Refreshing

The small room keeps me warm for another night as the building shakes from wind rain and stormy weather. Iím up early and out the door heading towards Upper Burnie as today I give a drawing workshop to the Burnie Coastal Art Group. Much of the drive from Rocky Cape to Burnie follows the coastline, itís a very calming drive, lush farm paddocks, sweeping coastal vistas, and the occasional rocky outcrop. Todayís drive is not unlike others but its noticeably calm out to sea, the weather is clear and the sun is shinning, but as soon as I arrive into Burnie it rains. Another good day to be indoors.

The workshop is a day of experimental exploratory drawing exercises, and the menu is full, bursting and hopefully will get attendees out of their comfort zone. I set up a still life of white objects and for the next 6 hours the group of 12 enjoy a challenging, fun and frustrating day of making marks. It is an enjoyable yet intense and towards the end, tiring experience. One of the key learningís that I get out of doing these sorts of workshops is to remind myself how flexible drawing can be. It is a way of re-focusing, simplifying through fundamentals such as line, tone, making marks and loosening up or breaking down the idea of making a drawing. I come away from the day feeling refreshed, which I really hope has come across also on the 11 people who attended. And what a great group they were too, I was really impressed how they tried each exercise with relish, pushing them into what I hope has energised their thinking about drawing, their mark making and their arts practice. I live in hope.

The night is spent in a hotel room in Burnie, a bland room with a comfortable bed and television and some of the other conventional mod cons, some of which seem like luxuries compared against the basic stripped back existence in the shack at Rocky Cape. Itís nice and quiet and I sleep like a log.