Life Drawing Activity with a difference!

Apologies for a belated post.  However, I’m sure you will think its been worth the wait ….

Mid-February we braved a wet and windy night, with gusts of lashing rain, to attend the monthly Members Meeting.  Thankfully the hall was warm and welcoming, with the heating turned-up especially high for what was to come.  President Sue opened the meeting, welcoming members (including several of those that are new) and visitors. She then introduced Chris Formaggia, our ‘Life Drawing’ tutor for the evening.

Sue explained that our original life model was now unable to attend* but that, as President, she had devised a cunning contingency plan.  Then, with what was to shortly reveal itself as a bit of dramatic skulduggery, Debbie advised her that our replacement model had just texted to say she had arrived in the carpark, but was having difficulty finding her way into the building in the dark.  Sue invited Chris to begin his tutorial whilst she went to find our model.


After a few minutes the door to the hall opened and there were gasps of amazement as Sue entered dressed in only a dressing-gown. Gasps turned to supportive applause as, with a flourish, Sue discarded her gown to reveal her naked self, “scars and all” (Sue’s words).   Chris then directed Sue through a series of poses, whilst with determined concentration we endeavoured to capture a likeness in charcoal and chalk.

When time was up, Debbie thanked Chris and gave an extra special thanks to Sue for being so courageous. If we weren’t before, we are now totally in awe of our President.  Shaky on adrenaline, Sue somehow managed to steer members’ attention to the sign-up sheets, art-themed raffle, Spring Show flyers, and Sarah’s upcycling display.  She declared it time for refreshments (which for her included a well-earned G&T).

*(Following the meeting Sue sent an email out to all the members confessing that: I spun you at bit of a tale last night. I had, for a while, thought about challenging myself and my boundaries by doing it. Our planned model stood aside to allow me to do that and for that I am grateful.  So, I wasn’t compelled to stand in at the last minute, it was planned.”)

Following the break, Chris was invited to remain with us whilst he did his own life drawing of BRWI – members were relieved to be told they could remain clothed.

Some points of Interest in the second half of the meeting….


The new Upcycling sub-group is to be led by Sarah, who was pleased to report that she already has a number of members signed-up to her inaugural session of: ‘Upcycling a T-Shirt’.  Her brilliant display of up-cycling ideas certainly gave us a taste of things to come.  What a great way to increase BRWI’s green credentials!



Sarah has certainly been busy this month.  In addition to her upcycling display, she had sourced and put together an eye-catching raffle, prizes of which were art-themed to reflect the evening’s activity.  There were certainly plenty of delighted smiles from those lucky enough to win one.

Jack reported on the great progress made by the BRWI Summer Camp planning team.  A wide variety of activities are to be on offer and, to name just a few, include: a walk; crafting; and beer tasting.  We look forward to learning more over the coming months, with formal application forms being available soon.

Lesley reminded us that our Spring Show competition (Bonnets, Bouquets, and Bunnies) is to be held at the March meeting. Along with our Autumn Show competition, these replace the competition cup held in previous years.  There are 5 wide-ranging classes, each with a 1st prize of a £10 voucher.  Sue informed us that she was busy sourcing an independent ‘celebrity’ judge – who can that be?  You’ll have to attend the meeting to find out! (NB as our March meeting has been cancelled, for obvious reasons, the show is postponed to a later date)

Jan kindly provided an overview of the BRWI walking group. She emphasised that walks were usually in the region of 4 miles and not the 9 miles some walkers liked to believe they had endured!  As well as being mindful of distance, Jan makes sure that walks are not hilly nor too muddy, so that they are accessible to most of us.

Still in her dressing gown (could this be a future presidential trend?) Sue thanked members for their kindness that evening and reminded them it was “Small acts of kindness week”. She invited members to go home and be kind to someone they loved and then a neighbour or a random stranger the next day. She then closed the meeting and wished everyone a safe journey home.

Words and Pics:  Debbie Brooks

To view Debbie’s full February Meeting Record click Members Meeting Record Feb20

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