Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Community Figure Drawing at UW Whitewater

People have been participating in life drawing session at UW Whitewater since the 1970s, and the university allows the sessions to continue for interested area community members during the summer.  The group has free use of the drawing studio, which has a good raised platform and lighting, and schedules female and male models for people to draw.  This summer the non-instructional sessions are Monday evenings, 5:30 until 8:30 pm at the Greenhill Center for the Arts in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

It's a good deal.  The models are currently paid $36 for a three hour session, and the cost is split among the people who show up to draw.  So, it's better to have more participants, rather than fewer.

I enjoy the sessions because it is one time when I work directly from life, rather than from photographs.  I like working large and loose, like changing my emphasis from week to week, working with different materials, concentrating on line one week, or working on trying to link shadow patterns, or find a way to use watercolors in a compelling way.

Other participants work in other ways, some drawing only in graphite, or colored pencil, or pastels.  Some are mostly interested in capturing an accurate portrait, some like to capture gesture more.  The best sessions are well attended, when a sort of energy and camaraderie develops that carries everyone along for the entire evening.  Other evenings, when only one or two artists attend, the energy seems lower.

I find an evening of drawing to be a splurge, a sort of art-y retreat from the rest of the week, though it is hard to find ways to share what I draw.  Quite a few of my friends are baffled by my enthusiasm, and frankly seem embarrassed by the very idea of drawing an undraped model.  Many area shows will not accept art that features nudity.  I keep looking for converts, though, posting little flyers for the sessions, creating a page on Facebook.  But the group remains small.

These are two of the five minute gesture drawings I did this week.


Barbara Grant said...
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Barbara Grant said...

You're right, it is a good deal. Great space, too. Those who live within driving distance of Whitewater are so fortunate. I have a flat file drawer full, because it's true that nude drawings have a select audience. But it's great exercise for an artist - I miss it! Lovely drawings here by the way!

Anonymous said...

Is the summer session still meeting? Will their be an open studio beginning this fall? Date? Time?

Sherry Pierce Thurner said...

There is one more session left for the summer session of figure drawing, next Monday, 5:30 - 8:30 PM.

After LAbor Day, there will be Monday evening drawing, but I am not sure of the time yet. It depends on the UWW fall drawing class schedule, but usually begins at 6:30.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply.
Do you know if the fees will be the same for the after Labor Day classes?
BTW, very nice drawings. What kind of paper are you using?

Sherry Pierce Thurner said...

These quick sketches are on a Canson "Biggie" pad.

I don't know about the plans for after Labor Day yet. My guess - $5 per session, since the university subsidizes the model fees.

Anonymous said...

Any further news and details about the after labor day open figure drawing class-whitewater?

Sherry Pierce Thurner said...

The fall session of Community Figure Drawing will start Monday, September 9, 6:30 until 9:30PM at the Center for the Arts on the UW Whitewater campus. The cost will be $7 per session. Sessions continue every Monday evening.