Midleton College Co.Cork Sketchbook workshop for leaving certs and transition year students - with Carol Healy & Cassandra Eustace
Students taking part in the workshop were given a masterclass in creative thinking through drawing, a morning introduction power point followed by a tailor made set of drawing exercises designed to help each pupil experience the creative process, free to make mistakes, trusting the process and being open to unexpected outcomes, developing ideas, looking at the world from new perspectives, discovering the extraordinary in the everyday, confidence in letting go of control of the outcome, having happy accidents and appreciating the uniqueness of our creativity , and using our diversity of skills within a collaboration for problem solving and creativity.
Exploring the visual language of drawing through a line and mark making exercise, using simple materials of a pencil and paper, these exercises allowed students to draw freely responding to a felt line and a tactile response over a visual observation alone, by combing the sense of touch with sight they came up with a rich variety of interesting marks, and shared their discoveries in a show and tell after each exercise, each pupil had their own unique story, thoughts and feelings that inspired the group to become more creative and free in their drawings leaving out the critical voice, just letting it be, understanding that a sketchbook is a place for seeds to be planted, ideas to be born and perfection will only stunt that process. Not to procrastinate, just draw and trust and don't worry about mistakes , it's part of the creative journey.
Exploring various marks, lines and tones using a pencil
Drawing through the sense of touch , working in pairs , both participants focus on touch to draw, one on the back the other blindfolded draws on the paper responding to there partners touch. This exercise requires total focus and concentration , the blindfold allows the drawer to draw freely what they can feel without having any judgment or critical voice interrupt them during the process. It is always a surprise when the finished drawing is revealed, they take turns being the drawer.
.The afternoon was spent outdoors , where we split into two groups for more one on one guidance
Working with a small group explaining blind drawing and the benefits of drawing from real life to gather ideas and inspiration from the world around us.
Such a great opportunity to work one on one and give individual attention to these leaving cert students, answering their questions and giving advice on how to get creative when you have deadlines and a busy curriculum, on staying calm and focused, also using drawing as a mindful exercise to quiet a busy mind in the run up to exams.
Cassandra working with the other group before we swapped over, Cassandra had some fun exercises to do outdoors to expand their ideas of what drawing can be.
Something that I always include in all my classes/workshops/art is nature and the outdoor environment whether its urban or rural. The benefits of learning to see through drawing outdoors opens our eyes and all of our senses up. Connects us and enriches our experience of being in this world, being in nature has many benefits as we know, but to draw connects us deeper, invites us to be still and appreciate the beauty all around us. If it's not possible to work outside I will always bring nature inside , and believe drawing from life can teach us so much.