I have started drawing again. There has been a year long pause since breaking my shoulder in a cycling mishap a year ago. But most Wednesday evenings now see me putting pencil and charcoal to paper again. Drawing brings a smile to my face and makes me deeply happy. It’s such a simple thing, quite focus, attentive observation and a balance between the two hemispheres of one’s mind. Beautiful.
I had wondered if my drawing would be rusty, but spending many hours a week teaching others to draw continues to improve my observational skills even when there is an enforced break.
Two classes of anatomical drawing today at the Uni of Hertfordshire. My students were drawing the human head, both skeleton and living. There is always a moment a few minutes into the start of the drawing process when the room goes quiet as they focus their attention. Its a lovely feeling to be in a room of forty people in complete silence. They did some very nice work today.
A detail from a new illustration of my street. It includes studies of the birds I regularly see in my garden and postal messages from across the sea. It is part of a series of new work I am creating for the Hertford Vintage Fayre in early February. The process of drawing provides a welcome relief from lecture preparation. A happy way to spend my evening.
A Christmas bunting project in the studio this week. A change from the traditional decorations. Above a preview of the illustrations in progress.
“waiting for autumn rain” – a part of the ongoing series “The Universal Drift“
I have spent today teaching an anatomy drawing class which included careful observations of a human skeleton. It is amazing to spend an entire day just looking at how all the parts go together. What a fantastic structure it is. And a lovely feeling at the end of the day when walking to the car one has a renewed sense of one’s own bones stepping out.
It was reiterated recently on a program discussing modern art, that the importance of observational drawing has underestimated in art training in recent years. I felt pleased to be involved with two institutions who are correcting the balance. I currently spend 9 hours a week teaching students to draw, sculpt and paint from life and another 3 doing my own drawing. It is a satisfying way to spend my time.
Next week I begin teaching a life drawing class about movement for animation. I am excited about it because the poses we generally draw from are completely static. It will be great to create action in the class and the drawings.
I spent the weekend basking in the most glorious sunshine, and we joked at the time the that was the end of summer. In fact I think it was, this week is grey and autumnal, and I am head down preparing lectures for the coming semester. Tomorrow, I am running a life drawing workshop at Gravelly Barn, the first in a series of three, we are going back to basics, proportion, mark-making and structure. We will all need to get the creativity flowing once again after our long summer.
A new drawing from my Thursday evening class. Negative space, the theme, though not actually negative, in fact positively filled in by our minds. I like it.