Above: A drawing workshop participant eyes up her chosen plant specimen. We referenced John Ruskin quotations as thought provoking mottos within the sessions.
The Big Draw is the world’s largest drawing and visual literacy festival and this year its theme ‘Drawn to Life’ celebrates and explores the benefits of being actively creative, to make positive change and improve wellbeing. The festival brings people together all over the world, to champion the ever increasing evidence, both anecdotal and academic, that a more creative life really can improve your health.
Our sessions were inspired by nature and we took up John Ruskin’s approach to ‘drawing as a way of seeing’. Like Ruskin, I believe that drawing is a disciplined and intensely mindful practice. Its a way to learn directly through observation of the world in all its inter-connected complexity, by and for oneself, rather than only learn about it from a distance, through written language or mediated by the education system.
At The Artistry House event, several free drawing sessions took place throughout the afternoon, and artists with a wide range of previous experience, from novices to art professionals, took part.
There was great company, exchange of skills and experiences, working with colour and a variety of drawing media. The beautifully restored interior of The Artistry House, and the many artworks and objects on display, enforced our sense of art and creativity as a way of being. We felt a connection to nature and to each other, through drawing, with the mellow autumn sunlight streaming in.
A restorative and inspirational afternoon. Thank you to everyone who took part.