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Saturday saw me, along with 10 other ladies, attend a super, if sweltering, Summer Sketchbook Workshop run by Helen Hallows at the Long Eaton Art Room.

First time I have been to the Art Room and I can’t tell you how lovely it was to have a space where you felt totally free to cut, glue, splash ink and paint around without worrying about any mess…..so different from the tiny back bedroom I have at home!

The Workshop was something different for me…not my usual style…but I like Helen’s work, her bold use of line and colour….as well as her art/life philosophy.. so I thought ..why not give it a go..!!

The Workshop concentrated on how and why we use (or not) sketchbooks, ways to overcome ‘New Sketchbook Syndrome’ and some drawing/mark-making/collaging techniques you could use for any subject, not just the still life set-ups in the Room..

I was familiar with some of the techniques….i.e. continuous line drawing, non-dominant hand drawing.. but Helen provided lots of other information, tips and ideas on how she prepares sketchbooks and how she utilises them…

Although the Workshop was pretty full on – Helen stated from the outset that she had a lot information and tasks to go through – I never felt particularly rushed…which was just as well considering the heat…

I did some pretty dreadful drawings in my newly prepped sketchbook…(in my defence they were non-dominant hand, continuous line-drawing not looking..)

…but Helen was full of advice and encouragement… something that’s hard to come by at home, on your own…

A variety of materials was provided and I really enjoyed using the stick and ink – again, this wasn’t new to me having worked with these on my Foundation Course at Grantham College – but that was many moons ago and it’s amazing how you forget these things…..

…and I finished the day with a rather bold take on the peppers….

…so not like me at all…but sometimes it does us good to have a change and try something different…

As far as Helen’s outlook on art and life….well it certainly made me think…and that’s a topic for another post…..

Would I recommend the Workshop – certainly – not only was it wonderful to spend time with some lovely, creative people, I came away with lots of ideas and a new found enthusiasm……and surely that’s the point of a workshop!!

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