Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings immediately spring to mind when you think of his vast body of work: canvasses thick with paint, running riot with colour. His work is exciting, tangible, and firmly in the present.
But van Gogh drew almost as much as he painted. As this article by Colta Ives and Susan Alyson Stein for the Metropolitan Museum of Art explain, the artist was largely self-taught, and he believed that drawing was the root of everything. As a beginning artist, he drew to master his work before attempting to paint the same subject. There were periods when he did nothing but draw, perhaps enjoying the casualness and the freedom it afforded him. And with paints and their associated materials being expensive, sometimes a poor struggling artist had to weigh up the price of bread vs. the price of painting.
In fact, saving money was the impetus for his chopping off some nearby reeds when he was living in Provence, sharpening the tips, and dipping them in ink. Using a naturally hollow reed which he could sharpen with his own penknife gave him the flexibility to be spontaneous and artistic, yet still save his pennies.
This fascinating medium helped him produce most of his greatest drawings during the two years he spent working in Provence. We now know it today as his most prodigious and productive period.
Barnes Class is delighted to bring you a class where you can learn for yourself how to draw with a reed pen. Taught by our popular local expert Michael Ajerman, you’ll be introduced to this medium over a 4-week course. Drawing from reproductions by van Gogh himself and working from a live model, you’ll be able to explore the human form and gain new skills in a fun and casual environment at the OSO Arts Centre.
All materials will be provided for you, and don’t worry – absolutely NO SKILLS are required. This class is for complete beginners and you’ll be led along gently, with plenty of bracing coffee for sustenance.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know. And remember, if it’s good enough for Vincent, it’s good enough for you!