OCA SW Meeting Study Day and Drawing Workshop
The meeting was a drawing workshop then discussion over students’ work in the afternoon. It was led by Doug Burton, Creative Arts lead Tutor who took us through the ways of seeing and describing as we made marks on paper using a variety of materials. The afternoon session involved going outside into the yard of the venue and really looking to make a mental image of part of it in order to recreate it in whatever way we felt was best.
As a photographer, my drawing skills are very limited and I am very used to using a camera to record what I see in front of me. Going back to basics and making marks on paper was a bit like going back to school and sitting there wondering if I was doing it right. It felt quite strange to me to be getting dirty using pastels, drawing in any way possible and I was conscious that I was almost ‘trying too hard’. The exercise where we worked in pairs, one drawing while not seeing the object, the other describing the object to them, I was better at describing than drawing, and the picture that Alessandra produced was an interesting response to my description, in an abstract way being almost like fireworks.
Going outside to look round the yard was much more interesting and I clicked into ‘image’ mode which is natural, picking up the colours and objects as they were parked or left lying around. Recreating that small piece of land turned out to be a very flat, straight and frankly boring piece of work. I am really NOT a drawing artist! Other students did really different approaches, some with very defined marks. One was interesting because I had seen the back of the truck and thought I would go back afterwards to take a photo. Here it was in pastels.
Moving on to the work of other students was really interesting and I enjoy seeing what other students are doing, even if they make me feel that I am not creative at all. I am amazed at the depth and breadth of what other disciplines involve in the work from painting to illustration to textiles, the one I always think encompasses nearly everything in one course. The work they do in this group is stunning and artistic, and I am sure that I would never be able to do what they do. The discussions were lively and stimulating, and while I was not in a position to present any work having just finished an assignment, it was still possible to come away with ideas and hints for future projects just from seeing other work.
Doug then led the final Q&A session and we covered a lot of topics. It was really nice to finally meet a live tutor from the OCA and one who worked so hard to include all of us in the drawing, even me the least artistic artist of the group. I always come away with admiration for the students on OCA courses who work so hard to come up with good ideas and then execute them. They are supportive and encouraging to others. It is worth attending them just to feel that I am not alone in this.