Wednesday, 13 April 2011

In Praise of Pears (POP), Belfast

                           This week my classes are mostly drawing...pears.

(Colour pencil in moleskine sketch book, 4in x 3in, Julie Douglas)

Every now and then I get slightly self-conscious that so many of my subjects are food, and make rash promises to students that we won't do any foody painting for a bit. But after a couple of sessions, I get over it, and back we go.. Yum. No apology. I have a secret passion for pears - not so much eating them, but I love their plump, dumpy shape. They're a bit cheeky. Quirky. They're having a bit of a laugh, like they're leaning on a lamp-post, all casual... There's something comforting about their broad bottom, whether they're standing up, leaning over or totally collapsed. You can't lose, with a pear... And then there is Colour.

Look at these photographs from my evening class - the first thing I see are the colours. That doesn't mean green - it means mossy-greens, blue-greens, gray-greens, muddy-greens, yellow-greens, pink-greens, pink, pinkey-orange, orangey-pink, peachy, blue, khaki, purple - PURPLE, my favourite, and on and on. We don't have enough words for the colours around us, so the less we try to label them, the more open we are to seeing the array of colour-treats in everything. This is one of the things students are most amazed about in their own learning - the way they can suddenly See colour. SO many students tell me, after a couple of weeks, that they can't believe how much colour there is in everything. 

So, lets get looking... 

(drawing 4in x 4in, colour pencil, by Aisling Allum, student)

Occasionally I've thought about buying really good quality fake fruit (did I just SAY that?!) so that I'd always have them to hand. But I can't, because one of the other secret pleasures is going out and rummaging in the fruit boxes for The Right One... Its got to look lazy, it has to have a stalk, ooh that one's Blushing, and look at the size of THAT... 

(drawing 4in x 4in, colour pencil, by Alison Walker, student)

Next up - Oil Painting workshop, Dublin Ireland.
Distance Learning Courses available too. 

BIG NOTE.... I really love teaching. Not everyone can say that. If I can help you in any way it would be an honour to do that. Just ask me a question. But I know that you will not learn anything by copying my work. Not a thing. So please do not do it. Don't print out my images, don't try to draw them, for the copyright is mine and you don't have my permission to do it. Thank you. Rest assured I will never, ever try to copy anything that you have created. 

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