King’s Wood is an ancient woodland site in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was historically a royal hunting forest and is still home to fallow deer, adders, nightjars, green woodpeckers, lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers, foxgloves, bluebells and woodspurges. The main species of tree include Sweet Chestnut, Beech, Corsican Pine and Douglas Fir.
Set within the 1500-acre forest is a purpose-built artists’ studio space with heating, communal work area, kitchen and bathroom, enabling artists to create work directly in response to the character and history of this working forest.
The forest is also a living art space with a unique artistic heritage and significance: since 1994 artists have been commissioned to make sculptures and other kinds of artworks and performances within the woodland, and a forest trail features sculptures which draw on the natural landscape and materials.
The Stour Valley Creative Partnership takes forward this artistic legacy and it is with their permission and that of the Forestry Commission who manage the woodland that we take weekend residency of the studio space in order to draw and paint within the woodland.
We will work directly in the woodland location surrounding the forest studio, observing and responding to the location. Participants will receive tuition in sketching and painting approaches appropriate to location work in oil or acrylic painting mediums, and drawing materials such as charcoal and pastel. The weekend will also explore how sketches and studies created outside on location can be developed further into ‘studio’ paintings and art works.
The group size will be small to ensure individual guidance is enjoyed by all participants.
Tutoring will be through group and individual tuition, with plenary sessions at the close of each day.
Saturday 11th February 10am – 4pm
- 10am Meet in the main King’s Wood car park: off White Hill Road, Challock, TN25 4AP(note different meeting location for the two days)
- Participants will be guided around the woodland location to absorb the huge range of visual possibilities that it offers.
- Participants will be introduced to the facilities at the forest studio where all materials and equipment can be left.
- Sketching and painting begins, with individual tuition and a lunchtime break within the forest studio.
- 30-4pm The painting day will end with joint plenary and a sharing of progress and ideas at the forest studio.
- EVENING MEAL: for those that wish to stay and socialise with their fellow painters and tutor a table will be booked at a good local pub.
Sunday 12th February 10am – 4pm
- 10am meet at the forest studio (note different meeting location for the two days)
- Discussion of possible approaches and ways to develop the ideas and images created on day one
- Sketching and painting within the woodland, with lunch time break at the forest studio
- 30pm group plenary; celebration and sharing of artwork produced
- 4pm end of workshop
The Studio is a four roomed building with heating, communal studio area, kitchen facilities, a toilet, two sinks (with hot and cold water), tables and chairs, and a large and secure storage area.
Hot drinks and biscuits will be available in the studio at all points during the day. A lunch of soup and rolls can be provided on both days by arrangement. A table will be booked for a joint meal for all those that wish to come on the Saturday night in a nearby pub.
£120 for the two-day workshop, £15 optional fee for hire of French field easel, stool and drawing board. Lunch of sandwich, soup, fruit and cake: £10
About your tutor
Sarah Spencer has an extensive exhibiting profile both in the UK and abroad. Known for her “symphonic skies and expansive spatial resonance” Sarah works mainly in oils specialising in seascapes using her native Whitstable as a recurring pictorial trope. She has a wealth of tutoring experience to which she brings a genuine insight and passion. She is a regular contributor to Artist and Illustrator magazine and is in demand for demonstrations relating to her practice.
Suggested Materials and Equipment
Click HERE to view or print a comprehensive list.
The forest has metalled tracks but the ground is uneven and so may be unsuitable for those with limited mobility. Please contact to discuss.
TN25 4AP Day 1 Main King’s Wood Forest Car Park (meeting point for day 1)
TN25 4AR Day 2 Forest Studio Car Park (where we will subsequently be parking) A251, Challock, Ashford
There are many options for accommodation near Challock. The group evening meal on Saturday will be in Wye, and there are several choices of accommodation within a short distance of the group meal on the Saturday evening – and in fact the pub has lovely rooms available of its own.