Understandably given the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis, my Life Drawing courses for Kent Adult Education have been cancelled. It might be a while before they’ll happen again. And so, here is a short piece about one of the drawing exercises I do.
This is a demonstration drawing done for a drawing exercise which sometimes forms part of my Life Drawing courses. All of the drawing exercises I employ are designed to get us to think about the meanings of hand-drawn marks as well as about ways of seeing and thinking through drawing.
In this exercise we draw holding two pencils in one hand so that our drawings cannot rely on fine detail and outline to create the sense of the figure on the page. It’s an enjoyable way to draw and that pleasure in making a mark can also constitute a large part of the meaning of a drawing. But the main object of this exercise is to experience a kind of letting-go whilst also trying to be very precise. Good drawing comes about when the lines and marks mean something.
Drawing with two points guarantees that at least half of the drawing will be ‘wrong’, but it can be good for us to feel it ‘going wrong’ and see that it’s actually okay for that to be the case. The drawing has to go wrong if it has any chance of going well. Another interesting aspect to this exercise is the way it can encourage the drawer to draw beyond the boundaries of the figure. This way of drawing can help us to understand the figure as an uncertain presence in our minds and on the page.
The second part of the exercise involves using the rubber to draw with alongside the two points. The drawing process then becomes a process of repeated addition and alteration. Every moment a mark is made, whether it be with a pencil or a rubber, is an opportunity to change our minds.
There is a lot more I could say about this exercise but I’ll save them for other times. Hopefully my Life Drawing courses will run again in the not too distant future. When they do begin again, I shall mention them here and on my other social media places on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (go to the ‘about me’ section to find links to them).
Sadly, but not unexpectedly, my Life Drawing courses at Margate Adult Education Centre has been cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis. I popped into the centre to collect some of my demonstration drawings as it might be some time before Life Drawing begins again. It’s incredibly sad to think of that Life Room being lifeless. This is a room that needs the company of people drawing.
I love teaching in this place. I love this room. It has good ghosts. I’m going to miss teaching and drawing in this place. I hope Life Drawing will return before too long.
I shall be teaching a Life Drawing workshop at the Margate Adult Education Centre, Hawley Square, on Saturday 7th March (10am – 4pm). Come along if you can but please book your place as soon as possible!
This workshop will be similar to the one I taught recently at New England House for Draw Brighton. The session will consist of a mixture of short drawing exercises and demonstrations (to offer various ways of thinking about Drawing) and longer drawings (25-40 minutes) for one-to-one teaching.
The workshop is titled: ‘A Day of Life Drawing’ and you can book a place via the Kent Adult Education website (please don’t be put off by the ‘course descriptions on the website, I didn’t write them).
I shall be talking about my work at ‘DRAW Brighton’ on Saturday 22nd February. This is from the Draw Brighton website:
“Roy Eastland is an acclaimed silver point artist who’s work has been featured in the prestigious The Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, Jerwood Drawing Prize and ING Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary exhibitions. In this one-off event he will be discussing his work and attitude towards drawing with Draw tutor Jake Spicer as well as answering questions from everybody attending.
This session will not be held in the main Draw studio, but in studio 7A, Level 3 in New England House. Places are very limited and booking is essential; the talk begins at 5:30pm, with doors open from 5pm. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided; please call 07805201057 on the day for access to New England House. The talk is free for Atelier and Drawing Pass holders – however you will need to book a paying place via the link and you will refunded on the day.
Please note, this is not a drawing workshop, although you will be welcome to attend the last section of the Saturday long pose after the talk if you are feeling inspired to draw! You can see more of Roy Eastland’s drawings on his website: http://ow.ly/QGUV50yhYVQ
Time: 17:30 → 19:00
Location: Studio 7A
I’ve had my silverpoint drawing, “Empire Day”, selected for the ING Discerning Eye 2019 exhibition by Kwarme Kwei-Armah. It’s one of a number of drawings based on a found photograph taken in Margate in the 1930s.
Here we see a young woman dressed as Britannia surrounded by people in fancy dress. There are men dressed as women, people playing the role of ‘funny foreigners’ and ‘funny working-class types’. There is a woman ‘blacked up’ to look like a golliwog, a man dressed as a working class ‘Margate Landlady’, a gypsy fortune teller and even a member of the Klu Klux Klan!
Here are happy-looking people expressing, disguising and revealing something about themselves and about their times through play-acting in fancy dress. Every cultural moment has it’s own prejudices and blind spots.
The Discerning Eye exhibtion, at The Mall Galleries, London, continues until 24th November.
I’ve noticed that whenever I have exhibitions, I tend to experience a slump in mood soon after the exhibition is over. I’m not talking here of actual Depression. But it’s a definite low mood.
I’ve just brought my ‘Margate NOW 2019’ solo show to an end. It was called “Displaced Portraits” and it consisted of thirty-three drawing, most of which were silverpoint drawings (see previous posts). The response to them was overwhelmingly positive. I really could not have asked for a more interesting and encouraging mix of comments from the people who saw the work. Best of all was the fact that people were really spending time to look at the drawings and to think about them. But despite all the positive feedback and conversations I’m left feeling stuck in the doldrums. It’s going to take me a while to process the whole experience.
Here are some images from the show. I’ll try and find the time to write about the work sometime soon. For now, you might like to pop over to my YouTube channel to see some short videos of the exhibition and also my Instagram account.
Thank you, Eddie and Lucy for allowing me to have my exhibition in your place!
The Margate Now 2019 art festival continues through to January and runs alongside Turner Contemporary’s showing of this year’s Turner Prize.
My ‘Margate Now’ festival exhibition is installed at Gordon House in Margate. It consists of thirty-three small, mostly silverpoint, drawings.
“Displaced Portraits” is a series of metalpoint drawings based on images of people photographed in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. The photographs have found their way from the Ruhr, in the 1940s, into my hands via a second hand shop in Margate. The original images capture the momentary look of people being still: my drawings are a kind of meditation on those traces of moments in people’s lives and our connections with one and other.
The exhibition continues and is open on Thursday 24th, Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October. The opening times are: 12:30 – 4pm and 11am to 5pm on Saturday. I shall be there throughout and will be very happy to discuss my work and ideas.
Gordon House’s gallery space is a basement gallery and so there are some steps down to it (see my YouTube videos). It is venue no29 in the festival and the address is: Gordon House, Churchfield Place, CT9 1PJ. The Margate Now art festival runs alongside Turner Contemporary’s Turner Prize exhibition.