Breakthrough Drawing workshop at BookArtsLA

Earlier this week a friend of mine told me about a new space in Mar Vista called BookArtsLA. Geared towards bookmaking, they have presses, letterpresses, a bindery, and space for workshops. It's so new their website is still under construction but my friend forwarded their newsletter, which has their calendar of events for the month. One of the events was happening today: a drawing workshop lead by Anne Marie Sircello where we were to "discover drawing through a series of prompts and unleash creative energy and confidence." 

How tempting is that? And I could not find a better way to start my creative journey into becoming a full time artist. Yes big news! I gave my notice at work a couple weeks ago and will now have more time to catch up on all my projects.

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To begin with Anne Marie gave us a demo of mark making with a variety of tools then we went on our own exploration of colors and textures. I picked up ink and pastels, brushes and bamboo pens, and a circles stencil. We could work from a text prompt if we wanted to, picking at random a piece of paper from a bag of prompts. I got something like "Hold fast to the enter". Lucky for me, it worked well with the circles. So I went crazy with it, as you can see below :). 

This was a fun playground for trying out different textures and I can probably develop a few of these ideas later on separate sheets.

It may be hard to see through the glass but these colorful sculptures are sawhorses turned into horses by some very creative school kids using zippers, fabric strings, chicken wire mesh and clothespins.

Our second prompt was to draw from one of the horses, extrapolating reality with at least three different mark types like the ones we developed in the first drawing. Above is how my horse turned out, layering pastels with different ink textures. I added a little city on the top of it and a burning sun, as I imagined it walking through an arid desert. 

After a nice lunch at the Mexican across the street we went into a different kind of exercise. Using pure contour drawing, that is only looking at the subject and tracing without lifting the pen, we drew another person's face and then overlapped it with our own using a mirror. This is such an effective technique to create interesting drawings. I never thought of layering two people's faces, what a fun idea. Even more interesting is to use watercolor to fill out areas and accentuate features or simply abstract shapes.

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I really liked my experience. Nice space and people, surely I'll be back!