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WORK IN PROGRESS

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Teaching is something I discovered that I really enjoyed when I 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 I will never forget. I discovered I really enjoyed working with people, encouraging them & ‘drawing’ them forward in their gifts and talents. Back home, I was offered a job teaching current affairs in a local prison & over the next year found myself teaching in three prisons in Kent and also in a Christian school teaching art, my specialist subject to 10-16 year olds. In any given week I was regularly working with 10-70 year olds between the four establishments and over the years developed an art studio in each place. Over nearly ten years I gained valuable experience in working with people from all backgrounds from school children & young people to adults from different cultures around the world. I learned an incredible amount about people in the school of life and a skill set that I would continue to use & develop in future years.

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Are you interested in developing your skills in art, then why not come along to Sketchpad or Sketchclub? Sketchpad is a national holiday for young people based in a lovely centre in beautiful countryside. Sketchclub is an ongoing club based in Thetford for 8-75+ year olds and gives people the chance to come into a friendly class and develop artistic skills and techniques like the portrait examples below.

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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.

Sketchpad gives a whole week to invest in artistic skills and facilitates the production of some great work. The week is designed to explore lots of different medium and draw and paint from beauty of the surrounding countryside. We do drawing exercises in and around the centre and develop a range of work per day. Hopefully everyone goes away built up in their self confidence,  pleased with the work produced and having learnt bucket loads of helpful tips to put into practice.

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The importance of keeping and developing a sketchbook is emphasized during Sketchpad and there are many opportunities to develop sketching skills. Sketching skills are so helpful in life, when you are travelling and have an hour to kill  waiting for a plane or bus, when watching a film in your lounge, or on the back of a bus, in all kinds of situations. 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.

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My teaching skills have been used in various contexts over the years and today I want to share specifically about the art teaching in schools and various art based projects. One of those is Sketchclub, a new initiative that I was led to set up in the autumn 2012. I was inspired in late August to set up a weekly art class aimed at young people through to adults from 9-80 plus years of age. I had just finished Sketchpad, a week long residential art based holiday for 10-16 year olds in Bedfordshire & was absolutely buzzing. I was in town 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 I 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.

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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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Kevin brings along reference for drawings on all kinds of themes, such as animals, trees, people, sky, sea scenes, etc. He is a keen photographer and will sometimes use photographs taken for painting or drawing reference for the students to use for a class demonstration piece.

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We have been invited to enter the Christmas Tree exhibition at the Methodist Church in December. Paintclub is on Monday evenings at the Charles Burrell Centre in The Art Studio and gives people the opportunity to express themselves in watercolours or acrylics or watercolour pencils.

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 Kevin has done a lot of teaching with children and in further education with adults over the years. He uses that experience in the art projects he initiates in East Anglia and beyond. Kevin has taught underprivileged children in the USA & Nepal.

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Kevin researched ‘King Tut’ and shared his knowledge discussing the character with the children as they worked on the art work. It proved to be a fascinating half term on Egyptian history. ‘King Tut’ died at a young age and was disabled, he often walked with a stick. Recent research suggests he may have fallen out of his chariot in a chariot race and died from the fall.

 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 and 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 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.’

 

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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 we began SKETCHCLUB at Kings Street Baptist Church in the High Street with a keen bunch of people with little advertising. Over the past year, 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. Sketchclub is now held at The Art Studio, Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford on Thursday evenings. See The Art Studio drop down section for the full week of activities run at The Art Studio from Monday to Friday, evenings included.

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Jackie finished her leopard portrait in February 2014, now we move onto to a celebrity portrait

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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. I love 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.

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 Kevin leads art clubs in schools that have led to portraits of the Queen being displayed prior to the country-wide Royal celebrations in 2012. The best portrait was sent to Her Majesty the Queen. The reference for this work was an old black and white photo when the Queen was very young.

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The portrait of Queen Elizabeth was done as a demonstration with an art club in a local school to show the children stage by stage how to develop a detailed facial drawing. It was quite a challenge for the children using the limited range of equipment available.

‘The children went on an adventure & explored uncharted waters, it was very exciting.’

From my perspective it is great to see people blossom, growing in self confidence and hungering to express themselves. I act 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 and facilitate them doing the rest, advising 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 we have 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. I will bring in prints from photographs I have taken or sometimes put 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. I am 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, I hope to do so in the coming year. Using simple pen and line work and looking at one or two caricature artists like Honour 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. Drawing skills are transferable to painting with adjustments made according to the medium used. Capturing likenesses are one of my favourite subject areas.

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

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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.

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Kevin has used oil pastels in schools, developing this underwater scene as a demonstration piece to children.  The children worked on their own pieces of work at the same time. Many people do not like oil pastels as you cannot get the same attention to fine details, however, you can explore vibrant colours.

‘Children are always surprised at how fast I can work but this is partly because I focus, get absorbed in the piece & do not talk!’

 

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All kinds of questions can be asked at Sketchclub by people of all ages. It is a healthy environment to learn. The Sketchpad residential holiday is a concentrated art experience for 6 days and is highly recommended. It is subsidized and represents super value for money and includes meals, tuition and acccomodation. If you are interested in booking a place please contact Kevin.

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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. We principally use watercolour paints, whilst some have used acrylics or water soluble oil pastels or water soluble pencils or any combination.

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Red squirrels used to be seen in Thetford Forest. I have seen them in the Lake District and they are really cute. This one was captured by Margaret at Sketchclub using water colour pencils.

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Matthew did his interpretation of a tortoiseshell butterfly in the autumn and immediately observed how his standard had improved from his first piece of work. As the bar is raised people will be keen to stretch themselves and develop to a higher standard.

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 Millie’s lion drawing in lead pencils, from a photo I took of a photogenic golden male lion in Tenerife. Sketchclub 2013

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Young students working on a leopard portrait in colour pencils and learning how to do a wash for the first time

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 It was most appreciated that the oldest silver back gorilla would come away from his TV and pose for me as the boat travelled past his island at Longleat Safari Park. He could have smiled though and given me a wave! Sheila did this one in colour pencils, Sketchclub 2013

‘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.

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 I have provided. Sometimes we work on a joint theme, sometimes I 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. I shall think about it and produce something in the coming weeks and invite the group to do so.

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 I love art, expressing art and teaching art.

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Loquacious Lilly – large marker pens by Kevin, 30 mins

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.

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Kevin produces visual aids to accompany talks in front of hundreds of primary school children in their Collective Acts of Worship times. These pictures are a good size, strong in colour & simple & effective. The children & staff enjoy the interactive visual assemblies & Kevin feels appreciated for his efforts. Kevin presents his assembly inputs in different ways depending on the visuals used. Schools like Kevin to do assemblies as he makes the Bible come alive using his visual aids in telling the stories from the Old & New Testaments.

 If you are interested in Sketchclub or any of the art sessions run by Kevin at The Art Studio please ring or email. Places are available in the coming year for people to fill. People are required to be at least 9-80 years of age and hungry to learn and regular in attendance to gain the benefit of the art club. To enquire about details please email me on: kevinmoore758@btinternet.com

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Learn how to draw and paint in the same piece with artist Kevin Moore. Lessons from Monday to Thursday and two evening clubs too. You can also have ago at some film art. Can you recognize the famous films illustrated above?

For details contact Kevin on: 01842 750060 or mobile: 07528 811219

email: kevinmoore758@btinternet.com

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