Friday, 27 April 2012

pain relief and amazing art therapy. (Tree no. 3 Oils)

Last night I was teaching a student a new way of drawing, which was the compltete opposite to the way he had drawn before. He has attended for a couple of months, doing mainly water colour, so he had previous experience of my classes. This new way of drawing and looking at things felt alien at first, but he persevered, while I made the exercises progressively harder and harder. He totally understood what he was doing and was fully absorbed in the process - it takes a lot of concentration and I sometimes joke about how tense and still everyone is while doing this. What amazed me though was what he said at the end of the session, when I asked what he thought of the new drawing process. After expressing his awe and delight with his progress, he told me something shocking. He said that he suffers from reumatism and can't normally sit for longer than half an hour without pain, so has to move around frequently. I was really surprised to hear this, for at my house, he sits for up to 3 hours at a time. He said when he is here, he is so focused on what he is doing, that he has no pain.

How amazing is that? 

Then another student backed this up saying that during one of the sessions he'd had a migraine but that he decided to work through it. He became aware that while concentrating on the painting and its difficulties and challenges, his pain was clearly being masked, until he was driving home afterwards. 

I have long been suggesting that doctors ought to prescribe drawing classes (by that, I mean challenging classes, the ones that feel hard, so you're really learning!) because of the mental break it gives from other things in busy, stressed lives. A couple of my GP students have agreed. But this is the first time I have been made aware that students have relief from pain while drawing - perhaps its that the pain is transferred to the difficulty of the task. Whatever the reason, it seems that creative focus is not only important for mental health, but physical health too. 

Below is my third tree painting in oils - I relaized whn I posted number 4 that I hadn't put up number 3. 10in x 10in. 

next up - Water colour workshop, Portrait workshop, Illustration Workshop, Oils and portraits. 
email for info.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Tree number 4, Oils on board, 10 in x 12 in.

Today I finished a painting. Its always a Good Feeling, to finish. Especially one of these, which is a bit mind-bending.

What I am trying to capture is the light. Very difficult, very addictive. Here are a couple of close-ups.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Portfolio drawing, Belfast

Well, I think I may have Seen It All now. This week I have had Tina, a student from Wicklow with me, working for her art portfolio. She has been joined on and off by my weekly students (including Kathy, visiting from America, via Aberdeen), doing their water colours. The conversation round the desk has been, she says, an Education..!! Yes, it's not just about art, is it ladies?!

Today she was looking for unusual viewpoints for her drawings, and eventually I found her... here.

When she came downstairs later, she sheepishly admitted that it was so comfy in there that she'd fallen asleep! Admittedly, this is after 4 long days and evenings working hard, including an evening spent drawing an orchestra rehearsal in St Anne's Cathedral. Really good fun.

It's hard work doing the intensive portfolio course, it's a bit of a lock-in, with the odd walk on the (delicious) shore for fresh air and photos, before getting back to the drawing board. 

And the word-of-the-week has been Unbelievable. It's lovely when a student is so enthusiastic that everything is a thumbs-up unbeLIEVable.. 

Next up - art for teenagers, drawing for GCSE and A level, and Water Colour Workshop.
Email:   for info