Two nights a week, when others are putting their feet up after a long, tiring day, the lights go on in my studio as I see cars pulling up outside my garden gate. I am ready and waiting to welcome these hard working Grahamstown souls, who after a long day in the office, have made the time to come and learn to draw. Some of them are relative newcomers, whilst others have been with me for several years. On a Friday morning the process is reversed, as the curtains get rolled up and the sunshine spills in upon a group of retired ladies who loyally arrive in time for tea and some creativity. Most of my students have had little, if any, prior experience of drawing, but have answered a calling to see what they can do.
For me it is a very rewarding experience to guide them through the process and watch them grow and blossom. It is for this reason that I am sharing a few examples from our latest series of works, where we have been looking at the buildings of Grahamstown and learning how to draw them, using mainly ink, wax resist and wash. Some have gone on to explore using mixed media and chalk pastel.
Now Grahamstown is known for many things; it’s excellent university and schools, its many churches and law courts and of course the National Arts Festival. However, for me the most outstanding thing about Grahamstown is the quality of its people. Warm, friendly, generous and supportive, Grahamstown people are interesting. In every corner of this little city they are out there learning, teaching, sharing, educating the nations youth, whilst extending the universal knowledge base. I thrive in this atmosphere of positivity and love my life on the edge of it all, for though my studio may not be a part of a grand institution, the fact that it has thrived for nearly fourteen years, says much about the people who reside here.