Capturing the immediacy of the world on the wing is the essence of this course. With sketchbooks in hand, we’ll be taking short walks in the South Downs, keeping our eyes peeled and our minds open to every imaginable source of inspiration: strong landscape compositions, striding walkers, fleeting wildlife, village scenes, dramatic cloudscapes and the ever-absorbing abstract patterns of the earth’s rich textures.
This is about learning to see as an artist. Wherever your interests lie (colour, texture, line, tone), whatever your medium (painting, printmaking, textiles, photography, ceramics), whatever your approach (representational, abstract, interpretive, expressionistic, stylistic), you will always find a rich source of inspiration in the world around you if you have an open, receptive and enquiring mind. This course is about trying out and comparing your visual responses, then giving some time to developing these back in the studio. It aims to provide springboards for your future rather than finished, completed work.
Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, you will be exploring a wide variety of approaches, testing out ways of drawing and painting that most appeal to you, so that you can develop what comes most naturally to you.
You will gain confidence in the art of lively, expressive responses, extend your drawing and painting skills, learn to work on the move with a compact, portable kit to suit your style and all the while revitalising your senses in the autumn light and special beauty of Britain’s newest National Park. You will visit different and varied morning and afternoon locations, as well as invest time in the studio for considered developments. Some optional, unsupervised evening projects are suggested. Your tutor will bring a number of books for inspiration, as well as some original work of her own to share.
By the end of the course, you will know how to distil and frame your subject, lead the eye around your focal point, combine the organic, geometric and abstract into a convincing whole. You will know how to shape your own compositions with greater skill and understanding, and how to use your sketchbook as a creative tool to form a personal and invaluable visual encyclopaedia for your future work.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)
Teaching at West Dean since 2005, Maxine works across drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking and mixed media. Exhibits widely, runs a 3-floor gallery of her work in Gloucestershire, included in public and private collections around the world. Trained in London at Camberwell and the Slade. An elected member of the Royal West of England Academy.
Self-paced online courses
with materials box (SCW11050): Places available - Book now
Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study.
Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.