Draw, draw draw. Why? Because it’s good for you. Edifying. Drawing from life (or the nude) is a form of Classical art procedure. I was once asked why it mattered and replied: ‘Because it’s the acid test. Sorts the wheat from the chaff’. If you ask someone to take a pencil or stick of charcoal and make sense of what is before them, it soon reveals the mettle of any aspiring artist. Of course there’s much more to it than that.
Drawing is about perception, helping people make sense of what they are seeing (or think they are seeing) is the purpose of a structured, tutored drawing class. Taking pride in your efforts and believing in the veracity of your own mark making is part of the culture. Gentle confidence building, appreciation of the human form and the ability to be at one with someone else’s nudity – all these things come with the package, when you draw, draw, draw.
Great art traditions spring from this age old business – confronting the appearance of being. Subtle layers of interaction occur between artist and model. In a class there is safety in numbers. You get to work as part of the herd, even though everyone is cocooned in their own consciousness. The potential power plays between artist and model are legion – but during the modern / post-modern era, we have equality between the clothed and the naked. Besides, how can you draw, draw, draw someone without accepting their humanity, regardless of their attire?
At Badingham, learners practice life-drawing with the oversight and feedback of experienced and qualified tutors. Each day is carefully structured with a range of learning exercises to suit varying levels. Professional models ensure good quality subject matter. A ‘peer review’ concludes each session. Participants air their views and compare different ways people go about making an image of an unclothed (nude) human being.
To some extent, this is the basis of ‘a school’. Everyone does the same thing (differently) together. This is often where most learning is done. Carefully stewarded by Alan Dedman and Stephen Morris, with the added non-Art school ingredient of a glass of wine or two – people interact in a more relaxed way. So come along, pit your wits against the confusion of sensory input and sharpen your powers of perception. Draw, draw, draw.