Marie-Louise’s research is centred on her teaching and informed by her practice Marie-Louise teaches a programme of prescriptive drawing exercises designed to extend and develop drawing language and practice. Each course focuses on a different area of drawing practice and drawing making with the emphasis is on seeing; intense scrutiny of the model/set up, through concentrated drawing exercises which feature physical, time and media constraints.
The drawing exercises offer artists the chance to closely consider their drawing process. There is an emphasis on exercises which develop artist’s ability to bypass the knowing/thinking in drawing and let seeing flow into drawing. There is a natural leaning towards the abstract when working with some of the processes which are designed to create the opportunity for the refinement of individual drawing language components which artists can then incorporate in their practice. Other processes may generate a more figurative response.
The courses are structured to encourage group learning and with that an environment for experimentation, as each artist has a unique response to the exercises and the group learns from each other’s developing language. Many of the exercises are adapted from tried and tested methods which I have used throughout my years of drawing practice, research and teaching and some artists may have experienced similar processes in their undergraduate education. However, I am constantly surprised at how many highly trained artists have not had the opportunity to work in this way. I teach from a personal practice standing: I see drawing as a full body experience and teach in that way. The ‘qualia’ quality of the drawing is what is being explored in the sessions as it is taken as fact that the artists involved will have developed formidable drawing skills previous to the course and will already use drawing a number of ways in their practice. Self-scrutiny within the process is vital and therefore there is a conscious move away from traditional ‘competitive’ life class. This is a chance for artists to consider at the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ in their drawing process which is why crits and continuous personal and group reflection are an integral part of the sessions.
Exercise themes include mark making and rhythm, collaborative drawing and authorship, exploring linear language, empty space and energetic drawing, an emotional response.