Six weeks that changed my world

DOG portrait by SBS student, Annika Sylte

We just finished the first semester of Sketchbook Skool.  It has been phenomenal and beyond my wildest imaginings. One student captured it so well:

The last six weeks have been a roller coaster ride.

When I was debating whether to sign up for SBS or not, I wondered if the course was really for me. I’m not a beginner but I do know there’s always something new to learn. And as for “Beginnings” – well I have had a number of those in my life: when I opened a retail shop after training as a teacher; when I started over as a single person after divorce; and when I immigrated to Australia three and a half years ago to earn my living as an artist and teacher. (Yep crazy I know!)

And I figured, the blurb said “Beginning” not “Beginner” so what did I have to lose. Then when I listened to Danny talk about creativity and repression and starting the practise of daily drawing, I knew why I signed up. I wanted to draw every day. I wanted to draw my life.

The course has been fast paced. The warm up – an admonishment from Danny to use only pen, Koosje’s urging to draw outside and to try coloured pencils (still not my best) Then enjoying Prashant’s lyrical approach to journals and his dreamy watercolours had many struggling with the medium — more due to incorrect choice of paper than any lack of ability. Jane’s approach to page layout and the freedom to pick up a pencil again made many sigh with relief. By the time Roz Stendhal wowed us with her journals and her ever generous comments and links to reviews, we were all addicted to SBS. she showed us that drawing animals and birds isn’t as scary as it seems. Her compilation of answers at the end of the week is almost a book. I have only scratched the surface of information it contains.

As more and more of us escaped the klass room and hung out in the playground, we discovered that this wasn’t just a Skool with boring lessons and strict teachers but a very kool place filled with funny talented friends. We found kindred spirits to lift us when we felt down, to support our efforts to lock the monkeys in the cupboard, to praise our drawings and most of all to share a laugh.

Then, this last week and Tommy Kane, the Kross-hatch King set us an assignment that had many running for cover. Slowly the results of hours and hours of careful, painstaking drawing started to go up on the FB page. What an amazing assortment of wonderful drawings! And how appreciative we all were when Tommy congratulated us on our efforts. Like kids we jumped up and down with joy because our teacher liked our work!! Yay! Certainly there are no more “Beginners” in this klassroom.

Thank you for the best six weeks. Ever. I can’t wait for the next semester.

           — Carol Lee Beckx, Brisbane, Australia

If you’d like to experience what Carol and thousands others have, join us for the next semester of Sketchbook Skool, starting July 4th.