Whenever you hear parents talk ‘schools’, the most common critisism is about art, that it is not too good, not Turner Prize winning enough. In fact it seems to be, well, ‘crap’ almost everywhere in the eyes of most West London parents of juniors (prepared for a barrage of hate mail on this one). The solution is artist Barbara Nicholls who will come to your home and really teach them art. Nicholls is not any old art teacher, she has a doctorate in art which she keeps very quite, she has taught at some of the top universities and more importantly she is a working artist, so is always inspired and inspiring. She has been teaching art in Notting Hill for twenty years and her home visits are from one to one and a half hours and cost £100 per hour. She is happy with small groups of around four so you can split the cost. The classes are tailor made to the children in the group and she allows them to lead the creative process. So boys of about age nine, she says, love to build or paint omnipotent objects like towers or volcanoes. (very phallic we agreed). She uses play to inspire the children’s imaginations and to find out what they are keen to work on. “I’m interested in child development and work with developing a sense of process where the child is able to make connections with ideas which turn into larger projects”, she says. The results are amazing and would leave no parent wanting more. Nicholls will also teach adults, so cast off those trainers and invest in some art exercise for the soul. Nicholls is currently working on a collection for an exhibition in March at her Notting Hill studio. Her paintings are an extraordinary tapestry of media, layer on layer (above) and she loves studio visits, so take a look.