Drawing in the rain

posted in Drawing

Drawing in the rain

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig is like stepping into a Constable painting.   There is a house of elegant proportions, rolling emerald green grasses that leads the eye to a lake where six swans live.  The light is pure and whiter than I am used to in London.  When the sun is not hidden behind candy-floss clouds dramatic shadows appear on the landscape.  Standing in front of the steps leading to the house there is a sense that in some strange way time has paused.

After the solitude of my day in the studio and exploring the grounds I look forward to dinner at seven with all the other guests.  This is the only house rule.  I am leaving after a couple of weeks enriched with a new found love of poetry, suggested books to read, lively creative conversations to digest and buzzing with ideas.

I spent my time mostly outside in the garden drawing and collecting plants.  The beautiful balls of purple rhododendron flowers in the hedgerows caught my imagination.  Some locals consider them to be a rampant weed, while others love them.  The weather changes so quickly from sunshine to showers that I often found myself holding an umbrella in one hand and pencil in the other.  Drawing with rainwater that had got onto my paper in a torrential downpour was a happy accident that created a textured surface.  I had time to play, explore and wonder.  I drew upon different materials, considered the relationship between the plants I collected with drawings, lighting work from underneath and reflected on how to extend my practice.  I leave feeling clearer and full of possibility.

1 comment

  1. What a beautifully written and illustrated account, Venetia! You have conveyed a real flavour of the scenery, your passion for landscape and flowers, and of the capricious light.

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