On Thursday and Friday I gave two drawing workshops at this years Druid Camp, near Gloucester. I had never been to a Druid camp before and this was a wonderful opportunity for me to share my approach to drawing and to explore some more arts and crafts at the festival. Those who came to my classes ranged from beginners to practising artists, and everyone really enjoyed drawing natural forms with natural forms! I had feathers, sticks, pine cones, shells, stones and all sorts collected from my walks and it was really an opportunity for people to experiment with mark making by using the feathers and such to draw with.
I had worries about camping, since I’d not done it since Brownie camp, but there is something rather invigorating about waking up in a field, breathing fresh air all day, and being like minded with other nature and earth lovers. In my understanding, Druidism closely appreciates and celebrates the human connection with nature and the earth. Above was one of our timetables for the day, which was different from day to day, providing and enriching variety of workshops.
I had a range of diluted inks to work with, which had the potential to have more painterly effects ranging in opacity and tone. In my ink drawing (centre above) I chose to study the central flower from a monkey puzzle tree, which had a bold and patterned composition.
Here are some of the drawings that came out of the class, despite the crudeness of using something as simple as a feather everyone came out with really personal and creative brush marks in response to the natural forms. I hope all those that attended felt inspired to carry on with some of these techniques.
I’m now back from my holidays in Malta and Mallorca, very inspired by the light and the colours. Through doing little watercolour studies it is apparent how much yellow I need to use to capture the bright summer sunshine! I also got very interested in the variety and the colours of the doors in Malta, each has their own character and together they make a quirky collage.
Just before I left for my holidays, I completed and sold my painting of the apple blossoms. I really love this painting, perhaps something to do with the movement and light of the petals! I am very inspired to pick up my oil paints again to experiment with another medium.
Last Saturday was a big day for me, as I was part of Gloucester’s ‘Art in the City’ painting competition. We had the whole day to paint plein air our chosen scene from the town of Gloucester and hand it in by 6pm for judging. Sadly I didn’t get through to the shortlist, but it was such a sunny day, I had lots of positive feedback and interest in my paintings, and I had a really good practise at painting outdoors. I chose to paint the little alleyway outside the Tailor of Gloucester’s house, which Beatrix Potter famously painted. A lot of contestants chose the Gloucester docks, Cathedral and street scenes, however, I chose this bright, sunny alleyway as it took my back to my childhood enjoyment and fascination of the historic street.
So here is my finished painting, I used some vibrant colours and particularly liked the shadows cast across the street in the morning light. The exhibition of all the paintings done for ‘Art in the City’ (including mine) are now on show upstairs in Eastgate shopping centre, in Gloucester. So do have a look at all the other entries to the show, there was such a variety painted during the day, and they are all for sale for the next week or so.
Look out for me in the Forest of Dean this week as I will be teaching drawing classes at Druid camp! I shall be giving my first out of two classes this thursday on depicting the character and essence of natural forms. I have collected feathers, pinecones, sticks and shells to draw in the classes, then in the second half of the session it will be based on experimental mark making, using the natural forms, feather and leaves to draw with. At the end I shall be giving a folding sketchbook demonstration to hopefully inspire everyone to keep drawing outside of the session. Really looking forward to it! On the last day of the festival there will be a market on Saturday afternoon, so I will of course take the opportunity to sell some of my paintings. Further information can be found at http://www.druidcamp.org.uk