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Drawing workshops

One of the most enjoyable developments in my creative life is sharing my love of sketching outside through drawing workshops.

At the beginning of this month I delivered a one day drawing 'en plein air' workshop in the beautiful woods of Carbisdale castle in Sutherland. Originally this workshop was to be in March, but, was cancelled due to the Covid lock down.

It was a lucky sunny day, with only a sparse smattering of midges and an occasional passing dampness. Perfect for quiet contemplation of our surroundings.

I like to start the day with a presentation showing images made by artists who sketch outside. In sketchbooks or finished pieces, these artists use sketching from life to inform their work, each artists approach is as individual as a persons handwriting. I hope it inspires the participants and illustrates that any approach goes. The important thing is just to make a start, to loose the fear of that expectant blank piece of paper, to not make expectations on yourself, but, just really look and closely engage with your subject.

For some of the participants it was a way to develop new ways of working and to kick start themselves into making sketching part of their regular practice, for others it was a way to find some time for themselves, to be fully immersed in an intensity of looking, that takes the mind away from mental stresses and worries.

I rather like the slightly surreal sight of sketchers at work lurking in the landscape in deep concentration on stools and at makeshift easels.

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