The Drawing Circus

Yesterday, along with a packed Sallis Benney Theatre full of dedicated art-seekers, I attended The Drawing Circus, a marathon 6-hour life-drawing session organised by Jake Spicer and his Brighton Drawing team (or ‘Draw’ as I believe they are now known, as of a couple of days ago). It rather cruelly happened to coincide with one of the most gloriously sunny days of the year so far but no matter – this was a superbly well-organised and enjoyable theatrical event, including specially-composed live musical accompaniment, and within moments of first putting pencil to paper I suspect that for most of us the weather outside was the furthest thing from our minds.

There was a loose narrative running through the various tableaux that were set up around the space, involving the untimely death of a circus ringmaster and subsequent takeover by a freakshow mermaid, via an escaped lion running amok etc… which provided a premise for the visuals.

It’s unlikely that any of this sequence comes across in the drawings I made. In fact the ringmaster himself, who was behind me for most of the event, only features in a couple of my drawings, and then only on his death-bed, from the ankles down (sorry, Ian!)

I’m hoping others will post some of their drawings from the day as there were all manner of different artistic approaches being taken around the hall and not enough opportunity to have a general snoop. Anyway here are mine, or most of them anyway. An inevitably hit-and-miss collection (some of these were made from one-minute poses!) but it does give an idea of what can be churned out in six hours!

A few of us wound down afterwards in the Blind Tiger – formerly Hector’s House – and compared results over a couple of beers. We were joined later by a few of the models in varying states of exhaustion / exhilaration.

What an extremely pleasant day – well done again Jake and thanks to all the models, musicians and set-decorators that made it happen. Roll on the next one!

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9 Responses to The Drawing Circus

  1. Paul Cemmick says:

    Looks great Geo. You’ve got some great drawings
    there. I was going to try to make Kate Shields’ thing tonight but those durned deadlines just get in the dadblamed way.
    P

    • Geo Parkin says:

      Thanks Paul! It was such an enjoyable session – never done as long as that in one go before; by the end I’d really loosened up and the later sketches are probably the ones I’m most pleased with. At a certain point you just find yourself ‘in the zone’ – I’m sure you know the feeling. I would also like to have gone to tonight’s sesh but it’s back to deadline-driven reality for now. Bah! Or should that be ‘Dadblamed’!? (great word)

  2. Great Stuff. You’ve described the scene really nicely, both in words and pictures. I think I spoke to you for a few moments (when one of the Clowns had come down to draw at that point).

  3. Nomi says:

    These are f**king great! Very inspiring, hope I can get my life drawing to this standard one day.

    • Geo Parkin says:

      Thanks, Nomi – there would have been more drawings of you but I spent the whole time facing the stage. Thought you looked terrific on the day though; maybe next time!

  4. Pingback: Geo Parker | johannasamuelson

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