Walk and Draw: Creating Visual Narratives
This course will sharpen your observation and drawing skills. The tutor will guide you through the stages of transforming quick sketches and pertinent notes recorded while undertaking a short guided walk, into more complex art works based on your personal experience of the walk. These walking and drawing exercises are designed to encourage you to use an intuitive and fluid expression of mark making, unhindered by individual expectations. You will use the College grounds for preliminary exercises before embarking on an outing to Alton Barnes where you will enjoy a 'Walk and Draw' to the White Horse hill figure.
As walking is one of the key elements of the course, appropriate clothing and footwear is recommended for walking in all weathers. Although none of the walks will be very taxing with frequent stops to draw, students will sometimes be required to walk on uneven ground. I would also recommend bringing a small rucksack or similar to carry an essential water bottle, sun hat, sun block and a shower-proof jacket as well as assorted drawing materials and sketch book.
This course is suitable for all levels of ability, from amateur enthusiasts to professional artists. Although there is no substitute for the study of Academic drawing for any student wanting to pursue a fine art career, this course is not about producing exceptionally fine drawings with the emphasis on mastering detailed, accurate studies. It is more to do with finding your own unique visual 'voice', in the same way that no two signatures are the same. For some, this comes easily but for others it is something that can only be arrived at after a lot of practice. Be prepared to produce drawings that may look unconventional, clumsy or unwieldy, but that is all part of the learning process. Sometimes, it is necessary to go backwards to make giant strides forwards.
Your attempts will not be in vain and you will learn to record the most salient aspects of the subject before you. It is that unself-conscious moment before your own self-judgement kicks in that we often produce our most heartfelt and poignant drawings. These studies are only the start of what can sometimes be an exciting new direction in creating visual narratives. For the 'drawing' element of this course, sketchbooks and basic drawing materials will be provided. Although there will also be a small quantity of additional paper available, students are also asked to bring a selection of their own art materials (see below, 'Developing Work').
How does a Walk and Draw work?
Creating Visual Narratives
The course will begin with short Walk and Draw excursions around the College grounds. The guided walks will be interspersed with stops for making time-limited studies. These exercises will include a variety of different methods and techniques designed to record your emotional responses to place, space, form, colour and light. Also, making thumbnail sketches which will be explored later in detail to understand all the elements that form the business of making pictures that resonate with inner responses to your environment. These exercises might include; automatic drawing, drawing with your non-dominant hand and single line drawings etc., and explore subjects such as composition, tonal qualities and mark making.
The Art of Pilgrimage
The tutor, artist Caro Woods' own work revolves around the practice and process of pilgrimage. In 2015, she made a solo equine pilgrimage from Lindisfarne in Northumberland to St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall and in 2017, she rode her 'white' Connemara Pony to all the visible 9 White Horse Hill figures in Wiltshire and Uffington, this time with 3 friends and collaborators. This practical Summer School course will begin with an introduction and tutor talk based on Caro's own experience and asks the question: what might a modern pilgrimage look like? How might we express our inner journeys whilst undertaking the challenges of the outer, physical journeys?
There is a one day outing away from the College planned in the middle of the course where we will be taken by mini bus (tbc)to our destination and back again to the College at the end of the day and will involve:2 x Mini Pilgrimages in the Vale of Pewsey, an area steeped in history.
Guided Walk & Draw 1: Alton Barnes White Horse Ordnance Survey grid reference: SU 106 637
A special guided Walk and Draw to the hill cut figure and back to the car park. This is a moderate walk with a slight incline, about 1 1/4 miles in total with frequent stops to make drawings.
Self-Guided Walk & Draw 2: Finding the Source of the River Avon
Weather permitting, in the afternoon, with the White Horse still in view, a more gentle walk and draw is planned in the permanent, flat pasture that forms a central green core between the villages of Alton Barnes and Alton Priors, the villages linked by cobbled pathways. This circular route is about 1/2 mile in length, on easy going, mostly level pasture land. In the middle of this area, amongst the trees, there is a natural spring and stream which is one of the headwaters of the River Avon that runs south towards Salisbury. (There is an opportunity to do some dowsing here!) The area also contains two ancient churches: the Norman, All Saints church at Alton Priors and St. Mary's church at Alton Barnes which dates back to the Saxon period.
This afternoon session is the perfect opportunity for a more leisurely, self-directed Walk and Draw with plenty of subject matter to choose from.
After each outing, there will be a group critique and discussion on the work that has resulted from the 'Walk and Draw' sessions, and suggested ways that the drawings could be developed further. For developing your work further in the studio, the tutor recommends that you bring a favourite medium that you prefer working in. That could be anything from coloured pens, oil or acrylic paints, watercolours or gouache, oil sticks or chalk pastels etc., remembering to include your favourite brushes, mediums for mixing paint, palettes and canvases or paper to work on, etc.
Not forgetting suitable studio clothing or overalls.
NB. If you have any queries about suitable materials, colours or mediums to bring, please don't hesitate to contact the tutor, Caro Woods: email@example.com
The course will culminate in a private show and final critique.
MA Falmouth 2003
Caro Woods MA, (born 1954). Aged 18, Caro studied at the Sir John Cass School of Art, London, before gaining her MA in 'Contemporary Visual Practice' at Falmouth School of Art, in 2003.
Widowed shortly after her first marriage at the age of 24, a move to the Channel Islands in 1989, re-marriage and the birth of her two children, Caro started to tramp the cliff paths of Jersey, recording the landscape in pocket-sized sketch books. This obsession with walking in the landscape in search of the perfect light or the perfect composition, resulted in a practice that was as much about walking in nature as it was about painting, becoming increasingly fascinated by the land as a multifaceted mass of geology, archaeology, energetic forces, pathways and tangible ley lines that echo down through the ages. "In fact, everything that has been imprinted onto our landscape, including mythological archetypes and folklore, as well as pagan rituals that embrace the rhythmic cycles of life and death in nature. I felt a natural gravitation towards the places that still showed traces of where our ancestors would have lived, worked, walked their paths and practiced their rituals at stone circles, menhirs andancient burial mounds. And by 'tuning in' to my surroundings, it also seems a natural progression for me to use my understanding of the healing power of nature and the environment to work with the energetic points, ley lines and chakras of the earth's body, applied via vibrations of my own internal chakras, footsteps and reflective thoughts.”
Caro now lives on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. Recognising the paths we follow are loaded with metaphors for life and pursuing her deep interest in spirituality, Caro's practice has evolved into a search for an aesthetic that mirrors her own spiritual journey and she began to see herself as an Artist as Pilgrim and her work increasingly concerned with concepts surrounding the ideas and practice of pilgrimage.
- Adult Courses
- Young People's Courses
Course Dates for 2019
|WEEK 1:||15th July - 19th July|
|WEEK 2:||22nd July - 26th July|
|WEEK 3:||29th July - 2nd August|
|WEEK 4:||5th August - 9th August|
|Morning Courses:||9.15am to 12.15pm|
|Afternoon Courses:||1.45pm to 4.30pm|
|Full Day Courses:||9.15am to 4.30pm|