Painting inspired by Goldsworthy's chalk stone walk with Melanie Rose

Ref: SLW31659

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About this course

Contemporary painting course inspired by walking Andy Goldsworthy's 5-mile chalk stone trail. The slow acts of walking, drawing and painting 'en plein air', will inspire and influence final artworks made in the studio.

Course Description

The focus of this painting course is on the thirteen huge carved chalk stones created by Andy Goldsworthy in 2002 that follow a 5-mile trail from Cocking to West Dean College.

‘The trail is distributed along a network of Public Rights of Way, moving through West Dean woods via a combination of footpaths, bridleways and byways. Following the route takes you through rich countryside, including managed fields and woodlands, forests of larch and beech, hazel coppices, as well as designated nature reserves and open farmland. Climbing to various peaks along the Downs, there are views not only from West Dean but of the Cowdray Estate to the north.’ (Dixon, 2002)

The college minibus will drop us at the first chalk stone in Cocking from where we will spend the rest of the day walking back to West Dean College, spending time at each of the chalk stones to paint/draw/photograph/write gathering reconnaissance material, which will be used to make paintings in the studio the following day.

The introduction of manmade features into the landscape offers a surreal implication. Huge chalk stones, echoing the shape of the moon, placed in woodland, farmland and manicured gardens, how do they relate? What are they saying? How can you make sense of these very different landscapes in the twenty-first century?

Throughout the course you will be introduced to artists including Paul Nash, Edward Burra, Ben Deakin, Ben Edge, Harold Mockford and Flora McLachlan, all of whom bring to the attention esoteric detail, a sense of time and space, the weird and eerie by forging echoes of the past through painting the landscape.

For this course, you will need to be able to walk 5 miles over the course of the day. You will be dropped at Cocking after breakfast by minibus and walk back to the College throughout the day. We advise comfortable walking equipment, including a rucksack, portable art materials, water bottle, carrier bag to sit on or portable stool, warm clothing and camera. You will be carrying your art materials and equipment with you, along with the picnic provided for lunch. You will be back in time for supper.

The emphasis on the course is the slow act of walking and painting, as well as being in nature, mindful of continuity observed through the cycles of the sun and the moon, the chalk stones symbolising the moon.


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

What students need to bring

  • Your preferred drawing and painting materials including:
  • Materials for fieldwork
  • Prepared surfaces to paint onto
  • Sketchbooks
  • Charcoal, fixative, putty rubber, ink
  • Masking tape
  • Preferred paint mediums, including:
  • Watercolours, plus travel set
  • Oil colours, including low odour solvents
  • Brushes appropriate to paint medium
  • Appropriate outdoor clothing for drawing outside
  • Camera/iPad or phone

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Drawing surfaces and paper, a good selections of paints, sketchbooks, drawing materials, masking tape, fixative, paintbrushes and mediums

Additional information

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


Melanie Rose

Subject Tutor - BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft
Subject Tutor - Online Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Short Course Tutor

Dr Melanie Rose explores landscape and place through painting. Working with traditional materials, sympathetic to the environment, her current focus is the landscape set within the bounds of the South Downs National Park, which forms the heart of her PhD research. 


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

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Further study options

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 advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). 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.