Jenny’s Workshop wonder

As I claim my workshops are for the novice to advanced student maybe a little proof is needed? My July UK workshop had a spare place that my wife Jenny decided to take. Some background information might help here – Jenny does the catering for us (with her friend Ruth “cakes” Harrison) and…… well, perhaps I should let Jenny tell you…

“As Mike’s wife I’m always being asked by artists at his workshops if I am an artist too, but I haven’t drawn or painted since I was about twelve years old.

We had a spare place in the July workshop, so I decided to take it. The first day I worked my way through all the exercises alongside everyone else, and then began the main drawing of the workshop in the late afternoon. I chose to draw a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel that Mike photographed in Yellowstone Park, when were there in June to hold his 5-day workshop.

My drawing is about 6″ × 5” and Mike drew the guide-line drawing for me, as he does for every artist in his workshops. I don’t have a lot of patience and thought I would quickly become bored but, once I began drawing, the time went so quickly. Everyone was lucky to get their lunch (my department) and cake!

The next day I really couldn’t wait to get started on my drawing again. Although I’ve watched Mike draw for almost 30 years, I never thought I’d ever try it myself – and now I want to begin planning my next one!

'Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel' by Jenny Sibley at a Mike Sibley UK drawing workshop
© 2008 “Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel” by Jenny Sibley

Now my Ground Squirrel is finished I must admit that the hardest part was the rocks. I found the fur easier because I know what animal hair looks like, but I don’t know anything about rocks. Mike told me to keep them simple, just to take my pencil for a walk, and let the eye make its own mind up about what they actually look like. I really must read that Drawing from Line to Life book 🙂

Mike didn’t help me more than anyone else during the workshop and fortunately, unlike husbands teaching wives to drive, he has enough patience for both of us. What’s next?? A Donkey… because I can’t persuade Mike to draw one.

And, if you’re planning on attending one of our UK workshops, please don’t worry about having to eat Mike’s rock buns – I promise I’ll still do the catering!”

I hope you agree with me that Jenny’s drawing is something she should be justifiably proud of – I know I am.