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Explore figure drawing with Audain artist

Laurie Papou wants participants in her day-long workshop to develop their own artistic personalities



Vancouver painter Laurie Papou will present what she describes as "vignettes" to the participants in her upcoming workshop at the Audain Art Museum.

Papou — whose work features in the museum's permanent collection — is the latest Audain artist to be offering a day-long workshop at the museum as part of its In the Studio series.

"Muses, Music & Masks: Exploring Creative Figure Drawing" will use live models, music and three masks to allow participants to explore their ideas, delving into drawing and painting.

"I'm setting up situations for the student to interpret. It's not so much teaching as helping someone to find what makes them interested, what they are drawn to visually," Papou says.

"Certainly, I am going to help people with whatever level they're at or what they need help with, but specifically around drawing the figure, and also how to look at drawing the figure — composition, or focusing on one little area. How to see what you're looking at."

The workshop takes place on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $110 for Audain members, $125 for non-members. All artistic levels of experience are welcome.

"It's drawing, but there will be paint available. Interestingly, the pencils I chose to use become watercolour if you add water. It's very cool. Essentially, you can be drawing and then use the pencil to have a grey wash in the background. They're really fun," Papou says.

"I will be also using regular watercolours. I want people to have a lot of options, as far as materials go."

Students will also be encouraged to bring a camera to photograph their work in progress.

"When I have these brief encounters with people I really enjoy it. I will have a few ideas about putting things together that will be very interesting to explore," she says.

Stylistically, Papou paints detailed naturalistic large-scale figures on wood panel (she uses wood because she is allergic to canvas), but she says that what is more important than teaching realistic technique is what someone is interested in doing a drawing of and how they see it, what they are trying to project.

"I want to help them to get that understanding for themselves," she says.

"I want to create a bridge so that people understand that however they want to create art is exactly the right way."

Concepts and ideas are also important to her own work.

A painting by Papou, "She Saw Her Fallen Clothes as a Charity, a Homage to the Missing Trees," is part of the Audain Art Museum collection.

The painting is one of four created as part of Vanity Suite, life-sized figurative paintings that show one man and three women surrounded by the ruins of a West Coast clearcut.

Papou says she had originally created the four with the intention of the male figure looking across to the three female figures on opposite walls, to be interrupted by viewers coming into the space.

The destruction of the landscape in the four paintings describes innate human behaviours, according to Papou's artistic statement.

To register, call 604-962-0414 ext. 109 or email admissions@audainartmuseum.com.

For more information on this and other workshops and events, visit www.audainartmuseum.com.


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