Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Drawing with Danny

A few weekends ago, from May 31 - June 2, I was able to join a group of 40+ fellow sketchers for a drawing workshop in the Berkshire Mountains in Rowe, Massachusetts... hosted by Danny Gregory!


Danny's books and blog, and all of the artists that I have "met" through him, have kept me inspired and drawing in my own sketchbook consistently for four years now. (This was my first blog post, talking about how inspired I was by Danny's book, An Illustrated Life. And here's another that I posted for Illustration Friday where I mentioned Danny's book again!) 

So for Danny to give a workshop that was affordable and within driving distance was almost unbelievable for me. With the encouragement of my amazing husband, I signed up immediately!

Highlight's of the weekend: taking an eight hour road trip with one of my favorite people (my youngest sister, Molly, came with me!)...  talking about drawing and art throughout the weekend with so many like-minded sketchers... being in the mountains, (the drive from Albany, NY to Rowe Camp and Conference Center was especially beautiful!)... eating dinner and chatting with Danny and his girlfriend, Jenny... going through as many of Danny's personal journals as I could; in fact, Saturday night was a bit surreal for me when Danny shared over 45 of his own journals with our group. It was just incredible to be sitting there looking through them and recognizing pages I've seen in his books, and pouring over hundreds more that I had never seen before.

I still can't believe I was able to participate in his first workshop.

And then... just to blow my mind a little bit more... the day after we got home, Danny posted a blog entry about his experience teaching his first workshop, and included a photo of a drawing I did of a firetruck from when we visited the local fire department. After following his blog religiously for four years, there sat one of my drawings on his blog.


No, wait. I don't think that can even be considered "a dream come true." I don't think even my crazy imagination could have dreamed that one up. That was really a bit insane to see my drawing on his blog.

That weekend will go down in history as one of the greatest for me. I will be forever thankful that Danny wanted to do a workshop and that I was able to join in on the fun.

Links and photos from an unforgettable weekend...

Danny's blog post the day after the workshop.

A video Danny made a few weeks later about the workshop.

My photos:

The Berkshire Mountains
Entrance to Rowe Camp & Conference Center
Time to sign in!

Carved tree stump outside The Farmhouse
The house Molly and I stayed in

Below was the result of Danny's first lesson: draw what you see, not what you think you see. 

Before he began teaching anything that first night, Danny handed each of us two post-it notes. One had lines all over it and the other was blank. We were asked to take the blank post-it note and draw exactly what we saw on the other one. And then we handed them all back in to him. During his lesson, Danny talked about a man who had never drawn or painted his whole life, but in retirement hired someone to teach him to paint. And then he painted and painted and painted. Like him or not, this person turned out to be George Bush. At the very end of the lesson, after Danny and Jenny had assembled all of the post-it's that we had drawn, they turned the flip-chart around. The entire class had recreated one of Danny's drawings - one square at a time!
The result of the first lesson
There's my square in the middle!
A quick sketch of my delicious coffee
My drawing of Molly
Lunch was quickly eaten. Dessert was drawn.... and then eaten.
At the fire station
My drawing of one of the fire trucks
Jenny, Danny, Molly, and me.

Dream. Come. True!



  1. LOVE THIS!! So happy you had a great time and I love your work...always have! -Lesley

  2. Thanks so much for posting this! I had such a great time that weekend. And now I have another cool blog to follow...yours!

  3. Thanks for visiting my little blog and taking the time to post something! :)