Drawing Workshop with Doris Rohr [Saturday 22 July]

Drawing Workshop with Doris Rohr
Saturday 22 July, 11am to 3pm
FREE – places are limited so please book in advance to avoid disappointment
To book call 01946 824946 or email us

To accompany the exhibition To see the mountain in the stone, the forest in the tree, showing at Florence Arts Centre from 22 July to 12 August, there is an opportunity to take part in this one-off workshop with the artist, Doris Rohr.

Artist’s statement:
Drawing is a form of looking and a means of thinking. Drawing from observation is not restricted to the eyes alone, as the act of looking is combined with other sensory impressions. So when we draw from a pebble, a shell, or a living organism, like a flower, animal or human, and when we draw the landscapes surrounding us, many sensory impressions work together in helping us translate into a drawing or a painting. The sounds of birds, the rustling of the wind, mechanical noises like cars, tractors, the atmospheric changes in the air, pressure, wind, moisture, rain, sun and light, the texture of a surface when handling an object, all these combine to varying degrees when working from life or still life. This makes drawing a very different exercise from drawing from photos, or other viewfinders like the Claude glass or Camera obscura used in the past to compress space into a two dimensional composition.

No one knew this better than John Ruskin. He was also aware that drawing is not something reserved to artists, but is a fundamental educational tool to help us see more profoundly, to understand and appreciate the world of nature and culture, clouds, trees, plants, flowers, rocks and mineral as much as architecture, painting, sculpture and the human form. Ruskin proposes drawing as a perceptive tool, holistically combining the science of accurate observation with imagination, moreover with awe and respect for creation. This dialogue with what we see, or rather perceive, is deepened through the meditative act of drawing. In an age of rapid transition, of multi-media images and dissonance of time and place through mobile and digital devices, moments to slow down and to fully and meditatively immerse ourselves with doing one thing at a time have become precious and increasingly rare. The popularity of colouring in books (mindfulness) attests to this. Yet Ruskin knew that we can do better than filling in other people’s outlines – we all have the ability to look and to translate this looking into our own visual language of drawing. We can be mindful and skilful and creative, drawing our own vision and versions of the world.

This workshop will combine Ruskin’s approach to drawing from observation with experimental and multi-sensory playful activities exploring sound, touch and sight. No previous experience is necessary and children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. All participants will have the opportunity to add their work to the Gallery exhibition (works displayed can be collected and kept at the end of the exhibition (12 August)).

Materials are provided, but please feel free to bring what makes you comfortable. This could be, for example, a fold out chair/ camping chair; cushions; a clipboard; sketchbook, your own preferred drawing tools or media; a bottle of water (for you or your paint); brushes or other drawing and painting tools; warm clothing; rain proof clothing.

You may also want to bring some natural or man made objects with you if you have a collection of minerals, shells, plants dried or in pots; crockery, etc.