I entered the Foundation course a little way into the autumn term of 1978. This was my first real encounter with some like-minded people who were convinced that they were going to be artists, designers or otherwise involved in the visual arts. I had the opportunity to learn new skills, including dominoes, darts, four card brag and the merits or otherwise of a variety of beers. When time allowed I also learned about painting, drawing, photography and art history, I don't recall any printmaking at this time. The art school was the old War Memorial Hospital in Wrexham, north east Wales and the studios, life drawing rooms and other teaching areas were once wards and consulting rooms; white and brown tiled walls and dark varnished window frames and room dividers.
I can't remember any bad days at the art school, despite the occasional foray into the local hostelries of a lunch hour, we got a lot of work done and I learned a hell of a lot from the tutors. It seems we had more time then to make stretchers for canvas, mount our work and prepare our portfolios than the students that I've taught since.
At the end of my foundation year I applied to three colleges to do my degree.
My first choice was Coventry, they dismissed me outright. That left Cardiff and a reserve of Sheffield. I was fully expecting not to get into either, and fearing more unemployment, panicked and put in an application form for the RAF! I even went as far as the aptitude test and medical. As it turned out, the day after I got a letter of acceptance from Cardiff and breathed a massive sigh of relief. That summer I painted a small abstract canvas based on hay bales to take with me to my first day at Howard Gardens, Cardiff the following September.