Some adventures require a journey; you step out into the world and are swept up in unfamiliar happenings which you experience with eyes opened wide to the new and strange. Sometimes however, if you stay in the right place for long enough, adventure simply arrives at your door.
On Friday 19th June a BBC crew arrived at the studio to record the first in a new series of programmes for BBC Radio 4; 'Gompertz Gets Creative' in which arts editor Will Gompertz (lovely chap, and discerning coffee drinker) attends master classes in four creative pursuits. We were particularly pleased to host Will's show at the Draw studio because he bought with him Sue Tilley, model for Lucien Freud's 'Benefits Supervisor Sleeping' (,articulate, down to earth. Tea, no sugar) to be interviewed and the painter Humphrey Ocean (Professor of Perspective no less!) as the guest tutor. I wont dwell on the content of the session, you can listen to it yourself, but would simply say that I was struck by the generosity of spirit that everybody showed on a hot Friday afternoon, cramped in our sardine tin of a studio surrounded by a masterfully erected tangle of microphones.
Humphrey took the unconventional set up in his stride and thoughtfully reflected on drawing people (not models; airfix make models) whilst Sue talked about the experiences of modelling whilst taking part in drawing herself, sketching our very own Francesca Cluney. Frankie for her part, centre stage and consummately professional, held a pose that overran by at least forty five minutes without word of complaint for a room full of twenty five diligent draftsman who scribbled, sweltered and occasionally chipped in the their two-pennies worth to the conversation. Everybody, from the sound man, to the production team, to the magnificent Drawchestra who played us in showed all the curiosity, engagement and consideration that I have become used to seeing in a life drawing studio. I don't know if it is simply the case that lovely people are drawn to life drawing, or that spending two hours looking intently at another person makes you that bit more empathetic, but I counted myself particularly lucky to be elbow to elbow with such a wonderful troupe of companions on a afternoon's adventure that involved staying right where Im most at home.
I've very nearly signed off on the latest drawing book Ive been working on, a book called DRAW, published by Ilex Press. To celebrate the successful delivery of the last main batch of drawings I treated myself to a studio tidy up. Nothing more cathartic than a spring clean. This co-incides neatly with a live studio tour broadcast for the new live broadcasting app Periscope, if you have the app and are free for 10 minutes tomorrow at 3pm (12th April) I'll be broadcasting from my @BrightonDrawing account. You can see just how damn tidy the studios are now.
Teaching, drawing, writing and painting.