OFS Fundraising Officer (and resident roving reporter) Ellie went along to a session of the Drawing Club, to see what it’s all about.

These days we experience the world through pixels; people spend around half of their waking hours looking at screens, so it can be easy to forget the nostalgic joy of putting pen to paper. Fortunately, here at the Old Fire Station, we have a budding community of people who are rediscovering the magic of drawing. Enter Drawing Club.

That sounds great, but I’m still not sure whether it’s really for me.

Well then, sit back and let me take you on a journey.

On a Saturday evening in September, our graceful host Bethan welcomed us into the space. ‘Feel free to grab a coffee and cake,’ she said (the new blueberry and cardamom cake is really good), ‘And don’t worry too much about anything, just express yourself and have fun.’

A group of students had popped in to escape the cold: ‘We just came in for coffee after the market and were asked if we wanted to join. We were like, yeah, let’s grab a marker and let’s go!’

In primary school tea towel style, Bethan asked us to sketch miniature self-portraits, and together we produced 20 very different masterpieces, depicting how we wanted to represent ourselves to each other. Some people wore hats, some wore ogre ears. Some people were very happy, some were unamused. Some people weren’t people at all, but trees and butterflies are also welcome at Drawing Club.

‘How do you feel so far?’ I asked another table.

‘Joyous. Creative. Free.’

One of the activities, the Distorted Face Trace, involved taping tracing paper to a mirror and sketching your own face, layering and distorting the images through different angles and perspectives.

I didn’t really like how mine turned out. But it didn’t matter! Because it’s not just about what we draw. Drawing Club is a place to unwind, find calm and escape the stresses of life. Oh, what a sanctuary!

The last activity – The Exquisite Corpse – involved groups of 3 people taking turns to draw on a sheet of paper, folding it down to conceal their own sketch: head, torso, legs. And this is where everybody’s artistry shined. We had three-eyed aliens growing out of tree trunks wearing wellington boots, we had Groot on skis, triceratops who were also mermaids, an octopus wearing a hula skirt whose legs were made out of lego. The list goes on.

Drawing Club sounds fantastic! How do I join?

We’re so glad you asked. No need to book, just turn up to the Old Fire Station Café on Saturday 18 November, 5-6pm. It’s free. The theme is Dance, featuring life modelling with a professional dancer. See you there!