Sunday, 2 February 2020

These are the dates for the next five sessions I'm offering at the Mansion, Totnes. 
It's based on exploring the five senses over five weeks through drawing.  We will explore and experiment with mark-making whilst subtly developing some formal techniques and tools.  I'm looking forward to some really immersive, sensory moments in the studio.

The last few sessions in Studio One were great but there's always a nagging feeling that some aspects could have been better, especially when some folks feel frustrated or disheartened at the end of it. I really do know that horrible, but necessary experience, of feeling dissatisfied with the outcome when you're drawing. I regularly find it hard to be resilient and remember to stay in a process of learning and exploring rather than focussing on making a perfect masterpiece.  Not one of my students on this course should have felt despondent - they all had innate skill and ability and individual style - but encouraging someone to see and feel and celebrate this is a mighty task and I am still working on how I achieve this. Like drawing, teaching is a constantly evolving learning of not knowledge but knowing and reflecting the experiences of the students back to my own truths helps me remember my own advice and how hard it is to live that advice!  I can settle for the default of producing a fairly decent, safe image of something I'm drawing or I can push myself to leave the comfort zone and be faced with a 'failure'.  I wish that instead of judging my capabilities on this 'failure' I could push on everytime and have a look at what irks me about it. I will grow if I do this. In teaching as in drawing and indeed, in life, I can design the sessions with a guaranteed 'successful' outcome but where is the development in that? The key is to enabling the growth to happen in a supportive and enjoyable way, to encourage curiosity, to make 'mistakes' lightly without fear or self judgement, to roll with it. And to not give up because the learning is gold. And like drawing this 'knowing' will become easier to access the more I practice. 
Thank you to all 15 of you who have taught me over the last 3 weeks, you are awesome x

I'm currently blogging over on It's a repository for my developing PhD research The Graphic M...