Ud i det blå – ‘the great outdoors’
Drawing and painting outside can be both exhilarating and daunting.
This course will use drawing as a way of ‘active looking’. Staying with our subject and getting to know it more intimately. Testing our understanding and exploring different means of interpreting what we see and feel. As long as this process is part of an honest investigation of what we are experiencing there can be no such thing as a ‘bad drawing’. It is all part of a never ending process of trying to understand our world better.
The physical challenges of being outside in all weathers can generate a vibrancy and creativity in our mark-making and creative output that can sometimes be lost indoors. Sustained observation and full immersion in the natural environment is the theme underlying this course. In all weathers and for extended periods of time, course participants will embrace Bornholm’s fantastic natural environment, as we attempt to sketch, draw, and paint under the open skies.
For some the work made outside might normally be a way of collecting raw material that will later be developed indoors. For others the work on the ground may be taken to a finished piece there and then. We will look at how both a quick sketch or a more laboured piece can have their virtues. Both are part of an ongoing process leading towards greater understanding. Working with others exploring similar themes in divers ways gives an inspiring sense of ‘safety in numbers’ as well as a great group dynamism.
Led by Bornholm resident and artist Ben Woodhams and the experienced and highly regarded English printmaker Greg Poole, the course leaders will take you on a journey through the Danish island of Bornholm’s diverse and wide ranging landscape. Visiting some of the lesser-known sites on the island, we will attempt to record and interpret the birds, plants and landscapes that we encounter, in a meaningful and creative way.
During the course you can expect a wide ranging introduction to field painting, natural history interpetation and ways of working outdoors. The pros and cons of different media, techniques, and outdoor kit will be discussed and investigated. How can we maintain a confident approach when faced with the complexity and dynamism of the natural world? How is it possible to capture the essence of a bird in movement, or the hugeness of the autumn sea?
Ben has also been carrying out an inspiring mission to walk the length of Bornholm’s coastline, painting as he goes. He is updating his blog each week with the results.