West Dean Gardens are magical at dusk and in darkness as well as the daylight, whatever the weather or season. On this course, you will respond to midwinter magic. The gardens in proximity to the studio provide your inspiration, materials and some of your tools. Some of your work will be made swiftly, en plein air by day and in the dark. You will also gather information to take back to develop in the studio.
Studio-based work will be an important part of the course during which your tutor will offer group teaching, regular reviews and individual support. The balance of indoor and outdoor work will be adjusted according to weather conditions and may require adaptations to the schedule. Water-based mediums of choice: acrylic, watercolour or gouache will be integrated with site earths.
The artwork created will be fresh, lively and exploratory in nature. The experience will open up creative possibilities, informing your creative development far beyond the weekend. The tutor offers insights about the delights and challenges of working outside, advises on economy of tools and materials, and fosters a spirit of exploration and risk-taking.
An exhibition of the tutors work made at West Dean will be on display in the foyer. It is precisesly because of her own creative relationship with West Dean over many years that she is offering this course. Your tutor has a wealth of practical experience working outside in all seasons using watercolour, gouache, acrylic and found pigments. She is committed to supporting artists in developing their own ideas and individual responses to the landscape.
You will be carrying painting equipment a short distance from the studio. If you feel uncertain about working outside in winter, this may not be the course for you.
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)
Associate and Short Course Tutor
Artist, curator, lecturer and writer, Frances is based in Dorset. Her radical landscape practice is site-responsive and specific to place. She has been associated with West Dean College since 1990 (Short Courses, FDAD, DACC) and was artist-in-residence in 2005. Frances trained at Aberystwyth UCW, Wimbledon College of Art (MA Printmaking) and Goldsmiths’ College.
Self-paced online courses
Mixed and other media
with materials box (SCW11116): 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.