The actual event seemed expensive (though there were bursaries) and I ruled it out on the basis of having to travel to London and remain vertical all day.
Nowadays, energy and uprightability are in very short supply. Hence, whenever possible, I avoid making plans too far ahead. The chances are I’ll have to cancel and if there’s anything worse than letting oneself down, it’s letting other people down.
So it’s a bonus when I turn up somewhere and actually do something.
And so it was with Portraits Untold on Friday 22 July 2016.
Next thing I know I’m logged in, seeing the static screen for the third and last session of Tanya Raabe-Webber’s livestreamed event at London’s National Portrait Gallery. At first I think I won’t participate because, well, I’m not geared up for it. I’ll just watch. For a bit.
But then it goes live, people start talking. The quality of the sound and picture is so good that it almost feels like I’m in the room. Definitely I feel like I’m part of something.
It’s quite exciting, actually.
I set about gathering materials, grabbing the first things that come to hand – water soluble pencil crayons, water colour pad and an automatic pencil (or propelling pencil, as we used to say in the army). I fetch a jar of water and find a couple of moth-eaten brushes.
And I’m off.
The scene on the screen changes all the time; no one’s actually posing. Evelyn Glennie is constantly moving about, shaking and banging. I take screenshots (paste them into a drawing programme) for possible future reference.
I manage three drawings. All are very scribbly indeed, because they’re done in a rush (between five and fifteen minutes each.)