Patients attending the art room recently enjoyed some life drawing sessions as a change to the ongoing art programme, where creative activities are tailored to the individual’s interests and abilities.
Artists Sharon Goodlet and Steven Anderson created the workshop structure and led these sessions, while taking turns to be the (clothed!) model and tutor.
Life drawing is a practice of learning to draw the human form through a series of structured exercises. The discipline of life drawing practice provides a strong basis for an artist to develop their ability to see and draw effectively. The idea for providing life drawing sessions was in response to a desire from some patients to develop technical skills in drawing and painting.
Although the sessions were relaxed and informal, patients were able to try a series of warm-up exercises, such as one-minute drawings with inks and large brushes to help loosen up and charcoal “blind drawings” without looking at the page to help with observation and focus. Following this, patients had the freedom to work on a longer pose and choose from a range of art materials.
The response to the sessions was very positive, patients said how enjoyable and energising it was to do something new, and how surprising it was to make a drawing in such a short space of time.
“I thought it was great,” said one patient. “I learned skills and techniques I hadn’t thought of or known before, and with different instruments. It was really interesting learning new things. I’m always learning new things in here. Your time goes so quickly, in a good way. It’s fascinating - I love it.”
“It’s convinced me that I can do more,” commented another. “I enjoy the therapeutic time of the mindfulness that goes along with it. I get self absorbed and lose a sense of time. It’s brilliant, this has given me a bit more confidence to do more.”