With the intention of reaching a larger, wider audience of students, I have begun to hold events which offer talks, demonstrations and workshops in a variety of subjects by a variety of creative practitioners. I have travelled to America, France, The Netherlands and Florence to meet artists and tutors who are passionate about traditional skills and observation drawing, joining the dots between individual artists to create a larger network of Drawers, who are keen to get together and share their knowledge, with you. These are highly skilled, generous people, happy to provide the most constructive creative experience to all students.
In 2014 I created the first Draw In Symposium, a celebration of drawing aimed at all levels of artist (from beginner to professional). With visiting tutors including Colleen Barry from the Grand Central Academy of Art, New York, teaching oils and figure drawing workshops, and a weekend of demonstrations by PJ Lynch, Peter Cooper, Paul Foxton amongst others - all leaders in their field. The event was fun, busy and exciting! During the weekend, around 300 artworks were produced by the students who attended. Check out the blog post.
To see the event website, and get a flavour of what please click
As part of the Festival of Art & Design, I was asked to create a drawing theme to run throughout the festival week. This included several lunchtime location drawing sessions around Belfast School of Art, a life drawing workshop and three lectures by award winning illustrator P J Lynch, art blogger and artist Katherine Tyrrell, of Making a Mark blog, and Michael John Angel, founder of The Angel Academy in Florence. We also formed a creative panel, called Drawing Together, to discuss drawing and how it impacts on our practice. The aforementioned artists were on the panel along with David Craig, set and costume designer.
To get a flavour, please click www.ulsterfestival.com
I provide several free events through the year, in collaboration with national festivals which encourage more people to take up drawing.
May is the month of Ireland’s National Drawing Day, in association with The National Gallery of Ireland. Their intension is that artists provide free, fully tutored events to encourage participation by those who may not otherwise attend a class. I hosted drawing workshops in Belfast School of art as part of this, allowing people who had always fancied ‘going to art college’ to have a guided creative experience there.
September brings the weekend of European Heritage Open Days which gets the public interested in and excited about the built environment, with free access to many hundreds of properties which would not normally be open. I have held workshops in The Ulster Hall, Stormont Castle and several venues in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter as part of this weekend. Spending time drawing, and really observing the details of a building brings a different appreciation of architectural heritage.
October is the month of The Big Draw , the worlds largest drawing festival, which is initiated by The Campaign for Drawing, a UK based charity. Their aim is to encourage EVERYONE to draw and they say their ‘work will finish when the words “I can’t draw” are dropped from our vocabulary’. October sees many drawing events to engage the public in creative activity and last year as part of this, I held a drawing workshop in The Drawing Offices, in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
No previous experience is necessary for these events. Please get in touch if you would like to be added to the mailing list to hear when these events are coming up.