Christina Beaumont is currently teaching drawing and calligraphy in Sydney evening colleges. She has had an extensive career in art having studied at schools in England and Australia.
l have been an artist since very early in my life. I remember, at seven, in school, the teachers' enjoyment in my drawings of them. They were intrigued by my observant eye! In high school the same, I remember revelling in drawing and painting, away from the stress of academic work. In midlife I worked as a potter, particularly liking to work on platters where I had a surface of slip for drawing. I used to sell from my workshop, on the road from Dorrigo to Armidale.
Presently, in life drawing, my favourite medium is line and wash. I find it very satisfying that every mark counts, even through the different layers. In painting I prefer abstraction in watercolour. Here, tone fascinates me as well as the interplay when colours are put on wet and touch each other to form even more tones. I am currently studying to extend my painting, particularly conceptually. Using my non dominant hand is rewarding in a different direction, the challenge that it holds is stimulating and satisfying. The drawing group is an excellent way for progressing in these skills.
I love to pass on my skills and inspire other people to develop their artist selves.
Jan Hodge, a physiotherapist, was also a potter, and worked professionally for two studio potters in London, later studying sculpture while living there. Retiring from a second career in Real Estate, she obtained a BFA from the National Art School, and found a new focus in painting and drawing and an even deeper involvement in the art life of Sydney.
I loved to draw as a child. But it was always a peripheral activity in my life until I retired and enrolled as a student at the NAS. Here drawing was a fundamental of art practice and for me it was the beginning of an entirely new way of working.
The body has always been a central theme for me. I love experimenting with different media but in these works I am mainly using charcoal, playing with strong blacks and soft greys, hard and fuzzy edges, suggestive and definite images. It is a beautiful medium.
Jennifer Ledingham commenced her career by setting up her ceramics studio and teaching ceramics in secondary schools as well as TAFE in Sydney. Since retiring she has revived her interest in painting with study at National Art School where she did her Honours year in drawing in 2010. Now this Friday drawing group usually meet in her studio in Paddington.
Life drawing is not unlike performance. It is patterned by the time sequence of the live model with poses usually commencing at 3 minutes and proceeding to 25 minutes. The pose of the model is mirrored in the action of drawing and for that reason I prefer to stand at an easel and involve my whole body, sometimes using my left hand as well as my right to find the line and the structure. Furthermore, the model moves slightly, breathing, tiring. So too the drawing is modified. I draw again what I see so the designs have a ‘pentimenti' layering of redrawn, changed and adjusted lines.
I love using charcoal making tone a significant element in design and expression but I also use pastels, ink, wax crayons to explore a variety of ways of seeing.
This small group of fellow artist meet each Friday morning in my studio to either draw the model or to draw each other. My studio is in the sand stone basement of the house, a place of mystery and artifice. My drawing Forbidden Fruit in crayon and charcoal is about the process of drawing the model in that place; the unknown underworld, the difficult place.
In the classical tradition images of the human figure were often derived from mythology. Persephone and Ariadne were two female figures who represented spring and release. What they suggest for me is synonymous with bringing something immaterial out of matter. Drawing involves material stuff but brings to life an idea.
Persephone’s punishment from the gods for eating pomegranate seeds is to remain in the underworld for the winter. Ariadne is also confined in a difficult place, a labyrinth. How she emerges is not unlike the process of drawing with thread which is the subject of my conceptual drawing practice. In Drawn Thread 1I withdraw the actual threads in the muslin fabric and draw warp and weft lines on to paper creating an association with women and their desire to make fabric beautiful. The work is the antithesis of my life drawing. It is a meditation in the unknown, in the shadows and only reveals itself by following the thread of gradual discovery.
Robyn Yeoman, a scenic artist and illustrator, has a keen interest in industrial subjects for drawing and painting. She graduated from the National Art School in 2008 and has three times been a finalist in the Dobell Drawing Prize at the AGNSW.
My art practice began at an early age growing up in rural Australia. My special interest is industrial subjects. I am also a scenic artist and for a period of ten years, painted scenery for the Waverley Lugar Brae Players.
Four years drawing with this inspirational group has fuelled my passion for drawing. Life drawing presents unique challenges and is an exciting way to explore line and solidity with a living model as opposed to an object or landscape; with the added tension of accomplishing the sketch within a short time-frame. Nowadays I always carry my sketchbook and whatever the occasion or location, if it’s possible to draw, I will and time stops.
An experiment with the use of my non-dominant hand has enhanced the whole process of producing a sketch. Most of the drawings in the frieze, marked thus, are the result of this experiment. My brain has adjusted and I now automatically pick up the charcoal in my left hand and rarely draw with my right hand.