Drawn From Life – About the Artists

Posted on 27th March 2024
Drawn from Life is an exhibition in celebration of the human form with drawings and paintings by a group of artists who meet to create art direct from life.
Coming to the Creation Space in Basingstoke from Saturday 6th July to Friday 19th July 2024

The Drawn from Life group was established back in January of 1997. Initially the members were all art teachers or others with a background in art and they began meeting together regularly to draw and paint from the human form. In this short article you can learn a little more about each of the artists in the exhibition and discover more about their work and artistic practice.

Sheila Dick

I grew up in London and from school went to do my Foundation course at Goldsmiths College followed by a Fine Art degree at Loughborough specialising in painting, photography and printmaking. I completed an Art Teaching Diploma in Brighton and spent my professional life of nearly 30 years teaching in secondary schools.

In the words of Francis Bacon, “in my work I am not illustrating reality but want to create images which are a concentration of reality, plus a shorthand of sensation”. I am constantly challenging myself and exploring different ways of creating meaningful marks using a range of tools and media to extend my visual vocabulary. Much of my recent work has used black drawing ink while trying out new materials for colour work. I explore shape, form, dynamics and mood of the pose while trying to capture a sense of that individual. I have been working from the life model for the past 25 years and previously at college. It has always been a central theme of my interest in the human condition.

Keith Sturgess
During my career as a graphic designer the ability to draw was paramount and after 30 years in publishing and marketing I returned to college to take a degree in Fine Art, graduating in 1993. Since that time life drawing has been the foundation for my creative painting, both figurative and abstraction, and in recent years I have had several successful solo exhibitions of my work inspired by landscape and nature.

David Bloomfield
A late starter as I only began drawing and painting when I was looking for a new activity after retiring about 10 years ago from working in finance and as a business consultant. I began by painting landscapes and then joined the Drawn from Life group for the challenge of drawing the human form, and I greatly enjoy our relaxing and productive sessions together. I have learnt that everyone can draw or paint and get great pleasure from it, and I wish I had started much earlier!

Jill Eckersley
I have always loved art, particularly drawing, but did not pursue art in my working life. I trained at college to eventually become a Private Personal Assistant in industry, and later became a Solicitor’s Legal Assistant. Art had slipped into the background but after retirement I joined the art group and am so glad that I did as I really enjoy it. I am still learning all the time, and the happy atmosphere of the group is a tonic.

Antonia Dewhurst
I began Life Drawing when studying Art A level, and continued this during my Art degree course at Farnham. It remains one of the most important subjects for me. I find the human form endlessly inspiring because it can convey so much emotionally and symbolically. It is so challenging; when I start drawing I often feel that I have never drawn before, but as the marks develop I begin to gain an understanding of what I am observing. It is always exciting to see what will happen as the drawing progresses. I explore a variety of media, including charcoal, pastel, watercolour, oil, and occasionally acrylic. Changes in light and tone are important to me. I am interested in conveying the energy, dynamism and movement of the life model, as well as more reflective poses. More recently I have studied anatomy for artists to assist in my understanding of the human form.

Cilla Kimber
After leaving school and completing A levels in Art & Craft (pottery was taught by Bryan Ferry from Roxy Music in 1970!) I then went to art school in Hammersmith and was awarded a certificate in Mural Design which incorporated Stained Glass.
I moved to Hampshire to help set up a pottery in 1974 and a few years later met and married my husband, a farmer. One of the workshops here was taken on by a guy building Fairground Organs. I was offered the job of painting the panels with my own designs for 18 years, one being for the Dean of Winchester. I also did commissions in pen and ink, Lord Sherfield was a customer and I was delighted to be able to put my hand to doing stained glass panels again.
A dear late friend introduced me to the life drawing class at QMC in 2010 and this is where I am now.

Jan Smart
I have always loved art but during my working years, I worked long hours with little time to pursue my interest. When I retired as a Primary School Head Teacher I threw myself into drawing and painting, mostly watercolours, mistakenly thinking they would be “easy.” I have attended many courses using different media including pottery, collage, recently beginning to paint more in oils which I love.
I was pleased to join the Life Group several years ago which I really enjoy through this group I have discovered a love of portraits. I try to use a variety of media each week to provide me with interest and also to challenge myself.

Dinah Winter
I always enjoyed art at school but decided to pursue a career in science. When I started full time employment I took up drawing and painting as a hobby and have explored various mediums covering botanical art, portraits and life drawing. I joined the group in 2019 and look forward to the weekly challenge of drawing from a life model, whilst enjoying the companionship and encouragement from other like-minded people.

Buz Busbridge
I’ve been drawing the human form from Grammar School to the present day. My art teacher campaigned (with my mum and dad ) for me to attend Canterbury Art College on their NDD course and I spent two years studying a range of disciplines, then went on to specialise in Graphics & Illustration for my NDD. I was based in London working for advertising agencies and in 1972 I went freelance with graphics giving way to illustration for marketing companies until 2000 when I retired.
When my wife started the group with Mary I was very pleased to add my name to the list of members. I have done the best drawings of my life since being in the group.

Michael Valentine
I am an amateur Artist and Photographer living in Basingstoke and I have been attending the Life Drawing sessions at Queen Mary’s College for around two years. I am interested in art in all it’s forms, working in any media I think appropriate for the subject.
I sign my work ahatxtc, which pronounced “ artistic”.

You can enjoy the exhibition at Proteus Creation Space from Saturday 6th July to Friday 19th July. See the Drawn From Live What’s On page for more information around opening times for the exhibition.

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