I hoped it might help kickstart me back into drawing (and then to painting) if I attended the free Hatton Gallery art classes for adults – and that it would be nice to draw in the company of others (at least 2 or 3 people are beginning to recognise me, and we chatted a little (mostly at the beginning and end). This was the third session, and the topic was landscape.
The class was split between two rooms, with most of the women gathering initially in the room with the Inspirational Women North East exhibition, whilst most of the men initially gathered in the gallery with the Art of the 1960s exhibition, which had work by male artists including Victor Pasmore, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Richard Hamilton. Most of the class are mature in age. We were amused by the initial gender divide. This balance did change as the rooms filled up.
Hazel, the tutor, gave a brief talk about the exhibition about the Realtimelapse exhibition by John Topping, animations of a digital sun passing over a virtual model of Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee. Then she did a quick demonstration and talk about drawing landscapes before we got on with drawing landscapes from photos we’d brought in or from photocopies of landscape drawings and paintings from the Hatton’s permanent collection.
I worked from photographs I had taken with an SLR camera (long before I had a DSLR) somewhere around the North Pennines area in 2001 in dull weather. Although the landscape initially looks rather featureless and unpopulated, even desolate, the more one looks, the more the signs of centuries of human occupation emerge.
The table I was working on had a rough surface from years of dried paint so I was getting rather more texture than I really wanted. The drawing above took about 25 minutes. I decided to try a second drawing in the remaining 20 minutes. Again, the table’s surface added more texture than I would have liked but I tried to work with it. I might try to do a painting from one of these soon (or in the future).