Observational Drawing with Anna Mackrell

Local artist Anna Mackrell led the first workshop for the Drawn in Nature series at the Euroa Arboretum in April. Everything was wet, changing the dry parched landscape into shimmering rich colours and thankfully the rain held off for the two-hour workshop.

Anna started the session by encouraging the group to be playful and try out different mediums. She demonstrated how you could bring different landscape elements together pointing out this technique in her own work. The technique of gestural drawing was explained and then participants went off into the grasslands to find something to try out this kind of freeing up activity. One of Anne’s key messages was: ‘whatever your past experience it was an opportunity to experiment and to be playful with the different mediums’. This was taken up by some adventurous spirits who used rubbing and mud to get some great results.

Half way through people gathered in the shelter for a tea, coffee and cake break – always a happy part of the day. One over-a-cuppa conversation was about how good it felt to be out doing art with others. After the break it was a fresh piece of watercolour paper and a new task that required filling the whole sheet of paper. Many options were provided – water paints, ink, charcoal, pencil.

Penny a visitor from New Zealand’s North Island was so moved by the surrounding bush that she wrote a poem.

A shared view was that to sit in nature, observe and sketch is deeply rewarding.