The BIG Draw

For the past 15 years the Big Draw  ( has been growing in popularity.  It all started way back as a one day national event in 2000 to celebrate the act of drawing.  People are often intimidated by even just the word “drawing” and if I was to stop 10 random people in the street and ask them if they could draw me something simple like a house, probably 8 of them would mumble some excuse about not being able to draw.  But what IS drawing?  Is it really the accurate rendition of a particular object or scene in a realistic manner?  Or does it go deeper than that.  The simple act of doodling is drawing, and it really isn’t necessary to be able to draw like Michelangelo to create something interesting and unique which can be appreciated by others.  There is much written about drawing and I have previously written about it in earlier posts.  Drawing is a personal act, it’s a visual language and there really isn’t a right or wrong way to do it.

The Campaign for Drawing ( was set up in 200 by the Guild of St George (which in turn was set up by John Ruskin (Victorian writer on art, history and social and economic issues which helped to shape Victorian cultural life) as a charity to aid education of artisans.  The Guild in turn started the Campaign for Drawing to promote Ruskin’s belief that drawing is a key to understanding and knowledge.  The Campaign for Drawing is now an independent charity. It works to raise the profile of drawing and promotes it as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement.

This weekend Arundel Museum ( working in partnership with the West Sussex branch of NDFAS ( hosted a 2 day Big Draw event.  The theme for this year’s event was Every Drawing Tells a Story and in Arundel the idea was to create an Arundel Street Timeline telling the story of the town.  The lead artist was Ellie, a teacher from Northbrook College who produced a fabulous backdrop as a framework on which the children taking part could place their own carefully crafted drawings and collages.


Ellie adds extra flourishes to the Big Draw timeline backdrop

Sunday morning dawned bright and fair and after a slow start the visitors picked up with both parents and children getting involved.  Some used photocopy photographs as inspiration, others visited the museum first and found inspiration in the objects on display.


Photos for inspiration from the permanent collection at the museum


big draw


Big Draw panels taking shape

A few brave souls even took up the offer of clip boards and ventured out into the town to make their drawings from actual buildings in the town.


Clip boards for braver artists in the foyer

My own humble contribution was the application of collaged pieces and drawings to the background and locating art materials for participants.


One of several “creation stations” at the Arundel Big Draw

I had a lovely time and met some really nice people and it was a real treat to see lots of young families out and about doing something together.

taking part

Two artists of the future taking part in the Big Draw


About paisleypedlar

Artist, Sewist, sometime Cyclist and Arm Chair Activist
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