Clonakilty School of Painting (est. 2018) offers a range of studio-based courses for children and adults in Classical painting, drawing and printmaking. The only studio school of its kind in West Cork, Ireland, CSOP has a growing reputation as a unique learning hub and resource in the region. With programs catering for junior and senior cycle students, homeschoolers, professional and amateur artists, hobbyists and retirees, CSOP has something for all levels and ages. The school is located on the top floor of the Clonakilty Community Art Centre in Asna Square, Clonakilty. It is a stimulating learning environment, with paintings, prints and drawings on the walls and in the drying racks, both by students and teacher, James Waller. A professional etching press, mini etching press, book press, guillotine, a large work table, two other work tables and standing easels, provide ample spaces and equipment for students to engage in the various creative disciplines catered for in the school.


The ethos of the school may be summed up in one word: fluency. Fluency in visual expression is our aim. Releasing one’s unique and natural sense of line, shape and colour, whilst building hand-eye observational skills is a continual learning curve, and the core objective of every learning program at the school.


Prior to the 20th century and the mainstreaming of art schools with broader education systems, small studio schools, along with academies were the life blood of artistic training. This tradition has actually never ceased, with artists offering studio instruction in virtually every major centre. Learning in the CSOP studio is a wonderful experience. Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 6, maximising time for individual tuition. There is a real sense of camaraderie and exchange. The atmosphere is always supportive and critique always constructive. Amongst junior students there is a wonderful sense of discovery, diligence and enthusiasm, whether it be for new techniques, developing skills, or creating an original image.

Art Camp 2021


CSOP has a close working relationship with the Clonakilty Community Art Centre. In January 2020 we put on an inaugural student show in the Centre gallery, which is set to become an annual event. Work is drawn from both adult and junior classes and reveals the breadth of media studied at the school, from oil painting to drypoint etching, lino-cut and mono-print. For most students this is their first ever exhibition and is an important validation for their continued learning and growth.

Some prints from the 2020 student show, ‘Fledgling’


Artist James Waller established the school in 2018. He is an Australian-born artist with a wide ranging practice, encompassing Baroque, Byzantine and Modernist approaches to art making. James has taught privately in Australia and Ireland for almost 20 years, and brings to his teaching extensive experience and knowledge, imparted with warm humour and gently constructive guidance and critique.

For more of James’ work visit: www.jameswaller.org

James’ paintings, textiles and sculptures have appeared in the Sydney Opera House, St Patrick’s Cathedral (Melbourne) and the Kasmir World Music Festival. In 2010 several of his unique abstract icons were included in a survey exhibition, “Sacred Icons in Australia” at the Riddoch Gallery, Mount Gambier, South Australia. Since 2013 he has immersed himself in the Baroque and has concentrated on developing a classical painterly language. At the same time he has continued to pursue abstract and expressionist ideas through print media, at Cork Printmakers where he is an active member.

James Waller, at work in Cork Printmakers. Photograph: John Beasley


Following government health advice  regarding COVID-19, CSOP has adopted the following studio protocols:

  1. Sanitisers are placed at all entry ways, sinks and workstations.
  2. Students are advised to wear masks when walking through the studio and when receiving instruction.
  3. The studio is thoroughly ventilated at all times.
  4. Class sizes are limited to 6 to allow for physical distancing.
  5. All surfaces are thoroughly cleaned after every class.


ENQUIRIES: +353 877184399   starfugue@gmail.com

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