Summer School Programme 2022

We are delighted to offer places on the summer school courses as listed below. 


*Please ensure your read our terms and conditions before booking a place on any of our courses.

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SCRAWL - Text into Abstraction
Tutor: Eleanor White
Monday 13th - Friday 17th June, 2022
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

This course will explore the difference between formal printed text and your own handwriting and how when both of these come together an abstracted dialogue can begin. By writing with our hands in an automatic fashion you will be encouraged to let go of the need to read words or phrases and allow the words to dissolve into Asemic writing – a form of writing that has no semantic context.


This process will allow each student to build up a rich patina of surface texture with various tonal media from which collages can be constructed. These collages will become the basis to inform abstracted paintings where colour can become the main focus. The main aim of the course will be to concentrate on the importance of shape and the ways in which we give prominence to some shapes over others, the balance of size, scale and space in order to arrive at an intuitive abstract design.   This course would suit beginner as well as experienced artist alike and will be accompanied by slide talks and demonstrations. 

Abstraction into Personal Motif

Tutor: Eleanor White
Monday 20th - Friday 24th June, 2022
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

The course will start by using Asemic writing to create playful surfaces that form the basis of abstract compositions it will then develop onto colour allowing time to explore more depth both in surface and scale.  You will be encouraged to explore the surrounding land and seascape to find what it is that stimulates a personal visual imagination: what forms lodge in the mind that will become the motif and focus for the work.  These may be objects of a smaller domestic scale or vast panoramas.


The final part of the course will be to choose an image or a series of particular images that will somehow integrate or be placed upon the under structure created in the studio. This will be the challenge: to bring abstraction and motif together in a whole and coherent way.  We will aim to work on a large scale format to allow for development over the sessions.

Re-imagining the Artist Book

Tutor: Susie Wilson
Monday 28th June - Friday 2nd July, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

‘something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.’

Many artists have used found objects or existing texts as the starting point to their work. Over the week students will look at ways to create an artist book inspired by a found object.

The week will begin by learning several different book structures from a simple folded book with pockets to more intricate sewing with hard covers. The found object will be re-interpreted and given new meaning using printmaking, drawing, stitch and mixed media and each student will develop their own personal project around this object. The work of Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Cornell, Hans Waanders and Tom Philips will be looked at as inspiration.

Expressive Oil Painting

Tutor: Kenneth Le Riche
Monday 5th - Friday 9th July, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

This workshop is an opportunity for students to create a painting from observing nature, exploring an expressive way of painting with oils.

Beginning with a series of very quick oil sketches of the landscape, students will get used to working freely with oil paint, treating it as an adaptable and mouldable medium. While working from observation, colour, tone and composition will be considered as well as colour mixing and ways of applying paint.

Students will then embark on a sustained painting imbued with the energy and life of the earlier oil sketches. The tutor will guide students in having an awareness of composition and the confidence to depart from instruction as their paintings progress.

Experimental Drawing: surface and material 

Tutor: Kittie Jones
Monday 12th - Friday 16th July, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

An exciting week considering how the use of different materials can inform a response to subject matter. The course will focus on an experimental approach to image making, students will be encouraged to spend time exploring how different materials behave and using this knowledge to respond sensitively to the landscape in and around Ullapool.

Time will be spent considering how mark-making can inform the mood of a piece, how different surfaces can change the way in which a material behaves and how scale can impact the feel of a piece. A number of different wet and dry materials will be worked with over the course of the week including charcoal, ink, pastel, paint and collage. Artists who innovated with their materials will be looked to for inspiration including Joan Eardley, John Piper and Victoria Crowe.


Tutor: Jemma Derbyshire
Monday 19th - Friday 23rd July, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

Using the theme of "vessels" as a stimulus for the course, this week will delve into the world of mixed media.  From how to layer surfaces, combine paint, drawing materials, print and collage we will look at the meaning of the vessel - from utility to treasure, perfection and imperfection and the art of wabi sabi, this course will see you creating everything from Artist Books to beautiful jewel like encaustic paintings.

If you love working in a materials led fashion, this course is for you!  Colour, mark and surface will focus your artistic practice and allow you to push the possibilities of a simple object. Looking at Victoria Crowe, Elaine Pamphilon, and Peter White.

Expressive Landscapes in mixed media

Tutor: Debbie Loane
Monday 26th - Friday 30th July, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

Drawing and painting the landscape is as challenging and relevant as it has always been. In this exploratory workshop, Debbie will guide you through different ways of encountering and interpreting the experience of landscape though sketching and recording and innovating with materials.

Through a series of guided creative encounters with the landscape together with time spent in the studio Debbie will encourage students to develop a personal language based on both intuition and observation. There will be demonstrations in a variety of mixed media techniques that Debbie uses in her own practice using both conventional and less conventional media, followed by plenty of opportunity to explore ways of developing a personal language.

Working initially in black and white and focussing on mark and tone and moving into working with colour, both in a limited palette and expressively outcomes can be abstract or figurative. Open to all levels and abilities, though some experience of drawing may be a benefit.

Intuition and imagination

Tutor: Eleanor White
Monday 2nd - Friday 6th August, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

The Importance of play: a mixed media landscape course. Exploring the landscape as a subject can take many forms. This course will aim to engage with the landscape in a playful, imaginative and intuitive way through going out and making contact with nature and the surrounding environment. By gathering through the senses and through various ways of collecting experiences you will observe sounds, textures, feelings, warmth, wind, rain, sun, drizzle, cloud bursts, stillness, noise of people, traffic, animals and more.

Returning to the studio and reflecting on these experiences the process of ‘serious play’ a quote coined by artist Grayson Perry will begin. Using various traditional and non-traditional materials will help you to explore what has made the most impression on you. Small and large scale work will be explored allowing for scale to dictate the way images can grow and expand or take the shape of small jewel like pieces.

The main requirement for this course is a willingness to let go and enjoy the haphazard and bizarre way that an image can come into being by using play, intuition and imagination and allowing the materials to have a life of their own.

No two days are alike

Tutor: Eleanor White
Monday 9th - Friday 13th August, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

Each day a new place, each day a new media. This course will suit people who want to get out into the west coast landscape in all and any weather to work direct from the source of inspiration. It is designed to take you through five different methods of working and will enable you to explore the different properties these can have on the end result of an image. Charcoal behaves differently from oil paint, oil paint from acrylic, ink from pencil; surfaces also influence the way a medium flows and responds.

Each day is given over to a new medium and a new location (weather permitting) and clear demonstrations of how to use these mediums will be given. However, even although the medium changes, the focus of observation will remain as the thread running through each day, giving scope for developing each day on to the next.

Large and small scale work will be explored and would suit beginners as well as those with some experience. All you need for this course is to come with a ‘going for it’ attitude to the weather and materials, a good set of waterproofs, sun cream and a sense of humour!

Reinventing the Familiar

Tutor: Eleanor White
Monday 16th - Friday 20th August, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 


Mixed media drawing and painting from natural forms. On this course students will begin by observing simple plant forms. Whether contained in pots of all shapes and sizes, or branches and stems that have been liberated alongside natural forms, these will give the starting point to this course.

Through the use of experimental drawing methods utilising both dry materials and ink, you will draw from direct observation. The course will develop a playful sense of composition by drawing and overlapping to see what shapes arrive from combining images and media. From this a colour palette will be chosen to build a mixed media painting that has the same sense of expression as the initial direct drawings.

The course will include working on both large and small scale formats, thus giving scope for developing works into a more abstracted form. The origins of the finished pieces firmly based in the joy of observing natural forms. This course would suit beginners as well as those with some experience, all welcome!

Innovative printmaking

Tutor: Kittie Jones
Monday 30th August - Friday 3rd September, 2021
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Course fee: £450 

Scale, tone and colour - monotype, collagraph and intaglio techniques. Anyone with an interest in print and a desire to know more will enjoy Kittie’s experimental approach to the processes.

Prints allow a variety of responses from bold, multi-coloured pieces, to intimate, linear works and this week will encourage a broad exploration of this. Time will be spent looking at monotype, collagraph and intaglio techniques, all inspired by source material gathered out in the landscape in and around Ullapool. Working between large-scale and small scale pieces students will be encouraged to consider the impact of colour, mark-making and subject in relation to the work produced.

Time will be spent looking at the work of contemporary printmakers such as Katherine Jones, Emma Stibbon and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and students will go away with a set of prints covering a broad range of processes.