SEEK- To search, look with intention and purpose, to strive.

Seek teaches how to enjoy the act of looking, how to look deeper and to develop your own visual language, to guide and nurture you in the creative process. In a world where we are bombarded by visual imagery, we have become less able to discern subtlety and clarity. To spend longer in observation makes us:

"I have found the classes both instructive and inspiring. Colin guides our work with care, lending us his obvious love and knowledge of art. I look forward to each new lesson."


Serious Play

Children learn so much about the world through play. Adults have mostly forgotten how to do this. Picasso said, “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Learning to enjoy the act of looking allows us to try new things out. In his book Think like an Artist, Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Correspondent, states that artists tend to embrace disappointment as an integral part of the creative process.  We need to reconsider the concepts of “making mistakes” and “getting it right” and importantly, how that makes us feel.

Creative Process

This is an interesting phrase that is a central activity to how we think and formulate ideas. Artists use this to take a simple idea and play with it, consider the subtleties that grow from it, question it, challenge it, but develop it into something of great profound impact and energy. That’s worth striving for! That journey of discovery can never be fully planned in advance. Don’t we know that it’s often the unexpected that makes the experience memorable?

Your Own Visual Language

“You are all individuals.” announces Brian in The Life of Brian, “I’m not.” replies one of his disciples.  Developing your own visual language comes with time because you need to find out what you want to say. Seek can help you do that. It can guide, nurture and challenge and help you look deeper with what you say and how you say it.


Summer Term 2024 Monday 8 April to Monday 22 July (not Monday 27 May to Friday 31 May)

Summer School 2024 Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August 

Monday 5th August to Friday 9th August

Autumn Term 2024 Tuesday 3rd September to Friday 20th December (not Tuesday 29th October to Friday 1st November)

Spring Term 2025 Tuesday 7th January to Friday 4th April (not Tuesday 18th February to Friday 21st February)

Summer Term 2025 Tuesday 22nd April to Friday 25th July (not Tuesday 27th May to Friday 30th May)


“To nurture those seeking their own creative best within the visual arts.” A desire in students to improve their work is more important than their present level of accomplishment. 


Come and join in the creative process at Colin’s personal art space. Classes are limited to four students. This is a chance to be taught in a local, relaxed and supportive environment where demonstrations will also be given. 

Classes and workshops feature practical demonstrations of technique and materials. Slide lectures provide an inspirational focus. As well as learning as a group there will be one-to-one tuition within the class. ALL MATERIALS INCLUDED. Tea and coffee are available at no additional cost.



Colin and Sallie Black run Seek Art School as a team. Colin teaches and Sallie does the administration. For nearly twenty-five years, until March 2018, Colin taught at Leith School of Art in Edinburgh. Sallie worked as a receptionist at HealthLink360, having previously been a secondary school teacher. They had the idea of moving to Yorkshire to establish an art school for several years. Soon after moving to York, they were shown the impressive space at Southlands Methodist Church, and heard their idea of transforming that building into an art hub, while continuing as an active church, Seek Art School was established there, and it continues to be the base of operations. Seek Studio is a different venue in parallel to the larger spaces available at Southlands.

Black and white photograph of Colin and Sallie Black



Black and white photograph of Colin Black

Colin studied at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. Colin also worked as senior lecturer, later becoming Head of Design, at Leith School of Art, for nearly twenty-five years. His background is in visual communication working for major design companies in London, but has always returned to his love of drawing and painting. He has been applying this knowledge of art and design to his teaching now for over thirty years and continues to enjoy the dynamic of teaching and learning. Throughout his career, Colin’s work has been shown in both solo and group exhibitions, primarily in London and Edinburgh. He continues to produce his own work, now from Seek Studio which is attached to his home in York. 

Colin exhibits at Watermark Gallery in Harrogate.
He regularly exhibits with York Open Studios at Southlands Methodist Church.