Not the Last Day of Drawing

The ghost of the stuffed deer of Kelvingrove is officially dead.  It’s taken near on 40 years, but it’s gone now.

I’ve not yet digested everything I’ve learnt in my week of Drawing for All, so I expect there will be more posts on this subject to come, as the experience filters through, but one thing I have leant is that it’s possible to have a go.

There is a strong parallel to writing creatively.  The more I practice, the better at achieving my intent I will become; and so long as I am satisfied with the outcome, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it.

The last day of the programme was spent first in Borough Market sketching people in action, and then, in the afternoon we were back in the studio to draw anything we liked in our own composition, taking inspiration from anything and everything  we had done during the week.

By then I felt reasonably comfortable standing by a pillar or sitting in Southwark Cathedral Yard with a pad and pencil trying to capture a little taste of what I saw.  Borough Market was humming with people, none of whom was in the slightest bit interested in what I was doing.  It’s the same dynamic as sitting writing in a cafe, the more people who are about, the less interested they are in any one person.

I managed a couple of little sketches of people who sat still long enough for me to make something of them, but the capturing of figures in movement still looks a bit like stickmen cartoons.

While I was wandering the market I also picked up a couple of things for the composition I planned for the afternoon.   I was both pleased and relieved that, as Fabia had been setting out the plan for the afternoon, I had a couple of ideas; and, the same as when I’m set a writing challenge, I know it’s usually the best policy to go with the first notion that jumps into my head.

When I had been at Tate Modern I had randomly chosen to copy two very different paintings both representing a still life in front of a window.  As I’m a dedicated starer out of windows I had spent quite a lot of time looking at the building across the vacant lot from the studio; I liked its rounded window tops and the way the edge of the building curved away from me.

I bought the pot of olives because I wanted some olives; but I got the nectarines because of their shape, and I splashed out on four, even though there were chronically over priced, because I thought two wouldn’t be enough and I had planned to eat one for lunch, but then got chatting instead.

I worked on the sketch all afternoon, by the end regretting the number of windows on the building, and sending myself a little cross eyed looking on either side of the window frame which bisected my view – if I stood forward I saw the edge of the building through the pane to the left of the line, and if I stood back it was on the right; the downside of having two eyes.

So, it is with trepidation that I display my ‘end of term’ piece.  All I can say is that I am pleased that I have captured the curve of the building, at least in the window at the top, as well as the fold of the paper bag over the edge of the window sill.

 One I worked hard on, the other just happened; which is, for the moment, a pretty good summary of my experiences of the week.

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