A Room with a View

Dates n/a

Location: Elphin by Ullapool

Course Places : n/a

Price : n/a


Tutor: Jan Kilpatrick



“It was pleasant to wake up in Florence, to open the eyes upon a bright bare room, with a floor of red tiles which look clean though they are not; with a painted ceiling whereon pink griffins and blue amorini sport in a forest of yellow violins and bassoons. It was pleasant, too, to fling wide the windows, pinching the fingers in unfamiliar fastenings, to lean out into sunshine with beautiful hills and trees and marble churches opposite, and, close below, Arno, gurgling against the embankment of the road.”

E.M. Forster, A Room with a View



As humans, our world is divided into two: the outside world, full of natural splendour, to which our gaze is drawn again and again, and the inside world of our home, which we furnish with colours and objects that bring us joy and connect us to the places, people and past that make up our identity.  And the threshold between these two worlds is the windowsill, where we often choose to display our most treasured artefacts – a little jug bought in a junk shop, shells from a favourite beach, flowers given to us by a friend or lover – almost  like an altar, allowing the light from outside to add brilliance to their beauty.


The starting point for this course is a small collection of your own favourite artefacts and a photograph of your favourite view, whether it is indeed the one from your own window, or one from your favourite place to visit. By the end of the week, you will have combined these objects of adoration into a composition containing both landscape and still life, in the tradition of such painters as Mary Fedden, Sarah Bowman and Elaine Pamphilon  and the print makers Jane Walker  and Angie Lewin.

Of course, your work will have an entirely different quality in that the medium will be textile collage rather than paint, using cloth that you have dyed and printed yourself and using the textile techniques of positive and negative appliqué, as well as free-style embroidery, by machine and by hand.  

This course has an emphasis on the careful consideration of colour and composition and is written with the aim of each student completing one highly-worked collage. You will, however, go home with a good collection of hand-dyed and printed cloths and lots of ideas for developing these into a whole range of new works.


No experience is required for this course, other than knowing how to operate a sewing machine.  All materials are provided..

Please click on an image to see the full picture.




Jan's studio is in Elphin, overlooked by the magnificent mountains of Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor and Cul Beag. This remote location means that accommodation is a little more difficult to find, but the experience of visiting this area makes the search well worthwhile. Many course participants opt to stay in Ullapool, which is 20 minutes drive away. It is a most picturesque fishing village, with a good range of accommodation to suit all budgets. There are many restaurants and takeaways and shops, as well as some evening entertainment, should you have any energy left at the end of that day's workshop. And students often group together and car share for their daily trip up the road, past Stac Pollaidh, to the studio. Please look at the Accommodation links page to find out more.

To read about an innovative community partnership approach to preserving and improving this landscape for the benefit of all, have a look at Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes. To find out about the fascinating geology of this area go to North West Highland Geopark.


Email : info@jankilpatrick.co.uk    Tel : 01854 666279,   Postal Address : Jan Kilpatrick, Cul Mor, Elphin, By Lairg, Sutherland, IV274HH.

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