Vibrant machine stitched and collaged textiles with Imogen Bittner

Ref: S2D30071

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About this course

Learn the techniques of creating a vibrant and atmospheric still life, working from an assortment of objects and fabrics supplied by the tutor or from your own collection. Learn how to construct your image, balance colour and pattern, and add stitch to accentuate the form of your objects.

Course Description

This course will consider how to transform the initial arrangement of objects into an atmospheric and vibrant still life in either an abstract or representational style.The tutor will demonstrate each technique ranging from drawing, pattern-making, perspective, light and shading through to colour balancing in easy to follow stages which will result in an exciting transformation of your initial arrangement.

Fabric can be used like paint, stitched or collaged in place or delineated with a black thread to accentuate the form of the object. Light and shade, which adds atmosphere to enhance (or reduce) depth in the composition, can also add a three-dimensional quality to the objects described. Foliage, flowers and fruit, as well as being an integral decorative part of the composition, can also serve to balance colour and add to the sense of depth or perspective in the design. These are constructed using paint and print.

The final stage is to back the still life with a heavy fabric which will help to support its structure. If you wish to enhance or embellish further following on from the course, add the support when fully completed. Framing supports the composition and is a traditional way of displaying this genre of work.

The tutor will demonstrate all techniques whilst also offering one-to-one attention if required as each still life will be a unique and individual expression.


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.

Daily timetable

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.

Last day

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)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply many of the materials including a selection of fabrics, craft paper for patterns, acrylic paints, brushes.
  • Foliage and flowers for inspiration will be provided by West Dean Gardens.

What students need to bring

  • A favourite still life work by an artist you admire.
  • An example or photograph of a piece of work you may have produced (optional)
  • 3 or 4 objects from you personal collection (non-precious)
  • Fabrics, including smaller pieces, that you may wish to work into your composition
  • Scissors
  • Sewing kit including black polyester thread and other threads if you wish to hand sew / embellish
  • Sewing machine (there are some machines available at the College)
  • Rolling pin
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Soft oil pastels
  • 2/3 Sheets of A3 paper
  • HB pencil

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A3 paper
  • Pencils and soft oil pastels
  • Available from tutor:
  • Base fabric on which to construct your still life
  • Backing fabric
  • Bonding fabric / glue sticks
  • Netting / organza

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Imogen Bittner

Imogen studied Fine Art (painting) at Farnham, MA (sculpture) at Arts University Bournemouth and a PGCE Art at Exeter. Her interest has always been still life in paint, textiles and soft sculpture which she has exhibited regularly in Norway and France and currently in the UK. She is a member of Wessex Contemporary Art, Dorset Visual Arts & Bruton Art Society.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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