Denys Watkins Drawing Workshop at the Steel Gallery
October 25, 2014
Our local gallery has started running various drawing workshops, and I managed to get to todays one. It was run by artist Denys Watkins, and we were privileged to have him share his knowledge and perspectives with us. Among the topics of discussion was the current demise of teaching drawing as a key skill, and the damage camera phones have done to drawing skills.
Drawing can be seen as a critical form of visual notation, whether for the purpose of producing an informational drawing, or as part of some sort of investigational process when developing ideas / new work. It also hones the relationship between hand and eye. One of the course participants told us about a study where surgeons hand coordination was much improved after practicing drawing! The value of drawing as part of an artists repertoire was in no doubt during this workshop, and both the discussion around it, and the results produced on the day were inspirational.
The second part of the day was spent drawing in the Steel Gallery, surrounded by the current exhibition, Constant Practice, a drawing exhibition. Some of the exhibiting artists were on the course, so it was really interesting to see them producing their work today.
Denys indicated he has often, and is currently, working in watercolour, which provides a lightness in contrast to the heaviness which at times seems prevalent in New Zealand art. This perspective really interested me, as in discussion with gallery staff in New Zealand and England this topic keeps appearing, with a suggestion that New Zealanders haven't yet fully embraced watercolour in the way that Europe has.
Anyway, here are a few pics of the artists at work in the Steel Gallery. Thank you Denys for a really enjoyable and inspirational day, and to the Steel Gallery for arranging this opportunity.
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