Drawing and Stitching at Deal Town Hall

Posted on May 17, 2016

On 18 April 2015 Marcia Teusink and Rosie James led the seventh of their series of ten drawing and stitching workshops exploring the WW1 connections of the DMAG partner venues.

The workshops took place at Deal Town Hall and participants had a unique opportunity to try out portrait drawing with professional and very knowledgeable WWI re-enactors Andrew and Muriel Morgan in period costume.

Colin Priest, the artist in residence, presented his project “Blackberry Tonic“, and talked about Deal’s role during WW1.

We have had some lovely feedback:

Drawing workshop:

The best thing about the workshop:

  • Realising the enormity of the task people undertook. 
  • Seeing the different approaches taken by the participants and learning from that.
  • The taking part, the hands-on and the knowledge and skills, both creative and academic passed on from everyone involved.
  • It was a new thing for me to draw people dressed in costume and I really enjoyed it.  Also, it was just a lovely environment to be in for the morning, very relaxed and fun
  • The use of the pencil to measure and to use a grid. It helped me to get my ‘person’ in proportion
  • Having an opportunity to make observational drawings of the models in that specific context (WW1 military /medical uniforms)

The most surprising thing:

  • It confirmed I can’t draw and I need to have some more help.
  • How poor my judgement of proportion was if I didn’t use the measurement technique. 
  • I have been drawing for years, although not regularly from life and I am a little rusty. I very rarely use the measuring method to scale and position figure, which Marcia explained and I found it really helpful. I’m not sure why I haven’t been using it but I will definitely use it in the future.
  • …That I liked drawing people dressed in uniform
  • that my drawing proportions seemed ok and thanks to Marcia for the tips.
  • My drawing skills are better than I thought they were!

The most interesting thing:

  • The nurses and the lives they led
  • The historical context of the day – how few professional nurses there were at the outbreak of WW1
  • I think there was some really interesting information about medical services in the area during the war provided by Andrew and Muriel
  • the use of buildings like Deal Town Hall to use as makeshift hospitals

Other comments:

  • Brilliant support and tuition. Well supported and resourced.
  • I have attended 4 drawing sessions now and I am impressed at the way each one has covered different aspects of drawing and each one felt fresh 
  • A really well paced and informal class which was informative and where I chatted to and met some new inspiring people
  • I remember the chat as we introduced ourselves and one comment was that the workshops are addictive!
  • Tips on how to draw- getting the proportions right and being shown how to draw hands.
  • Excellent teaching, very interesting subject matter and having all materials provided. Held in an attractive, historic venue with good facilities and having refreshments provided.

Stitching workshop:

The best thing about the workshop:

  • Learning to free-stitch and ‘draw’ with a sewing machine
  • Chance to make more bunting. Consolidate skills already learnt.
  •  I used my drawing as my design for the bunting flag, I kept the design simple so that I could finish it within the time we had for the workshop. I just completed it in time! Very satisfying.
  • I enjoyed being with like-minded people all working towards a larger group project

The most surprising thing:

  • How photographic images can be transferred to fabric. 
  • The nurses and their difficult lives
  • under Rosie’s excellent guidance, you can use stitch as a drawing medium
  • The wide variety of approaches that people have in working with textiles

The most interesting thing:

  • The fact that the hierarchy surrounding uniforms extended to nurses much in the same way as the fighting men.
  • Deal was a very important place for caring for the soldiers from the frontline. 
  • How to free machine embroidery and how to use bondaweb which Rosie demonstrated brilliantly.
  • How much I enjoy turning my pencil drawings into ‘textile drawings’

Other comments:

  • It was also good to hear from and talk to the resident artist at the museum. Rosie’s enthusiasm and encouragement to experiment and try out new techniques has inspired me to adopt some into my current practice.
  • Again, good company, creative thought processes and a lovely venue. Apart from tricky parking. Great tutoring, resources and creative support.
  • I just wish I had known about the workshops earlier. I have already signed up for the next one in May
  • There was good organisation…. All the artists involved in the workshop were extremely helpful, knowledgable, and friendly and I learnt new skills, I especially liked the combination of drawing and then taking it into stitch
  • Excellent tuition from Marcia and Rosie, very interesting venue and lovely, like minded people who attend the workshops. Getting the community involved in art project. Thanks DAD
  • Rosie’s workshop was very relaxed and great fun. Rosie is a calm relaxed and helpful facilitator. She provided plentiful and varied quality resources with clear guidance on how we could pursue a range of ideas. The venue was interesting, and I appreciated the good facilities, including facilities for making tea and coffee.

Photos by Clare Smith