“Ruby Tuesday” Charcoal & Pastel on cartridge 594 x 841mm © copyright chriswoodartist 2012
In common with a many artists, when I’m in my studio, I usually either have the radio chattering to itself or I listen to one of my hundreds of CD’s. However, when I’m teaching and more particularly, when I’m teaching life drawing, you can hear a pin drop. I believe you cannot focus entirely on the model and your drawing without a completely calm environment. That said, once a year I introduce my life drawing students to a variety of music to respond to. The above drawing was made whilst I played a hotch potch of music from my early student days through to 2012 ! Some of the “music” was recognisable tracks from early rock bands, some was very experimental – my rationalle was to play a combination of sound which can be interpreted as colours and or marks. For me, the gaps between the notes are as important as the notes or sounds themselves and if John Cage were still alive I’m sure he would agree, as it was he that composed 4’33” which consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds where the musicians sit in silence and the audience sit and reflect upon the sounds of the environment. His work is all about challenging definitions of music and musicianship – but I digress !
I suppose I’m a frustrated DJ ! I must confess that I do enjoy putting together a programme of music, with one piece slotting alongside and complimenting or contrasting previous tracks. I also enjoy introducing some of my eclectic tastes to others who perhaps haven’t heard of or may have forgotten about the bands, or performers Bach’s, Toccata and Fugue in E Minor.
Returning to the above, I played short bursts of classical guitar pieces alongside heavy rock, experimental pieces by contemporary composers such as Brian Eno, followed by Bach’s, Toccata and Fugue in E Minor (I love it at full blast), Osvaldo Golijov, The Doors, Procol Harum, The Rolling Stones, Bix Biderbeck, the legendary Malian singer and guitarist, Ali Farka Toure, chanting from Tibetan monks, Jimi Hendrix, complete with chiming bells etc etc
My students who range from retired university lecturers, to web designers, animators, fine artists and the like, all seemed to enjoy the evening and entered into the spirit of things and all produced some cracking drawings. My Advanced Life Drawing class in September is now full and there is a waiting list but if I get a few more on the list I might start a second class. The classes run from the art department at Portsmouth Grammar School and are currently from 7-9pm on Monday evenings. Cheerio 4 now and happy scribbling !