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ENCOURAGING TALENTS

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Teaching is something Kevin discovered that he really enjoyed when he worked in America with underprivileged children in a Salvation Army camp during the summer of 1980 at Saddle Lake in New York state. It was a super experience and one he will never forget. Kevin discovered he really enjoyed working with people, encouraging them & ‘drawing’ them forward in their gifts and talents. When home, the opportunity immediately presented itself for him to teach in a female prison in Kent and also in a Christian school. The school teaching was with 10-16 year olds, meaning that in any given week he was regularly working with 10-70 year olds between the establishments. Over the following years doors opened for him to work in two other prisions where he would gain invaluable teaching experience and develop his people skills.  He gained experience teaching in all backgrounds from school children & young people to adults from different cultures around the world. He learnt an incredible amount about people in the school of life and a skill set that he would continue to use & develop in future years.

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Sketchpad 2012 working in open field, the centre is in a rural village overlooking a country park so it is beautiful & quiet, ideal for artists to be creative. Sketchpad is open to people aged 9-17 years of age and is run by Kevin and team. For those of you who know about the impressionists developing ‘plein air’ style art, we practice plenty of that during Sketchpad.

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Charcoal life drawing by Kevin, Sketchpad, 2012 – 5 minutes

Life drawing is important for children and adults to learn at least to a certain level. Including people in your artwork is important and enhances your work, just look at the figures in a Constable landscape or in a Rembrandt etching as examples.

Kevin had just finished Sketchpad, a week long residential art based holiday for 10-16 year olds in Bedfordshire & was absolutely buzzing. He was in Thetford town centre and looked across from the bakers and suddenly saw in my mind’s eye how it all would fall into place, how Sketchclub would work, where it would be located and when in the week. So he made all the necessary phone calls and emails to book a suitable venue in the heart of Thetford town. Thetford is a market town, slow paced, with a population rising towards 30000 people as the new estates develop. Sketchclub, a new initiative was set up in the autumn 2012, inspired by the Sketchpad residential.

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Kevin’s version of a Leonardo and Michelangelo

‘You don’t have to be as talented as Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo to come along but you do need to be keen to learn, to apply yourself & to work at it.’

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Exhibit from the Christmas Tree Exhibition in Thetford, Kevin adds to it each year. This is the original painting done overnight for the exhibition.

‘I find Sketchclub enables more in depth work than you can generally achieve within the time restraints at school. It is a great environment to learn as you have mixed ages all very hungry to learn & develop their skills.’

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Kate should be pleased with ‘The Eye’ that she has been working hard at during Sketchclub.

I was in town and looked across from the bakers & suddenly saw in my mind’s eye how it all would fall into place, how Sketchclub would work, where it would be located & when in the week.’

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Dawn’s white tiger is taking shape with a few ripples to add in the water. Sketchclub, November 2013

So in early October Kevin began SKETCHCLUB at Kings Street Baptist Church in the High Street with a keen bunch of people with little advertising. Over the past years, the group has developed well with a keen group of people from 11 to 75 years of age attending regularly, learning & expressing themselves creatively. Each student is honing skills & learning techniques by practicing the challenges set each week & developed over several weeks to a high standard. Coaching, encouragement & teaching comes from myself, with a variety of challenges set over the course of a year.

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Sheila spent many hours on a portrait of Einstein using pencils & captured a real likeness too. She enjoyed the journey into depths previously unexplored and rose to the challenge, applying herself studiously as you can see. Kevin enjoys taking people on artistic journeys where they enter uncharted territories and develop to standards they have not experienced before. 

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Di has been inspired by an autumn photograph in Thetford forest. She has used watercolours and watercolour pencils to gain the effect.

‘It is great to see people blossom, growing in self confidence & hungering to express themselves.’

Kevin acts as a coach answering questions, giving assistance as necessary without doing too much so the students are not stretched themselves. Younger students would like you to do lots on their work so you need to be wise as a tutor to do a little & facilitate them doing the rest, advising & encouraging along the way, building their confidence.

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Kevin’s butterfly, Sketchclub – watercolour pencils

During the year we have looked at different subjects from portraits to life drawing, still life to animals. Recently the group has done a small tortoiseshell butterfly sunbathing on a hot afternoon during the summer. Some students are keen to take extra challenges home to work on over the week & people are encouraged to bring into the class any work they have done in between classes. It is a learning class, hungry to develop & ask questions. Kevin will bring in prints from photographs he has taken or sometimes puts up an image on the projection screen so it is large for the group to tackle. Sometimes we will work from life and do an exercise within a given time period and show the work afterwards in a gallery to bring out constructive comments. Kevin is always looking to bring out constructive comments, affirming where appropriate and making suggestions when necessary to enable improvement.

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The Right Shaped Nose by Kevin, pen illustration

Caricature drawings are something we have yet to explore as a group. Using simple pen and line work & looking at one or two caricature artists like Honor Daumier. You need to know good drawing principles to be a good caricaturist.

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Morgan Freeman portrait, coloured pencil, 12 hours, Kevin

Working on likenesses is something that we are coming on to in the next year. Likenesses build on from drawing skills and are transferable to painting with adjustments made according to the medium used. They are my favourite subject area of working in art.

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‘The beautiful eyes of a young actress called Sophia Loren’ – coloured pencil, Kevin

Capturing the details of eyes is something we will be looking at Sketchclub and should be a lot of fun.

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Moya has recently been working on a mother Orangutang & her cuddly baby using watercolour pencils.

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Jackie was inspired to observe the autumn colours within a good sized leaf.

EXCITING 2015:

In the coming year Kevin will be doing some visual inputs at Sketchclub on some of the most influential Master artists since the 15 century. We will look at some of their classic pieces & learn from their technique, use of colour, composition of painting, use of reference & application.

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Sketchclub is designed to develop skills in any medium that requires drawing. Over the year we have used lead pencils, oil pastels, watercolour pencils, conte, charcoal, graphite & pens. Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 18.00.24

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‘As the bar is raised people will be keen to stretch themselves and develop to a higher standard.’

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‘Art requires good observational skills, patient application, determination & of course that spark of creativity.’

Students are encouraged to keep folios of work so that they can look back and see progress. We date work and often record the time taken too to help gauge the artist’s speed or working. As artists work on their chosen art pieces they will find they gradually work a bit faster  as they practice due to self confidence, familiarity with the medium and experience.

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There are always new things to learn and we can learn from each other as a group. There is often that sense of discovery as someone achieves something for the first time.

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Two students during the Art Special day held in Thetford in June 2013. Watercolour sketch by Kevin, 1 hour

We occasionally have an art special day where the group are invited to come and produce some pieces of work on a Saturday. Kevin holds these in Thetford and in Assington in Suffolk. Let me know if you are interested in coming to the next one as they are open to all.

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Artwork done at Paintclub in May by Kevin using water-soluble oil pastels and watercolours.

In April we started Paintclub in the Methodist Church in town to focus on painting skills and expression. The group is working on their chosen subjects at present from visual reference Kevin has provided. Sometimes we work on a joint theme, sometimes Kevin will do a demonstration and the group work on their pieces with me. We have been invited to exhibit in the Methodist Christmas Tree exhibition in December that has been a popular exhibit in town over the years. This year the tree linked theme is the Nativity. Kevin shall think about it and produce something in the coming weeks and invite the group to do so.

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Following Sketchpad 2012, Kevin came home and was within days inspired to set up Sketchclub in the heart of Thetford. Within 5 weeks it was up and running with a group of people from 12 to 70 years of age attending.

I will add more to this article in the coming weeks and months as I photograph finished artwork.

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Lee did this watercolour of a Siberian tiger in it’s natural surrounds, October 2014

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Di worked very sensitively on this Red Setter, autumn 2014

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Sketchclub has developed into a popular class. Kevin facilitates The Art Studio, an exciting new project with lots of events per month.

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If you are interested in Sketchclub or any of the art classes or events in the coming year please email me on: kevinmoore758@btinternet.com  kevin@face2facetrust.org.uk

Screen shot 2012-10-15 at 19.21.29Kevin: kevinmoore758@btinternet.com  kevin@face2facetrust.org.uk

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