Seeing the Artist’s way
Wednesday, 14th April, 2021
By Neil Pigot
Local artist and Broken Hill Art Exchange co-founder Susan Thomas will present the second of a series of free workshops at the RFDS Wellbeing Place this weekend and she hopes it will be successful after last weekend’s positive response.
The response to the first of the series conducted last Saturday by Melinda Gladman was extremely positive.
“The art journaling workshop was fantastic. A full house and feed-back from those that attended was great,” Susan said.
“Good on Mel. I hope they have as much fun at mine.”
This weekend Susan will be exploring the way we observe objects as we draw, letting people learn some of the key techniques artists are taught at art school.
A process she describes as “a series of exercises to help unlock the way that we see”.
“Instead of drawing an icon, an imagined version of the thing in front of us, learning to draw the way things really are. And play with that creatively. Forget all the rules in the end and just draw.”
The collaboration between the Wellness Place and the Broken Hill Art Exchange is, for Susan, quite a natural fit.
“The RFDS Wellbeing Centre is about supporting people’s mental health and drawing, any art form actually, can be quite meditative. Drawing is a particularly mindful practice. But everyone is different.
“We all express ourselves in different ways creatively and that’s why we are mixing the art forms up, trying to reach out to as many people as possible. This week drawing, next week circus.”
Susan describes her own art practice as pretty varied. Starting life as a designer she returned to art school in her late 20’s and has been creating work in a variety of disciplines ever since.
“I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years. It’s rare that any of us can make a living out of it. But once the art bug grabs you it’s hard to get away.”
And through her practice she hopes to do what artists have done for centuries, translate life’s experiences, helping us to see things from a slightly discrete perspective. “That’s what I like about these workshops. They’re all different.
“We’re all different. We all see life uniquely. Hopefully people will come away from the weekend seeing simple everyday objects in a new way.”
With the Broken Hill Art Exchange celebrating its 20th year, the workshops continue to fulfil the ethos on which Susan and her co-founders began the Exchange two decades ago.
“We always strive to engage. There is art in everything and we want to act on that. The Wellbeing Place provides us with a great forum to have that exchange of ideas.”
The workshop “Seeing the Artist’s Way” is on this Saturday between 2-4pm. For bookings call the Art Exchange on 0498 531 485.