Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bristol Festival of Nature

7 -8 June

Once again this year I held a workshop at this wonderful event in Bristol. This time I was in a tent/marquee down in the Millenium Square amongst the others; in past years the workshops and talks were held in a building close to the square, which felt quite seperate from the main body of the event.

The two days of the event were perfect weather-wise… lovely and hot, clear cloudless skies and a good feeling of summer with kids splashing about in the water features of the Harbourside area, people walking around in suntops and shorts, ice-creams and music.

My drawing workshop was on the Sunday morning, so had the best part of the day, when it was coolest, to teach in, with the rest of the day to explore and wander myself. There were about a dozen people who came along to the workshop and their ages ranged from children to adults.
I took them stage by stage through the drawing of a red squirrel using the method I have described before in earlier posts; starting with basic shapes to get the sizing and proportions right and then building up on that.

It was only an hour long, so I had to move them along at a good pace in their drawing. Everyone kept up and they all turned out some good drawings. It can be difficult to produce something you can be happy with when you are not only being shown, perhaps, a new way to approach your drawing, but then have less than an hour to actually do it in. So they all did very well. I had some good feedback directly from some of the participants and from the organizers since the event, and have been invited back next year.

For the workshop I had three volunteers who were a great help in getting me set up before the workshop and clearing up after. My thanks go to them and also to the Education Dept at the zoo for assisting me; as ever a great help by storing and providing clipboards, pencils, paper etc and a flipchart stand.

After the workshop I wandered around the rest of the event and was really pleased I didn’t clash with Dr. Kate Evans, who was doing a talk on her research on young bull elephants in the Okavango Delta in Botswana that I particularly wanted to hear. It was a very interesting talk and I could easily have sat there for a longer talk by her on this subject. I urge you to visit the website for her research……

The Festival is a great event, with lots of interesting things to see and do… if you live in the area and have never been… don’t miss it next year!

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