Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Week to Remember!

Okay, so first of all I'm sorry for abandoning you Gentle Reader, for probably the longest break EVER in my blog history. It's been so busy (and so exciting) with so many extraordinary things happening one after the other. There was no time to blog at the time, then afterwards I badly needed to rest.

So here I am, suitably re-charged. Where to begin? Well, after I I put up my exhibition, I stayed in Manchester in student halls for a week, to be with the 500 other sketchers, from all around the globe, who were coming for the Urban Sketchers Symposium. Which meant I had to be in both exhibition and symposium mode simultaneously, the whole time I was there. It was pretty exhausting, but also exhilarating.

I went to some excellent workshops and demonstrations at the symposium, including working with the legendary KK (above) who showed us how to draw with a sharpened stick (yes, really), a lovely relaxing session in the park, drawing trees with Robyn Bauer:

...and sketching the John Ryland's library with none other than Liz Steel. She taught us to think about volume first, to get the structure and 3-dimensionality of a building described, before we get bogged down with detail. 

This was really good for me, as I always get side-tracked by interesting twiddly bits, so quite often can't fit the whole building on the page. Here is Liz, doing a demonstration piece, after which, we all did a 2nd, longer sketch. I didn't get a photo of mine unfortunately, before I donated it to the symposium auction - an annual fundraiser for Urban Sketchers. The symposium team scanned all the donations though, so there's a copy out there, which I'll get once the dust settles, I expect.

One of my favourite pieces from the symposium is this watercolour I did at Castlefield, shortly after my painting workshop with one of the most beautiful watercolourists around, Shari Blaukopf. She focused her session on painting with a limited palette, which really works. This is only 3 colours:

Shari has a new Craftsy class out  by the way. Great stuff. It's really so useful. I recommend it!

During the symposium, I went to lectures too. One on graphic-novel storyboarding, by the urban illustrator Favian Ee; another on teaching non-artists to draw by ethnographer, Karina Kushnir:

Karina's was especially interesting to me, having just taught the Morgan Centre team to sketch and it was interesting how many similar techniques we had devised. I did a couple of beginners workshops along similar lines at my exhibition, with family groups. We had loads of fun and they produced drawings, collages, watercolours - all sorts of  lovely work. I concentrated on demystifying different media and showing people simple but effective this everyone can manage. Here are a couple of pieces from my final session, on the last day of the exhibition:

If anyone is interested, I am now offering these 'empowerment workshops'. At the moment this is just available for ready-made groups in the UK, such as schools, libraries or art clubs, but I am thinking of running a workshop individuals can sign up for next year. Let me know if you want to hear about that, once I've got it together.

I also gave two lectures at the symposium, well, the same lecture twice, about my year as artist-in-residence of course. That went down really well, which was great, especially as it was being filmed (no pressure!). Lis Watkins sketched me strutting my stuff as well:

The film of my lecture will be available in a month or so on my new website (yes, that's another thing to tell you about... next time perhaps). My lecture was the perfect opportunity to plug the exhibition again of course, which was luckily only down the road.

The private view of the show was on the Friday night, to coincide with a free evening for the symposium delegates, to make sure lots of people came. That plan worked like a dream. We had a full house. I changed into my best frock and Sue Heath and myself took it in turns to climb up onto the windowsill and say a few words:

Mostly though, I spent the evening being hugged and kissed, signing copies of my Sketching People book and being told how clever I was - how nice is that? Free wine too. Oh yes. Worth all the hard work!

The symposium visitors hung on in Manchester on Sunday and we did yet more sketching (naturally). This sketch was done in the evening, when a small group of us were hanging out at Albert Square, sketching people at the Jazz Festival (which looked more like a beer festival to me, to be honest):

I was especially pleased with this painting that I did sitting quietly on my own on Sunday morning (thanks for those volume tips Liz):

I was pleased to have the company for the rest of that day, as I had to hang on in Manchester until the end of Monday, when we took down the exhibition. Sigh. It felt really sad to dismantle everything I had worked so hard to construct over so many weeks.

So, that's the story of my busy, busy week. There have been more adventures since of course, but they will have to wait until next time.


Miriam said...

Lynne, it was so nice to meet you in person in Manchester! And your exhibition was just fantastic! Your sketches are full of color and energy and I love how you captured the places and the people. You can feel their personalities through your drawings! I had already purchased your book back home in Texas, so no autograph for me :( oh, and I attended your lecture too which was terrific! Hope to see yo again, maybe in Chicago?...

Sue Pownall said...

Lovely post, sketches, and great exhibition.

nelson paciencia said...

Terrific post Lynne!
Your energy ant talent is really something.

richard briggs said...

Hi Lynne, it was great meeting you; your work at the exhibition was fantastic, great format great subjects and stories well told through your drawings and notes. Thank you for the invite and hope to see you at the next one! Missing manchester already! Richard briggs

Jules Woolford said...

Great to meet you, hear you talk about your residency at the Morgan Centre and then get to see the exhibition which was amazing. (I totally impressed my friends by being able to fill in bits from some of the fascinating stories you told us in your lecture!) My only regret was not being able to bring my book for you to sign as I'd lent it to a friend, who's now got their own copy, of course!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you SO much folks. It was absolutely brilliant hanging out with you all. Thanks for coming to the show and sharing it all with me. I had such fun. x

Deborah said...

Lynne, thanks so much for a lovely in-depth look at your wonderful exhibition - and at everything you were doing at the Symposium. Not being able to be there it's been great to have such a great account of it all (and of course I was following the Facebook page as things unfolded). I was so impressed by the look of your exhibition! I love the way you displayed the concertina sketchbooks in zig-zag mode on the wall which looks so effective. Can I ask - what did you use to attach the folds of the concertinas to the wall? Thanks again for sharing all this in a great post - and glad to hear you've been able to take some time off to get a bit of rest!

Suhita said...

What a super exhibition that was Lynne,and I was thrilled to have found some time to chat and sketch with you! Looking forward to the new website and your new adventures this year! Keep us posted.

Rhiannon said...

This all looks absolutely amazing! I wish I could have seen your exhibition (I'm in London)...maybe next time. I'm definitely interested in hearing about your individual workshop though, I would love to visit Sheffield and learn some tips from you! :)

Shari Blaukopf said...

I have to say that seeing your exhibition was a highlight of my time in Manchester. I am still thinking about it. I think that what made it amazing for me was your connection on so many levels to the people in the university — faculty, students, researchers, support staff and then to the community at large as well. It was a very complex sketching experience and you made it so human. I hope this becomes some form of book because I would love to really be able to spend the time reading everything but had no time at the show. Congratulations!! And so happy we were able to spend time together at my workshop. I adore your sketch of Castlefield.

Eleanor said...

Just to say I have learnt loads from that book of yours and improved a lot. Plus that's a great tip about getting the volume right first. Ta!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thank you everyone - I am absolutely delighted that you all enjoyed the exhibition so much. For those who missed it (and for those who didn't), I am indeed considering putting it all together into a book. I have written a lot of the content already, in preparing the exhibition text and the lecture, plus I am co-writing a paper with the university. So lots of the thinking will be done in advance.

As long as nothing happens to get in the way, I'll make a start in October, when I get back from China.