Over the August Bank holiday I took a short course at West Dean College with Rosie MacCurrach. It was a fabulous experience, West Dean College is a peaceful creative haven in the midst of glorious sussex countryside.
Rosie MacCurrach is a lovely person, quietly spoken, encouraging, positive and talented. It was an intermediate course so I felt a little out of my depth but forced myself to raise my game.
We started with mark-making using ink and found objects from the garden.
We discussed the work of Samuel Palmer, Ravillious, Van Gogh and others, supported with beautifully illustrated books.
Out in the garden we drew with charcoal. My first 20 minute sketch:
We discussed composition, looking first at other artists, then making quick diagrams of areas in the gardens.
An hour or two’s drawing in the rain, with Rosie passing by every now and again to encourage me to be bolder:
It was an excellent course for me, all stages of everyone’s work was displayed and discussed constructively. Eventually I forced myself to be less tentative and the weekend helped me to see that I need lots of practice in situations like this in the company of others, with the friendly support of a tutor and no distractions to take me away from the act of ‘live’ drawing.