You may have noticed pieces of art appearing on traffic lights boxes in Dublin over the last two Summers. It is the work of an initiative called Dublin Canvas . It seeks to brighten the city by commissioning artists to transform a dull traffic light box into a public work of art. I was lucky enough last year to paint two such boxes.
The project set to roll out again for Summer/ Autumn 2017. If you would like an artist to paint a box painted in your area, post a photo with location using hashtag #dublincanvas to the Facebook page. If you fancy painting a box yourself, get in touch with David Murtagh on the website and sign up to the news letter with all the information about getting involved. I look forward to spotting new artwork emerge over the course of the Summer and Autumn.
On the 15th of April next, artist William Nathans is opening up his art studio above Kennedys art supply shop to host a life painting oil workshop. I have twice attended previous workshops and found them wonderful.
A small group of artists gather in William’s art studio on Harcourt Street. There is a live model, posed on a stage of drapery and considered, controlled lighting. You arrive with your canvas primed with a medium grey ground. Chose a view point that suits you and prop your canvas on an easel.
Will gives a demonstration on marking out your painting, using the brush and paint as drawing tools. Each artist makes a start. This is a one day workshop, so it is quite a fast pace to work at and you can’t expect any great polish on your piece, just the“Premier-Coup” approach so to speak.
There is a break for lunch, you clean your pallet before and return to begin anew. Will gives another demonstration at this point and lots of pointers throughout the day. It is helpful and interesting to see the other artists approach to the same subject matter and an enjoyable day of painting.
Kennedy’s offer a discount on materials purchased on the day of the workshop. You need to bring your own paints and materials, outside of the easel and they will email you a list ahead of the event.
Over the years one of my favourite things to do of a Thursday evening in Dublin city centre is attending the life drawing group at the Sol Gallery. Run by Keith Dollin this is a self directed art class. Meaning there is no tuition, simply a model, a venue and an eclectic group of artists drawing and painting together. It is held in the beautiful, white, high ceilinged exhibition room on the first floor of the gallery, at No. 8, Dawson Street.
Now this art group is run in various guises on several week day evenings but the Thursday evening is my personal favourite for 5 reasons:
It is an untaught class. I understand this does not suit everybody. I mean, I myself teach art for a living. But for me 2 hours of uninterrupted drawing in the silent company of fellow artists is sheer bliss.
The Thursday night is a long pose drawing session. I prefer to draw slowly and carefully. Ideally a 4 day pose but this will do. After 10 quick 1 minute warm up sketches, the model settles in for a longer 20 minute pose. If it’s your first time going a quick tip is take your time. The model assumes the same pose for 3 x sittings. I did not realise this on my first attendance.
The venue: is so handy, located in the city centre, it’s not freezing (as some drawing studios can be), and there is always art on the walls. 7 o’clock is such a handy time. You don’t arrive rushed and starved after work.
The Thursday group is not crowded. The other life drawing classes with perhaps quicker poses or taught classes are so popular but the Thursday group is often quieter. Arrive early to get a good seat. (Maybe I shouldn’t share this post and potentially populate my favourite life drawing class)
It’s social and inspirational. Everyone shares and views each others work at the end of the drawing session. It’s inspiring to see the different styles and how each artist captures the portrait. The model poses in the middle so she or he is captured from different angles. After the drawing there is an option to join the group for a drink in The Duke.
Happy Monday. If you enjoy art and cocktails know that The Hennessy Lost Fridays return to The Royal Hibernian Academy on 03rd of March 2017.
“Experience an Unforgettable Night of Cocktails, Colour and Creativity” it promises. So there is live music, live interactive art, poetry, DJ’s, art exhibitions and even two Hennessy cocktails included with your ticket. The wonderful Coppa Cafe is serving food on the night.
Art Academy has a fantastic art themedbookclub we host once a month in Coppa Cafe at the RHA. A fun relaxed evening discussing a different art based novel in good company. We will be attending The Lost Friday event on the 03rd of March. If you fancy popping along with us you are welcome (Over 21’s). I have made an event on Meetup where you can RSVP once you buy a ticket.