Steve, a life drawing model and artist, shares his experience with us. “As a child I was bullied at school and abused at home. Art was my escape route. I had a very negative image both physically and emotionally for myself as I grew up, until the day I forced myself to undress and look at myself nude in a full length mirror. As I calmed down I saw a head, 2 arms, 2 legs and a torso. For the first time in my life I started seeing a human being looking back.”
Certainty and tranquility; the undeniable foundation that most seek and desire. Robust and solid; providing support for the next move, the one leading beyond the comfort zone line. Classical music; the clarity and structure, flowing ample through a small, personalised recital room, equips one to face the storm of the unknown.
A severe gradation of colours and emotions, all generated behind closed eyes and fulfillingly busy ears. Within this very safety, established in the tiny world between two headphones; one can experience the complete freedom to look directly at the spotlight.
Architecture is undoubtetly connected to art. If you think about it though, art many times follows the principles of architecture too. Often, they go hand in hand in terms of form, shape, materials, functionality, imagination and design process. Looking at the world through the eyes of an architect, helps the artist see at a different angle, and explore how someone whose life spins around designing buildings, is actually inspired to make art observing the built environment.
Do you ever feel that you have been doing the same thing over and over again, that a change is needed, and you would like to challenge yourself meeting new people. Well, this week, I had the chance to try a different life drawing experience. A different venue, a different group of artists, a pint of beer to start with and a pint after we finished. This week I went for a life drawing session at the Curfew, Bath.
Sometimes we are keen to expand our skillset with new painting techniques, to develop our style as artists and deepen our understanding on different movements of art. However, we tend to forget one very important thing, which is fundamental to our development as artists. If you are guessing that the answer is “going to the gallery”, you are only half way there. What helps you become a better artist, is not the gallery itself but everything it represents and embraces.
A walk around the streets of Bath, UK, in sketches
“I just got back into drawing recently by accident. In between homes; couch surfing at a friend’s house and relaxing after a stressful period. I started doodling his fireplace and…now I’m hooked. I used to draw a lot from life when I was in school. I’ve attended lots of life drawing classes, and I used to enjoy sitting at a window and drawing passerbyers. Most recently, I’ve really connected to pen work. I use a Uni-ball AIR which I love, and it suits me perfectly, great lines, and you can start making areas of black quite easily. And it’s just one pen, simple. Biggest artistic influence, the guy whose line work I adore the most, is that giant of illustration the late Bernie Wrightson. His illustrations for Frankenstein are masterpieces.”
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Part of the statement above, is a lie as I never actually stopped working with art. I did take a whole month off life drawing though. In the beginning it felt a bit naughty. Towards the end, I felt I was really missing it and I started lacking motivation for sketching anything else. It is true that life drawing classes give content and context to my work. Thankfully, I was able to attend the last session of the year!
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“I enjoy drawing human forms, either portraits with charcoal or full model figures with acrylic paint. I was interested in drawing since I was a little child and learned on my own. Later on I took various lessons. I definitely want to study art more thoroughly in the future!”
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