Adult Art Lessons, Tuition and Classes in all Mediums

Art with Class ©

About Jill McKay and the Art Trail Centre



Overview of our lessons & classes

The Art Trail Centre © situated in Ferndown Dorset, is an Art Academy providing adult education to both individuals and groups of mixed ability classes and.
began in early 1992 as a structured response to local requests for specialised art tuition. It quickly expanded when many more students began joining, and the classes moved location from smaller sites in the surrounding areas to its present location in Ferndown.

Mediums include Watercolour, Pastel, Gouache, Pen & Ink, Chinese Brush Art, Acrylics, Oils, Drawing and Mixed Media. The Centre has also provided Adult Education tuition via Dorset Adult Education Centres within the local region. Resident full time art tutor is Jill McKay. Style - strong and delicate. Freestyle but clearly recognisable.

Art Services

Morning, afternoon and evening classes are held throughout the year in the form of Workshops and Courses in many subjects, and for any standard of ability. Various other events occur each Season, including painting outings, outdoor classes during the Summer, and Painting Holidays. We provide high quality art tuition to adults of all standards and abilities in various forms.

Art Tuition, Adjudication, Critique, Public Speaking is additionally provided to the Women's Institute at Denman College, local W.I. groups, Private Groups and Art Societies. Demonstrates for HobbyCraft, Pebeo and Winsor & Newton.
Painting Holidays and Weekend 'Breaks Away' are also a key feature of the Art Trail Centre's service.

Since its conception, the Centre has provided a diversity of topics to regularly satisfy demand from all levels of amateur artists. Each year sees brand new material for courses, workshops, outdoor painting days and painting holidays, Jill McKay is constantly planning new ideas for the future to develop the skills of new and current students.

Jill McKay comments "We aim to provide progressive learning through our "Successful Techniques" Classes / Workshops and a fun environment to ensure our students develop their artistic skills in a relaxed way."

"Two years at the Art Trail Centre, with tutorial guidance from Jill McKay has opened up many aspects, in application and varied methods of Watercolour Painting. Come and give it a go, I really enjoyed myself " commented Pam White, one of Jill's Students.

Art Tutor Availability

Advanced booking during term time, weekends during the summer holidays. Fees and expenses - appropriate to event. Social, Group, Private, or Adult A- level and GCSE classes.

Disabled facilities

We have limited access and can where required either visit homes, centres or specialist events to teach. We have run several specialist events to meet local needs at many centres.


We provide a relaxing environment conducive to productive learning.

The studio houses many informative visual examples of different painting methods, techniques, styles and media which students will encounter, and these are changed on a regular basis. A library of specifically chosen art books and an extensive collection of catalogued reference material and photographs provides the student with a wealth of subject matter and information relevant to Jill’s teaching.

Various art equipment is available for general use, certain materials are advertised as being provided in some workshops and beverages are provided during all our studio classes.

Classes use video to aid student development

We have ample free off road secure parking, please do use this. It also helps us to be a good neighbour.


The Art Trail Centre in Ferndown, Dorset is easily located, only 10 minutes from Bournemouth airport with fast access to London by rail and road. Southampton airport is just a short distance too. Ample parking is available at the centre. Location in Ferndown (Map)

We are close to the romantic New Forest, the stunning Hants and Dorset coastline and the spectacular Purbeck Hills, all peppered with dozens of quaint tearooms and marvelous scenery to sketch, paint or ramble in. Ringwood, Verwood, Wimborne, Bournemouth, Poole, Blandford, Southampton are between 10 - 30 mins drive away subject to normal traffic.

Art Exhibitions

Exhibitions are an important showcase for Art and Jill McKay organises and attends exhibitions both in the UK and Europe. Her most recent European exhibition abroad took place in the French town of Javerlac, - Dordogne, she often exhibits in Brantome. For details and dates of all Jill McKay's Exhibitions or displays click on Calendar. The last UK exhibition was at the R.N.L.I College in Poole where the Princess Royal attended to view the variety of paintings on display.

Local Artist Exhibits in The Dordogne


Jill McKay and her students at the Art Trail Centre 'Art with Class' are committed to regularly contributing to local Charities through various annual events. Recent years have seen contributions across a variety of Charities, some of which are shown below. We would like to thank all Local, National Companies, Students and Friends of the Art Trail Centre for all their contributions and donations. See Press releases for more information.



NSPCC 30 years Gala a great success with strong support from the Art Trail Centre and an orignal Acrylic painting of Poole bay by Jill McKay.

NSPCC Every childhood is worth fighting for

Poole Bay painting




24 Hours 1000 mile Poppy Cycle ride in aid of the Royal British Legion - Chris Chope MP receiving his certificate for doing his bit as Jill, Bev and Lotte battle on.

and help raise over £4000 during 24 hours Cycle challenge -thank you to everyone for your sponsorship


Help for Heroes -- John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation - Cancer Research- Royal British Legion - Motor Neurone Association


- Julia's House - Woofability -


Coping with Chaos - ME Association - MS Society - Oakhaven Hospice Trust


The Duchess of Cornwall during a 121 session with Jill McKay. The Duchess's painting will be auctioned in aid of the W.I.

NSPCC Esther Rantzen with Jill McKay Acrylic painting which was donated to raise funds for the NSPCC Child Line

R.N.L.I . Childline


Support for Dorset Air Ambulance - woofability charity event - Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE at Victoria House - Waggie Tails


- Verwood Stroke Association- Motor Neurone Association - Victoria House Education Centre - Waggie Tails

charitynightchaos 21

Charity fund raising night - Coping with CHAOS - Verwood - One of Verwood's finest local causes.