top of page

Clay, Shells & Life drawing....

Mallory Henson tells us how she's been keeping herself busy ....

I have painted quite a lot since I joined the MK Society of Artists, although I have to admit that I find I haven't actually finished much! So for me I have enjoyed the chance of catching up whilst being at home.

Just before lockdown I was doing a course in working with clay, I did manage to bring some clay home so I could continue working with it. I had already made a large shell clay sculpture so decided to add some smaller ones.... and I still have a lot more clay to play with!

I asked Mallory what is was about clay that she enjoyed working with:

"I think clay is a really elemental medium, taking me back to early childhood and messy play - probably in the garden rather than in school.  It is very therapeutic and all consuming.  Clay has a life of its own and obeys its very specific rules, turning from a wet sticky substance through a leather stage to bone dry.  Next there is the magic of firing when it turns into an irreversible solid, and the excitement of glazing.  I hadn't touched clay for over 40 years, having done some basic slab and coil pots when I did my teacher training art course.  I was drawn to the creativity of sculpture and its three dimensionality.  I even hoped it would help my drawing skills. It's been a steep learning curve for me - Thank goodness for YouTube!"

Plus - Having a go at "Life Drawing Live" on BBC 4 - A real challenge!

Mallory goes onto say;

"I found this was a real challenge.  I'd watched the first one on 'catch up' but wasn't able to see the models poses sufficiently to join in properly, so I thought this time round I'd watch it live.   I had it on my big television and accessed the model view on the 'pose cam' on my tablet.  It took me a while to find out how to do this, however I did eventually sort it sufficiently to join in. 

The greatest challenge was the speed of drawing as each pose was for a very short time.  The media the 'studio' artists were using also changed (charcoal, sepia pencils, etc) so that was a bit chaotic at my end too.  The tutors are judges in painting competition programmes (Lachlan Goudi and Daphne Todd) so it was interesting to watch them in teaching mode. 

However, it was all rather a lot to process simultaneously: watching, drawing, listening to teaching points and tutors' feedback, and that was without uploading my efforts onto their website.  I resolved to just have a go rather than to produce anything of particular merit, which is just as well as it happens!  However it was fun to be sharing photos with a couple of friends who were having a go at the same time.  The programme flew by and it did feel like attending a real class, though I could do with watching the programme back to take in a bit more of what was happening in the studio.  Would I have a go again?  Yes I would but I'd be a bit more prepared with a wider range of materials, and maybe have an easel set up rather than juggling on my knee."

If you fancy having a go do let us know how you get on - Life Drawing Live can be seen at

This is my (rather messy) studio where all the creative magic happens!

82 views0 comments


bottom of page