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Isle of Man Drawing Club, June 2017 Meeting Recap

By Kim Graziano of Kim Gee Studio

When I moved to the Isle of Man from New York City in early 2016, the first thing I did was search for a local life drawing class. There were plenty of “drink and draw” nights at bars back in Brooklyn, but after dozens of Google searches and asking everyone I met about drawing groups, it became clear that the trend hadn’t caught on yet in the Isle of Man.

After a year on the island and no news on the drink and draw front, I finally realized that if I wanted a drawing group I was going to have to make one myself. The Isle of Man Drawing Club was born! I designed a logo, made a Facebook page, found a pub with good decor and ample seating, and picked a date. I pushed a Facebook event live, and people were actually interested! It seemed like there were a lot of artists on the island doing the same Google searches as me, ready for a social drawing group but hoping someone else would actually make it happen.

And so on 15 June I found myself standing on a stool at The British, introducing myself to 28 local creatives of all ages and occupations. The theme for the first event was Portraits, and I led the group through a series of timed poses where they drew the club member across from them. It seemed like a good choice for our first meeting: staring at a person’s face for 5 minutes is a great way to get to know someone, even if you’re just trying to get their profile right! Everyone was chatting, there was zero pretension or bad attitudes, people just seemed happy to be drawing. It was exactly what I’d hoped for.

After drawing each other for the first hour or so we moved on to self-portraits, then spent some time refining the drawings we worked on earlier that evening. We closed the night the same way we opened it, with 5 minutes of 20 second gesture drawings to keep us from getting too precious about our work. I then asked everyone to pick their favorite drawing from the night and lay it out on their table, and we walked around and mingled, checking out each other’s work and exchanging business cards with new friends.

After the success of the first meeting I got to work coordinating the second one, and decided to take things up a notch. I booked out the private room upstairs at The British instead of making a pub-level reservation, and reached out to a local burlesque dancer about modeling for the club with all her feathery props. I’m finally getting my figure drawing group after all! The meeting is on 20 July, and should be ever better than the last one. All are welcome regardless of skill level, as long as you love drawing we’d love to have you there!

Kim

 

 

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Manx Cancer Help’s Art Project

** UPDATE **

It’s the last week of this fantastic show and so far over £3,000 has been raised, which is brilliant and thank you, but we believe it has the potential to raise £5,000! Please show your support by visiting the gallery in Laxey (Saturday is the last day) to buy one of the fabulous pieces on display which are amazingly good value from a minimum starting donation of £5 – and of course more if you wish.The artworks below are by some of our best known, practicing artists – please read on for more information about sending in a bid…..

The exhibition of nearly 500 mini canvases measuring 5″ x 5″ opened to the public on Saturday at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey Woollen Mills. Curated by the very talented and extremely patient Julia Ashby-Smyth this is an art show with a difference. The canvases, which were generously sponsored by CuPlas Callow, have been painted, stitched, stuck and decorated in every manner by all kinds of people, from youngsters through to well known, practicing local artists.

The project was designed to raise money for the charity by engaging people in a different way. Very often fundraisers are around sporting activities, coffee mornings and themed events but the idea behind this was to get people use their creative skills to do something they perhaps wouldn’t normally do and to get people of all ages and abilities to have some fun. It has certainly achieved its aims in terms of the social aspect of this project.

Andrea Chambers, CEO of the Charity said that ‘life is a blank canvas’ and invited people to paint their inspiration. The variety of artwork submitted is both astonishing and inspiring; Life, love and landscapes; flora, fauna and feathers; hearts and stars; avocados and bananas, dogs, cats and family – it’s all there.

The canvases are for sale starting from £5 – although you can donate more of course – and each piece has a guide price. The lovely peeps at the gallery have waived all commission on the sale of these paintings which means that every penny goes to support the charity. If you haven’t been to the gallery before it’s just over the bridge on Glen Road. This show is the perfect reason to pay them a visit, so please do support both the art project and the Woollen Mills. The show runs until 15th July.

The main reason for this post, however, is not only to tell you about the project and ask you to support it, but particularly to show you the pieces which have been made by the established and practicing artists of the island. These are for sale by silent auction with a starting price of £40. To secure your favourite you can either leave a sealed bid at the gallery or, if you can’t get there for any reason, you can email through your bid to Julia at the gallery: julia@laxeywoollenmills.com. For ease of administration, please put the artist number, name and your bid all in the subject line, e.g. “61 Natalie Norton £96”.

Huge thanks to everyone who has supported this project, not only the organisers and the lovely Julia and John at the Woollen Mills, but also everyone who has taken the time to produce a mini masterpiece and help to promote the event… (if I’ve missed anyone, my apologies and thanks to you too).

Please bid generously. If you’d simply like to make a donation to the charity instead of bidding for a canvas you can click on the link at the top of the page which will take you to the Manx Cancer Help donation page.

Click on the pictures and scroll through to see them in the Lightbox.

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Jeremy Paul depicts Manx BirdLife in latest stamp issue

jeremy-paul-stamps

The Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present a set of six stamps featuring the artworks of renowned local wildlife artist, Jeremy Paul, in celebration of the conservation work of the Manx Birdlife Census. The stamps are due for issue on June 29th.

A Census of all seabirds nesting around the Isle of Man’s coastline was undertaken in 2017 by local charity, Manx BirdLife, who work to protect the Islands wild birds and the habitats on which they depend. The research, which is ongoing, was aimed at monitoring the Islands diverse coastal bird life.

Lancashire born, Jeremy Paul has lived on the Isle of Man for many years now. He originally trained as a marine biologist and is a completely self-taught artist, the essence of his work being the accurate portrayal of wildlife in its environment. Jeremy has won awards for his work including BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year – Category Winner 2010, 2011, 2012 and the British Wildlife Award at the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art 2015. He has also just been shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s (DSWF) Wildlife Artist of the Year award.

For this stamp issue Jeremy has painted six species of birds, each of which are of Conservation Concern within the British Isles.

Jeremy Paul depicts Manx BirdLife in latest stamp issue

Wading through the shallow sea water, two oystercatchers can be seen on the 47p stamp, with their boldly coloured black and white bodies, distinctive red bills and legs.

The 80p stamp shows both the male and the female eider duck floating in the calm sea. The male’s unmistakable black and white plumage is particularly striking, as well as the way Jeremy Paul has captured the rippled reflection of the eider in the undulating sea.

The little tern, a bird whose population has been boosted in the Isle of Man due to conservation efforts, can be found on the 98p stamp. The little tern is shown resting in the pebbles and shells of the coast.

The fulmar, which can be found on the steep cliff site of the Manx coast, can also be found on the £1.18 stamp. The fulmars are sat in a nest of local fauna and the burst of colour provided by the flowers and grass give an indication of the variety of settings provided by the Manx coastline.

The £1.30 stamp shows the black guillemots with their black and white feathers on a serene ocean. The Isle of Man hosts around 600 individuals, 1% of the breeding population of the British Isles.

Finally the £1.94 stamp shows a group of black and white Razorbills on a cliff face overlooking the sea. Like many seabirds the species is vulnerable, due to the pressures on food caused by a range of factors including climate change.

Commenting on the stamps, Jeremy Paul said:

‘The Island is a great place to observe coastal and seabirds so I was delighted to be asked to produce this series. The main problem was to decide which birds to choose. I think the selection reflects some of the variety we see around the Island and it was a pleasure to work on the paintings. It is always a thrill to see the first set of stamps – I always think of them as tiny limited edition prints which travel the world!’

Isle of Man Stamps & Coins General Manager, Maxine Cannon, said:

‘We are delighted to release this set of stamps to celebrate the important conservation work of Manx BirdLife on the Island. It’s also a pleasure to work once again with Jeremy on these beautiful designs which he uses his distinct artistic style to bring the birds to life.’

The Coastal Birds stamp issue can now be pre-ordered at http://www.iompost.com.

Issued by Health and Social Care, 20 June 2017