Weekend at West Dean College

Weekend at West Dean College

I spent a very worthwhile weekend on a course studying with Amy Dury, a painter I really admire, at West Dean College near Chichester. The subject was ‘Contemporary oil painting from ancestral photographs’ and I learnt so much in two days. Amy is such a great teacher. Check out westdean.ac.uk and amydury.com.

I was a little apprehensive as I’ve never painted in oil before. I had lots of interesting family photos to choose from. In the end I settled on a picture of my Dad with his brother and sister, as children. They are striding down a street in Liverpool, all wearing similar shoes and taking a step forward on the same leg, creating a lovely rhythm. I like the result and discovered many positive qualities of oil paint, as compared to the acrylics I am used to.

The arrival of the carpenter is imminent and I can’t wait for the improvements it will bring to my studio storage and display. Once in place I’ll be confirming the date of a studio sale to ‘clear the decks’ here in Brighton, where you’ll be able to pick up some bargains. The provisional date is 24th February.

If you’d like to know a bit more about West Dean and Edward James, the wealthy eccentric who donated his home to establish the college, here’s a link to a short film about it, made a few years ago by my husband: Edward James: A Very English Surrealist.

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