Tuesday 8 December 2015

A workshop with Cas Holmes

I spent the weekend at a Stitch Retreat organised by the amazing Nichola.  The workshop I was on was taught by the fabulous Cas Holmes and was called Edgelands:Layers, Stitch and Marks.

I usually go to workshops on my own and unless it's at Art from the Heart I don't know anyone at the workshop.  This leads to some anxiety on my part on the way there and a stern talking to myself about being friendly and talking to people.  The ladies on the course were all friendly and the three ladies at my table were really lovely and shared ideas.

The workshop started at 4pm on Friday afternoon.  And it started with what I hate most.  Drawing!  Yet another stern talking to myself inside my head about not bursting in to tears or walking out!  Cas took us through the drawing exercise and then we had to give our drawing to someone else.  At this point I was screaming inside - draw in someone else's book!  Have someone draw in my sketchbook!!!!  Arrggh!  Anyway after I had come down from these thoughts it turned out we were tracing over the person's drawing.  Phew!  And then we had our sketchbooks back and incorporated the other person's drawing into our own page.   My drawing is on the right.

I wanted to be able to work on my Venice theme rather than nature based topics.  Cas suggested that for my 'homework' I should use the same drawing exercise but use a piece of Venice source material.  I had this with me.

So later, after a large glass of wine!, I drew this.  The point of the exercise was to start drawing and not lift your pen off the paper until you had got to the end!

Tomorrow on my weekly Venice project blog post I'll show you what happened with this.

The whole weekend was great.  Once I calmed down from the drawing exercise and saw how Cas worked I had such a lovely time.  Doing the exercise was one way to get us to not be so 'precious' about what we produce and helped Cas to see how we worked and how to adjust her teaching plan to the makeup of the group.  Brilliant.

Over the rest of the weekend Cas shared her processes and demonstrated some techniques.  The rest of the time we worked on our own projects and Cas went round suggesting ideas or asking us questions.

Despite a full on weekend I came home really energised about my Venice project and how I can move forward with it.

My really bright light-bulb moment was sometime on Saturday when I realised that my artwork didn't have to be a true representation of my Venice photos but that it could be a reflection of those things that attract me in the architecture.
A page in my sktechbook
You can find out more about Cas' work and her processes in her books The Found Object and Stitch Stories.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I think you did a great job drawing the buildings of Venice! I'm impressed! :)

  2. I love your drawing without taking the pen off the page- why do you think you can't draw??


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