2001 – 2024

Insight School of Art teachers

Insight School of Art closed at the end of the summer term 2024.

We are proud to have provided an art school education for adults and children for twenty three years, enriching the lives of up to 400 students every term.

Please share your memories of studying at Insight School of Art by clicking the comment button below. You can add photographs too.

paulregan.studio will be taking over the studio from September 2024. Please sign up for newsletters if you would like to hear about any plans for classes or workshops in the future.


29 responses to “2001 – 2024”

  1. Anna Andreas says:

    I attended on and off for so many years, I can’t event remember when I started my first class, I think it was in the early 2000s at the original site. I always loved my time at Insight thanks to Paul and the other teachers, and of course meeting all those different people in the classes. It will be missed so much. Good luck to all, and if I can work out how to upload one or two of my (there have been so many over the years) and none of them quite finished. Lovely memories to keep from my oasis of calm – the classes got me through a lot.

  2. Rob Verrill says:

    From 2002 when I joined as a student on an Insight evening watercolour class at Wesley Hall to now, as a teacher, 22 years later, Insight has been a major part of my life.
    It has given me the opportunity, belief and experience to develop my love and fascination for art and I thank Paul and all the staff and students for creating such a wonderful community and atmosphere to work and achieve in. I’ve had a great time.

  3. Sarah says:

    I joined Insight School of Art in 2004 or 2005 and still have my membership card! My sister joined a few years later, and for the next 15 years or so, we regularly attended the Tuesday night acrylics class, first run by the wonderful Paul ‘can I just make a mark?’ and then the exuberant Lara ‘I don’t mind that’. These were the lines that they would often say to encourage and inspire us.

    In 2013, Paul pushed me to exhibit on my own and challenged me to do so within a 3-month timeframe. I did it and have never looked back. I owe Paul a great deal for setting me on my way and giving me the confidence to believe.

    Lara was always the tonic I needed on a Tuesday night after a long day at work, and I look back on our classes with great fondness.

    Thank you Insight for existing. It was a wonderful place to go with my sister, to meet people, to chat over the sinks and to make art.

  4. Anne Simmonds says:

    Very sorry to hear that Insight is closing – I attended various classes over the years, a Monday night watercolour class, then Paul’s Thursday am oil/acrylic, plus several workshops with Mick and others but moved away from the area in 2020. I have many happy memories of those classes and met some nice people. I also gained the confidence to continue painting and “put myself out there” so a big thank you for that! I attach a painting I did on one of our plein air sessions in the local allotments, quite a few years ago now

  5. Katherine Hopkins says:

    Thank you all, but especially Paul, Mick, Lara and Celestine who encouraged and supported me back into a painting and printing journey. I have loved coming to Insight and to find a community brimming with creativity and enthusiasm but delivered with kibdness and compassion. I will miss you.

  6. Stuart Gould says:

    Paul you should be very proud of what you have achieved personally and for your students over the 23 years of Insight. I well remember speaking to you on the telephone, in about 2011, and telling you that I had never done any art before. Your very positive response was “just the sort of person we want!” So began a long and happy association with a series of great teachers – Di, Lara, Mick and yourself plus various workshops. Naomi always encouraged me to try art and it has opened a new way of seeing things for me.
    I would also like to add a particular acknowledgment Paul of how you responded to the awful days of Covid and the lockdowns. Setting up Zoom classes with the inherent cost and uncertainties was another leap in to the dark. But your tenacity and determination paid off for all of us contributing significantly to helping our mental welfare during that challenging time. Thank you.
    I am very confident that you will be successful in this new chapter of your personal artistic development and delighted that there will still be some classes in Whetstone for us to continue to enjoy, meet friends and learn.

  7. Karin says:

    Insight has been such a great resource, with such fabulous teaching and inspiration, thank you to the team for all you did for us.

  8. Matthew Davies says:

    An amazing place to work. I learnt so much from Paul and had the privilege of teaching some incredible students. I will cherish my time at Insight forever.

  9. Elizabeth Rayney says:

    So many happy memories and friends made . Many thanks to Paul who has had the ‘Discerning Eye and Insight to mentor us to a professional artists ‘level’ .
    Paul has organised his classes , adding interesting approaches on many levels .
    Great teachers like Mick Kirkbride, Estelle Lovett , Lara , Karen whom I had the opportunity to learn from .
    Wishing all the best in your future endeavours.
    Kindest regards,
    Elizabeth Rayney

  10. Bhavna Parshottam says:

    I have loved every minute when I was there and whenever I have a moment at home I will go and do some art.
    Thank you Paul and Karen for a wonderful 3 years that I had spent with you.

  11. Sarah D’Souza says:

    I started attending Insight classes in earnest in the pandemic – zoom classes with Karen and the lovely St Albans people and then beginners watercolour and acrylic with Mick and drawing and oils with Karen before joining Thursdays with Karen and Paul as well as one off workshops with Lara and Rob Verrill and a spot of zoom life drawing with Mick. It has been brilliant and it is very sad to see it come to an end. Insight has been a very special place and hugely important to me in the last few years. It has opened my eyes to so many new things, ways of thinking and creating and brought me into contact with so many inspiring teachers and fantastic fellow students. A huge thank you to everyone involved and particular thanks to Paul for his brilliant leadership. I have chosen a piece I did when we were considering chance in art as it epitomises the quality of teaching at Insight and the impact it has had on me.

  12. Winston Newman says:

    Studio sinks at Lancaster Road

  13. Winston Newman says:

    I joined Lara’s Wednesday watercolour class at Insight in 2015, to build up a hobby before impending retirement. Lara taught me to mix my own green and black, to half close my eyes to assess tones, to look for the negative spaces, to handle life drawing, use charcoal, etc. She always found positive things to say about everyone’s work, regardless of its actual quality. When lockdown took hold, she gave us a huge morale boost, with her talking paintbrushes and interesting exercises. Lara also opened up the world of printmaking and Lino cuts.
    This is my version of the studio sinks in Lancaster Road.

  14. Jamie Gordon says:

    Insight is a place I feel I grew up in and where i have deep roots.

    After attending classes twenty years ago, Paul offered me a part-time job at Insight whilst becoming my mentor for my new photography business.

    As my business started to blossom i began renting my office there 🙂

    I spent the rest of my 20’s being part of the Insight Family. Welcoming people into their art classes, playing catch with Paul between lessons and playing table tennis in term breaks.

    I watched and learnt from Paul as he masterfully grew Insight and supported 100’s of students and many teachers dance in the world of Art.

    Paul, thankyou for being my Teacher, Mentor & Friend. Thankyou for your guidance and wisdom over the years.

    I am greatful to have been part of the Insight Family.

    I’m excited to see your next chapter unfold.

    Love you, Jamie

  15. Jamie Gordon says:


  16. Jamie Gordon says:

    <3 <3

  17. Karen Walters says:

    Fantastic memories of working at Insight!
    I’ve loved working with students and staff.
    Wishing Paul every success for the future.

    Karen x

  18. Simon Jackman says:

    Monday evenings had already become an oasis of calm from daily life but my enduring memory was of Feb 2020 when the world outside was on the brink of pandemic chaos and the Insight studio felt even more like a refuge. I painted this in one of those pre-pandemic sessions and I think the peace I felt ended up in the painting.

  19. Estelle Lovatt says:

    Paul Regan is a legend. A tremendous artist in his own right, & hero in the world of art education through Insight. It’s been a great great pleasure to know and work with him. I’ve loved every minute, from Lancaster Rd to Whetstone.

  20. Di Roberts says:

    The 11 years I worked at Insight were some of the happiest in my life. I had been teaching Art & Design in a secondary school near Watford when a message on the staff room noticeboard caught my eye. ‘Part-time Art teacher needed for private adult art school in Barnet’. That’s how Paul started off, with a couple of classes a day, in a room above a church hall. We had to improvise somewhat to ensure the students enjoyed their lessons, including good lighting (which we had fun attaching to hooks in the ceiling using a long stick with a cup hook screwed in one end).

    As the classes expanded and Paul found more suitable premises in Lancaster Road, Insight developed into a proper School of Art, teaching all ages, employing more staff and becoming the best centre of learning in Hertfordshire (according to many students).

    While Paul maintained the highest standards of teaching, and we all worked hard, the staff also had fun. We played table tennis in between classes. I confess to labelling a piece of work with a fictitious name (an anagram of ‘Paul Regan’) which he didn’t spot for weeks. I once had to ask a model in the life drawing class to leave because of his inappropriate posing.

    I have many more fond memories of my years on Insight’s staff, mainly of the amazing students I had the pleasure to teach. (These included an ex-nun; a lady who told me (loudly) that she was having an affair; a lovely lady who had been a prima ballerina in her youth; a famous screenwriter; and a man who’d spent the 70’s designing record covers.)

    Paul was wonderful as Insight’s director and as our boss. As I neared retirement, I realised just how much I’d learned from him, as do the hundreds of students who’ve benefitted from Insight, many of whom have gone on to become independent, practising artists. Paul should feel so proud of all he achieved.

  21. Sophie Newman says:

    Receiving a commendation for my Great Dixter painting

  22. Lara says:


  23. Lara says:

    More …

  24. Lara says:

    More memories 1

  25. Paul Regan says:

    Jamie Gordon sent this photograph to me recently. A group of Insight students each painted a section of Oakhill Park to create a panoramic view of the East Barnet Festival 2010.

  26. Lara says:

    More happy memories…

  27. Lara says:

    So many happy memories x

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