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Getting back to 'normal'

Well not quite yet. I now find myself in a limbo land somewhere between lockdown and normal teaching. I am continuing with online lessons (more about that later). But I am also starting normal drawing lessons……

Not quite in a class yet. I have been running some drawing session En plein air in West Sussex. These have been brilliant, allowing students who haven’t seen each other for months to meet up. Yet allowing us to keep our distance and get some nice fresh air.

The first session was a couple of weeks ago in Arundel. We all met a Swanbourne lake, which was busier than any of us had expected, although it was a lovely sunny day so lots of families were out and about!

I gave everyone a little viewfinder and get them to use the view finder to sketch 4 quick images by the lake. We then trotted off around the lake, stopping and sketching as we went. We discussed views and vignettes! Negative space and some even ventured as far a sketching sheep!

This was a lovely day with many students saying they had never sketched outdoors before.

Last week saw us ‘climbing’…well walking slowly up Highdown Hill over Goring. The views were amazing; looking out to see over the wind farm, right gave us views of a very hazy isle of Wight in the distance and looking left we even managed to see Seaford and the Seven Sisters! We also compared the size of observation wheels at Worthing and Littlehampton!

Using viewfinders again we started the day with 4 quick line drawings and then spent a few hours trying to capture a sense of distance and very fast moving clouds.

Another great days sketching all round.

Our next trip out in the first week of September (fingers crossed the weather is just as lovely) where we travel over to Chichester and sketch at the Weald and Downland museum. I’m sure we’ll find a use for our viewfinders again and this time there will be a focus on buildings.

Back in the studio has seen me continue with lessons and this time online. My first ZOOM session I’ve ever taught.

It has been a steep learning curve this year; getting to grips with online learning, MSTeams, Skype (where I’ve taught before) and now ZOOM. Both Skype and Zoom are very user friendly, but lots of students have been using ZOOM so that was where I offered my first private online art session.

Sketchbook Fun! Is a 5 week course working through a series of exercises to build up a sketchbook full of experimental lines and marks in different mediums.

Week 1 saw us painting abstract images on a large A2 sheet of paper, that was then cut and folded into a mini concertina art book.

We have since created marks and repeat patterns. Last week we collaged and worked into offcuts of abstracts. This week we will explore black and white line drawing and the last session will be open for students to continue to explore either colour images or patterns.

It has been great fun so far, so much so that some students are planning to return to a 12 week course where we take inspiration from Hokusai and his Mount Fuji prints. Our own ‘100 views’ from one view…or photo as a starting point for drawing, colour mixing and painting exploration.

I can’t wait!

See what my students and I have been up to on my social media @artwithtricia @artwithtricia_students and on the Student Chatroom. Blog you later....


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