Before I came to Malta I had spent a good six years of my life at art colleges, but really hadn’t much clue about how to make a living out of art. I had studied Illustration, because my three year course at Harrow Art College had given me such good drawing skills, but I was pretty hopeless at doing as I was told (still am, some would say!). I came here with my art materials, my sketchbooks and a lot of love for a local musician!
Circumstances dictated that I had to work as a graphic designer for almost two years, and I absolutely hated it. By the time I left, I had completely stopped drawing or even thinking about art. I didn’t know any other artists in Malta, and I must have just blocked out any interest in art. I began a very odd period of my life; I found that I was obsessing over what I realise now were creative outlets, such as cooking, sewing, knitting, making jewellery and various other things, even selling some of the stuff I produced. I even went so far as to create two children (not alone of course!) – and no, I didn’t sell them......
Obviously there wasn’t much time for Art then, and so I continued with the cooking, sewing, knitting...... and then one day when my youngest daughter was asleep (I swear she slept for the first year of her life) and the eldest one was at school, I sat there and thought – something is really missing here, what is it that I am longing for? And it hit me. Drawing.
So I found my pencils and a nice new sketchbook, and I COULDN’T DRAW. Really, I couldn’t – the lines just came out all wrong, and the more I tried, the more I cried.
I think that feeling ranks as one of the most poignant ones of my life; how sad that I had let all that talent slip away from me. How could I have forgotten something I had found so easy, and so full of joy? What had I been doing, thinking that making dinners and jumpers could ever be a substitute for that feeling of connection and sheer self expression?
And so I began a journey back. It had been almost seven years since I had really drawn anything properly, and finding my ‘line’ again was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I started by asking myself what it was that was missing? I could see the subject that I wanted to draw, but my hand just wasn’t able to guide the pencil along the right lines to capture it. I began to read voraciously about creativity and art, and along the way came across Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. This helped to explain many of the problems I was having with perception and coordination, and – with a lot of hard work and practice – I found my love of drawing again.
This experience has helped me to understand and explain the problems that other people experience when they first start trying to draw. We are looking without seeing, coming at things from the wrong direction and attempting to do a creative task in a logical fashion; using our left brains for a right brain activity.
In four sessions I can explain all this to people who have always thought that they would never be able to draw anything well. We just need to trick our left brains into leaving us alone, and that is achieved with exercises I have gleaned from many sources over the years and put together in a structured course. I can’t turn people into Artists in four weeks, but I can give them all the tools they need to tackle drawing anything. They have to practice, of course, but for those that stick with it, the results can be amazing.
My next course begins next Thursday morning at 10am in Manikata – let me know if you would like to join the adventure - 80 euro for a whole new way of seeing the world!!
I'm starting a four-week Drawing course on the 9th November - Saturday afternoon - from 2pm to 4.30pm in my studio in Manikata.
I can GUARANTEE that I can help you to see the world differently, which makes it so much easier to draw anything you choose. Complete beginners and those that need to brush up their drawing skills are all welcome. The only materilas you will need are a cheap A4 sketchbook and a 2B pencil.
80 euro for the course, which will be very structured and so - well - don't miss any!
woooo hooooo!! Really excited about this - I will be showing people how to reach that beautiful, timeless state of just Being by using simple drawing techniques to connect to themselves and Nature at her finest. This will be part of an 8-day yoga retreat organised by the most amazing and inspirational yoga teacher ever, Michelle Bartolo. In the beautiful French Alps we will bring a RUSH of fresh air into our lives!June 1 - 8 FRANCE *MichelleBartoloYoga & Jeni Caruana
* MichelleBartoloYoga presents a Yoga & Drawing Retreat in zee French Alps @ Chalet Le Badney
Your investment & bookings: http://michellebartoloyoga.com/yoga-retreat/retreat-packages/
This structured course of six classes will cover all the basics that you need to know to either learn to draw or improve your skills. Easy steps for using tone, perspective, measuring and composition will give you the confidence to tackle any subject. Advice on how to mix colours and use basic watercolour techniques will set you on the road to making your own pictures.
All in a friendly and creative atmosphere :-)
Classes begin on Saturday the 16th March from 4.30 - 7pm.120 euro for 6 classes – booking can only be accepted upon payment, as places are limited.
For more information please contact Jeni on the form below
Or Sistina on 21335548
Wednesday classes are continuing at Sistina, and also Sunday morning creativity sessions in Manikata.......
Classes at Sistina are starting again!!
It will be lovely to be back at Sistina Art Shop, 118 The Strand Sliema again!
Classes begin on Wednesday 13th February at 10am til 12.30pm
We'll be doing drawing exercises and explorations into different ways of approaching picture-making, covering everything from tone to perspective to colour mixing..... we'll work mainly in watercolours, but mixed media and Other Stuff usually appear too!
Places are limited, so please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and a booking form
Creativity Workshops in Manikata
Classes will resume on February 17th
in the usual format of an hour of focused drawing practice followed by creative exercises in different media.
120 e for 6 classes, 23 e for drop-in classes, 28 e including all materials.
Please email me on email@example.com for more info and a booking form
"Love" by Anne Hoshi Furuya
Japanese Calligraphy Workshop
Saturday 23rd February 2013 10am (sharp) - 4pm
Only 45 euro including all materials - and a vegetarian Japanese lunch!
A fun day with Anne Hoshi Furuya, the talented daughter of a professional Japanese calligraphy teacher in Japan.
Using authentic equipment, we will learn : -
*how to write our own names in Japanese characters
*make a lucky New Year card using traditional methods
* a little origami
Please wear suitable clothes (ink stains!) or bring an apron.
The workshop will take place in Jeni Caruana's studio in Manikata.
PLACES ARE LIMITED AND CAN ONLY BE RESERVED AGAINST PAYMENT IN FULL.
Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and a booking form
... so here I am, all fattened up after spending Christmas and New Year in the UK with my family. It's been great, doing nothing much but being with the Ones I Love.
I did spend a day wandering around London seeing as many exhibitions and galleries as I possibly could, trying to take mental snapshots and store all the images for future reference. I find that's better than taking actual photos sometimes (I had forgotten to pack my camera anyway!) - memories are often better to paint from, and you can't be accused of copying! Having said that, I am reading a brilliant little book called "Steal Like An Artist" which says that we should all be 'stealing' (i.e. keeping a record of) everything that appeals to us, so that we can feed it into our own work later. We should keep a 'Swipe File' in a scrapbook or on our pc's to refer to whenever we need a bit of inspiration.This isn't about copying images, but the ideas and thoughts behind them, so our own images are original creations based on whatever we have experienced along the way. I'll be bringing this idea to my students in future!
Which reminds me of all the things I have to do when I get home to Malta tomorrow - start organising my next First Friday Gallery (Feb 1st), advertise the Japanese Drawing workshop in my studio (Feb 3rd), think about having a Birthday Party (hoorah!), set up some new painting and drawing courses, confirm the dates of my landscape exhibition, which has been postponed because of the election in March, chase somebody that owes me some money :-), cuddle my cats until they squeak (yes I'll do that first!) and then see how my studio has fared without me..... oh, and try to lose some of this weight!
So tomorrow it will be farewell to the grey skies of London and HELLO!! to the blue skies of Malta.
From home to home.....
I love to paint - and draw - and help others to discover their creative side too.....
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