When I found out about the seabird drawing course through the Mall gallery website, I knew it was right up my street. I applied for the bursary and was very excited when I was told I had been awarded it.
I always wanted to go onto Bass rock ( I had taken the boat around quite a few times but not been on it ) and I hardly slept the night before. Nothing can prepare you for Bass rock and its 170,000 gannets. It was their world, you were entering it and it blew my mind away. As soon as you arrive the smell and noise hit you – it was like all my senses were overtaken by gannet and I even fell asleep that night hearing them in my bedroom. It’s an experience I will never forget. I also enjoyed watching the birds flying alongside the boat we were on and watch how they moved in the air.
We visited other areas including St. Abbs head ( at the Scottish borders ) which has such a dramatic landscape shaped by volcanic activity. There were guillimots everywhere there.
Sketching birds from life reaffirms and reminds me how much we can learn about them. Every birdwatcher should try this as they would be pleasantly surprised by how much more insight they gain. As a birdwatcher you think you know the bird until you try and draw it.
It was such a great week with friendly, like-minded people. It was good to work alongside other accomplished artists and tutors who were there to give advice on artwork and their work practice. It made me feel more confident on what I was doing and after the course I felt an urge to create more work outside the studio. I have also made some good contacts and friends.