Artists learn life skills with life model
|By Sue Tiffin - Staff Writer | November 13, 2015|
An intimate group at the Rail’s End Gallery is getting up close and personal with the human body.
The Learn to Draw and Life Drawing Explorations series of classes give students the opportunity to master the basic line before working their way up to a more challenging subject – a life model.
“The human form is one of the most beautiful things, one of the greatest creations,” said Rail’s End Gallery curator Laurie Jones. “The curves, the mass, the shadow, the crevices – it’s like a landscape. It’s not much different than a landscape.”
Rail’s End has offered a chance with a life model before, but not with instruction. Jones said the class size is small, but that offers students the chance to have a lot of contact with the instructor, Jennifer Mykolyshyn. Mykolyshyn herself has experience as a life model as well as an instructor. This background gives her the perspective of both the model and the students.
“Being on both sides of that gives me a really good understanding of what the needs of the class are, but also what the experience of the model is,” she said.
Mykolyshyn studied at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver as well as the Haliburton School of the Arts before gaining instructing experience at Camp Wanakita.
She said her group of students includes beginners with no previous drawing experience to professionals who might have practice but aren’t comfortable with drawing yet.
“Some people say, ‘I’m not creative and I can’t draw,’” said Mykolyshyn. “But drawing is a skill and everyone can learn it. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with creativity.
It’s technical. It’s the other side of the brain. It’s measuring and shading and proportion.”
Mykolyshyn is starting with the basics in the Learn to Draw program, which runs in November, before getting into more complex lessons in the Life Drawing Explorations classes.
“The students are so eager, they want to draw right away,” she said. “But you have to walk before you can run.”
She said the opportunity for artists to have affordable access to a model in a life drawing class is rare but there are important skills for any type of artist to learn when they have better understanding of anatomy. The skills learned in the class can then be applied to any form of art.
“We’re learning and we’re creating tools for later use,” said Mykolyshyn. “I want to deliver something valuable so everyone can walk away with a new skill set.”
The Life Drawing Explorations series is open to registrants and takes place on Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. until noon. For further information, visit railsendgallery.com
SUE TIFFIN is a reporter for The Highlander.