Forthcoming Session Details

Course beginning Monday 24th February 2020


Michael Kennedy will conduct the next six sessions on Monday evenings.  There will also be a printmaking week during half term, from Monday 17th February. Arrangments to attend should be made with Chairman, Anna Hughes.


                                                        The exhibition ‘Picasso and Paper’,                                                                      currently on at the Royal Academy,                                                                    London, gives us our theme for this half-                                                            term and provides us once again with a                                                              demonstration of Picasso’s enormous                                                                  energy and inventiveness. Not only did he                                                            use paper for every conceivable kind of                                                              activity, he used paper itself as a means of                                                          expression – he cut it, tore it, burnt it,                                                                stuck it, folded it - the list goes on.  More than this, he never confined himself to one type of paper.  He used everything from expensive artist’s paper to casual ‘found’ paper, what the rest of us would commonly regard as rubbish, or nowadays recycling.


This kind of versatility and inventiveness, not to mention the energy behind it all, can be off-putting. We think it leaves us with nowhere to go, nothing to say, no room to manoeuvre.  Certainly, Picasso has cast a long shadow, over his contemporaries and over pretty much the whole of the 20th century. Now, almost fifty years after his death, that shadow is less oppressive and we can be stimulated by the work of a great artist rather than intimidated by it.  Then again, some might say ‘but I don’t want to work like Picasso’, which simply begs the question ‘how did Picasso work?’  The answer is, he worked in every way, except perhaps that of complete abstraction. There is no ‘one way’ in which Picasso worked.  He drew realistically, he distorted, he maintained his own variety of cubism; he drew expressionistically, he drew classically.  So, rather than appear before us as an ‘art-monster’ I hope to demonstrate with this theme that he is an encouragement and a stimulus.


What do you need to do by way of preparation? First, and most importantly, collect paper, every conceivable kind of paper: packaging, newspaper, magazines, cartridge paper, sugar paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper and all kinds of rubbish. We can draw on it, collage with it, print on and with it, fold it, cut it, tear it up and screw it up. Then, make sure you have some scissors and perhaps a craft knife, some glue (a dry stick is best) and many different kinds of drawing materials, including paint.  Most of you normally have all of this and more so none of it is too difficult. Then go and look again at Picasso’s own work, ideally go to the exhibition if you can, although you will be able to get just as much from the course without doing that.  See what Picasso does, look at his drawings, his collages, and so on. Have a look at his subject matter and see how he approaches his different themes, not to copy him but to see where there are connections to be made with his work and your interests.


As usual, I shall come prepared with a worksheet of suggested starting points and plenty of visual stimuli by way of postcards etc.  I shall provide a fuller introduction to the theme on the first evening, as I usually do. I shall also try to get to the exhibition, ideally before the course starts but otherwise as early as possible.  It’s a very rich theme – let’s try and get as much out of it in the time as we can.  

01 Picasso and Paper.jpg