form and detail, concentrating on composition and nuance.

The deities are a representation of an aesthetic and an idea, the focus of which are still very reverberant in contemporary society. Christian remarks that “I am attempting to portray the idea of something beyond time, the very essence of which reverberates in our  recognition of human form and a connection to the infinite”.

The title itself represents a regular painting time that was undertaken in the production  of these works. For most OCA students, study inevitably means some form of sacrifice, and for the artist this was the unrelenting time spent in front of his easel at 4:30am before work each day for a year. 

150 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Emma Drye
Emma Drye
5 days ago

well done Chris! It looks really impressive!

bottom of page