Sunday, February 5, 2017

Group Reportage from Manchester Symposium, Inside and Out

Since I won't be able to be there for our group reportage Seattle 10x10 USK workshop, June 17, I've decided to organize my sketches and post some thoughts from my experience at Marc Taro Holmes' symposium workshop last July. Finally!
Perhaps this will give those of you considering the Seattle version an idea of how it works. (We do have a few modifications to the procedure, timing, etc. for Seattle, so read the program for details.)
Knowing how much information Marc Holmes imparts in any one workshop, I had a clipboard and stack of laser jet paper as well as my usual sketchbook, pens, clips and other supplies. I'm glad I brought an adhesive tape runner so I could attach one of the card prompts he gave us.
We walked over to a plaza across the street from the museum where Marc gave us an overview of the workshop with examples and a demonstration.Then we went out to tackle our first assignment.
We no sooner began our 1 minute, 5 minute and 15 minute sketch drills than it started raining in earnest. We dashed in and out of the small lobby nearby between sketches. We shouldn't have complained. Take a look at the poor "Holme-less" students in another location that morning with Liz Steel!
The unrelenting rain forced us into the museum, where we met in a top floor room. Marc dealt out two decks of his cards, face down on the table and we all picked one for the first assignment. Then it was down the wooden staircase, card in hand, in search of a subject to sketch.
I found a display case with incredibly detailed hand sewn dolls by Jane Livesy, inspired by "things with antennae". Her pencil sketches, hand stitching and carefully selected fabrics showed a meticulous depth of research into her subject. She inspired me to find things with antennae for the first part of my reportage assignment. The assignment was based on this clipped on card from Holmes' set.
         Butterflies have antennae! So it's down a flight of stairs to capture them. I admit I found it challenging to apply the concept of the prompt and opted for basic overhead views. While running up and down the Victorian staircases, time ran out before I could even get started on the bees.
Today, I've cut down the laser jet paper to fit my Pentalic Aqua Journal and attached it and other ephemera using a permanent adhesive tape runner.
Sharing final results after round 2
It was raining so hard that I made my second sketch looking out a ground floor window at a huge monolith in a rear courtyard. Included in the photo is my prompt from Marc's set of cards, clipped to the board. Here, we are just beginning to share all our results from the group reportage. (Crummy exposure on this photo, though)
My Bee Collection Sketch
I found that many of the students needed first round and sharing after to get a grasp of how this group reportage works. I liked the fact that when we shared our sketches, we would see an entire composite of the site, not 15 views of the front of the building, or some other scene that most of us might choose to sketch on our own. The final share in Manchester was awesome! Thanks so much, Marc, for the education and  inspiration. Bravo for keeping everything going despite the weather!

Because bees are such a symbolic icon for Manchester, I really wanted to sketch them while visiting the city. I had to wait for another opportunity and the next day I finally found a small collection of bees in a drawer in the museum's children's activities room.


  1. I have such fond (and wet!) memories of that day! :-) Especially that rainbow cake!!

    - Tina

  2. Likewise! 😄 I can't believe you ate the whole thing!

  3. Fun to see Marc's Manchester Workshop thru your eyes. I was able to register this I am going to Chicago!!! Will you be there? I know Tina will be there.

    1. Thanks, Joan! Sorry for taking so long to reply but I have been under the weather lately. But YES! I am going to Chicago, too! I'm not sure if Chicago is quite ready for the three of us all at once but I think you and I and Tina should get together sometime while we're there.