I have recently been invited by a few Art Clubs to teach sessions at their weekly meetings. I’m usually asked if I do ‘demonstrations for art clubs’ which I don’t, and quickly go on to explain that I’m happy to offer fully guided tuition. I’m a qualified adult tutor, so am happiest planning fully tutored lessons for people.
I love teaching and guiding students through creative processes and seeing their enjoyment when, by the end of the session, they create drawings or paintings that they didn’t think they were capable of doing at the outset.
Art Fusion: Chorlton
Tonight’s session was with Art Fusion – a group of art enthusiasts who meet at St Clements church in Chorlton. This was the 3rd time they’ve invited me to teach at their art club and I was happy to return. As this was their first art club session after the summer break and with many new members, I was asked to plan something
creative and encouraging to enable everyone to get back into creative mode after a long break.
My creative drawing session started with a warm up exercise to help the art club members turn off their analytical left side of their brains after a long day at work and begin to access the creative right side of the brain to help them move into a creative mind set.
This was followed by some active research to explore the church building where the art club meet and return with a variety of texture rubbings (the old ‘brass rubbing’ technique we all did when we were children). This produced a range of marks on paper that we would never have thought of making if we were to draw directly on paper. The rubbings provided an excellent starting point to create new ways of using pencil, charcoal or graphite and make new and exciting marks. I also showed them some inspiring drawings by van Gogh, David Hockney, and a couple of my own drawings to show them how artists use lines and marks in very different ways – how artists have a very rich and expressive range of marks at their disposal.
We all learnt from this exercise and were able to extend our own range of mark making.
After tea and chocolate biscuits (I’m always thankful for those when teaching at art clubs!) we settled down to some drawing of sea shells. A good standard ‘art college’ project, that resulted in some stunning, creative and very personally expressive drawings. The shells were full of contrasting textures and this enabled the members to use all the new mark making skills they learnt in the earlier exercise to stretch their drawing skills and come up with drawings that were expressive and creative with a rich mix of lines and marks that expressed the qualities of the sea shells. A standard ‘art school project’ perhaps – but the drawings exceeded expectations! Well done to the group for getting stuck in and producing such fabulous results.
Salford Art Club
Earlier this year Salford Art Club invited me to teach a 2 linked sessions at the art club meetings in Salford Museum and Art Gallery. I had already delivered a session for the art club last year about proportion and form when drawing the head from life.
This session was about making increasingly dynamic drawing s that captures the flow and movement when drawing from a life model. The week involved a number of short exercises to teach the art club members the theory behind the practice. This involved some loosening up drawing exercises, followed by what I call ‘smudge drawings’ that I learnt from Heather Spears’ book The Creative Eye’. We followed this with an exercise to help the art club members draw ever longer lines and really extend the amount of flow and fluidity in their lines when drawing. After a short break (where were the chocolate biscuits this time!) we continued with some more ‘smudge’ drawings combined with ‘contour’ and ‘gesture’ drawings. The results spoke for themselves, and although I didn’t take any photos the art club did themselves proud as the drawings produced showed a real sense of liveliness, movement and flow.
The following week I returned to Salford Art Club and continued with the flow and movement theme concentrating this week 2 different kinds of drawings. Firstly short moving poses where the members had to cope with developing 4 different drawings at the same time on the same page, as the model moved between the 4 different set poses. A real challenge for most people – but enjoyed by so many! The second was a long static pose to see how much of a sense of flow and aliveness the art club could inject into a static pose.
Some great results after an intense night of drawing. Well done to all art club members for working so hard. I’m sure it will impact positively on your future work at the art club and at home.
Horwich Art Society: Bolton
I taught a session for this art club about drawing the human form. Much of the session was based on the teachings of Heather Spears in her book The Creative Eye and we concentrated on using and exploring line. The art club members found this interesting and challenging at the same time as it was new to quite a few of the members. But the results at the end of the evening showed that everyone had grasped the new concepts and ideas and their use of line had developed quite remarkably from the start. I received some wonderful feedback from the group.
Grange Art Club: Manchester
The Grange was the first art club that invited me to teach some sessions for them. They asked me to do some creative activities focusing around craft and textiles which we did over a few sessions. The art club members, a real mix of ages and abilities produced some stunning results they were proud of.
If you would like to invite me to teach at your art club please contact me here. I would love the opportunity to teach your group and am happy to travel throughout Greater Manchester and neighbouring boroughs.