Press Release: Colour and light, Short Courses at West Dean College

The stunning landscape, architecture, art and history of West Dean provide inspiration on art and creative short courses at the College. From the bright flower borders and rows of colourful vegetables in the award-winning Gardens, to the stained glass windows in the College, there is plenty of colour and light to excite your artistic aspirations. Set in the heart of the beautiful South Downs, West Dean offers the opportunity to enjoy home cooked food and relax in a country-style house with like-minded people.

Led by an inspirational tutor, learn a series of approaches to mark-making and painting from a live model. A variety of long and short poses offer you the time to explore rich and vibrant colour and light. Portrait painting - colour and light with Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright (28 - 31 May £356 Suitable for all).

Discover a personal palette as you learn how to apply both transparent and opaque enamels to achieve lasting colour and imagery on your jewellery. Glorious colour with vitreous enamel with Joan Mackarell (28 - 31 May £322 Suitable for all).

Capture summer colour in West Dean Gardens and gain a greater understanding of how to compose abstract and realistic garden pictures. Learn to observe how lighting affects colour and composition. Suitable for those with a digital SLR or advanced compact camera. Digital photography - capturing colour in the garden with Jacqui Hurst (12 - 14 June £230 Beginners/Intermediate).

Discover the qualities of colour within fibres and how this can affect transparent coloured fabrics. Enjoy the surprises offered by the shrinking nature of the wool to transform fibres, making texture and tactile surfaces. Create samples for artwork, fashion or interior projects. Exploring colour and transparency in felt making with Jeanette Appleton (9 - 12 July £322 Suitable for all).

Create a series of drawings with different light sources and materials. Drawing with light with Emily McLennan 20 - 23 August £326 Suitable for all).

Examine the ways in which colour can express emotions, influence, alter mood and communicate ideas when painting. Develop a sound grasp of colour mixing, colour theory and an awareness of colour in all its contexts. Talkative colour with Maxine Relton (25 - 28 September £332 Suitable for all).

Harness the beauty of coloured light through the media of stained glass by combining graphic lead lines with translucent colour. You will be encouraged to develop your own design and complete a panel of stained glass. An introduction to stained glass - colour, line and light with Helen Robinson (1 - 4 October £222 Suitable for all).


Wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs in the stately splendour of a country mansion. The bedrooms are a mixture of contemporary and traditional styling. Student rates from £95 for two nights bed & breakfast.


For more information about Short Courses at West Dean and to browse the digital brochure visit First time bookings receive a 10% discount telephone bookings only call +44 (0)2143 818300.


Notes to editors:

  • West Dean Gardens are part of The Edward James Foundation which also comprises West Dean College, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • The award winning Gardens are open from 1 February - 20 December with special event days throughout the year; Annual House Opening (9 & 10 May), Design and Craft Fair (19 - 21 June), 20th Anniversary Chilli Fiesta (7 - 9 August), Half Term Halloween activities (26 - 31 October) and Father Christmas visits (12 & 13 and 19 & 20 December).
  • The College runs over 700 short courses in arts, crafts, gardening, music and creative writing each year as well as full time postgraduate programmes in Conservation and Creative Arts.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in visiting the Gardens, attending a course or an event for news or review purposes or filming at West Dean should contact the Media Relations team.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media contact information

For media accreditation or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College and Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ