Budding artists, young and old, are being encouraged to dig out their sketchbooks this summer in preparation for a national drawing initiative taking place in October.
The Big Draw is co-ordinated by the Campaign for Drawing, whose patrons include Quentin Blake and David Hockney. Many Cumbrian schools and clubs regularly take part, but this year, as part of Cumbria's See it Do it arts awareness campaign, Cumbria County Council wants people to get involved and start preparing in the summer so that even more people can join in and discover the joy and power of drawing.
Art groups, schools, clubs and organisations are all being encouraged to develop activities this summer and post their events on the See it Do it website www.seeitdoit.org.uk
Drawing activities which take inspiration from Cumbria and its landscape are particularly welcome. The county's breathtaking scenery has inspired artists for generations - but people may want to try drawing less well known areas of the county or literally go beneath the surface and use underground materials such as earth pigments, chalk, coal or graphite to create their work. Cumbria's links with drawing stretch back over centuries, particularly thanks to the discovery of large quantities of pure graphite at Seathwaite, which prompted a boom in the pencil making industry in the area.
Big Draw month will run throughout October, with the main Big Draw day on October 9th. Events held during the summer will be able to display their work in October.
One event already in the pipeline for The Big Draw is The Big Face, where self-portraits of thousands of schoolchildren from across Cumbria and Lancashire will be used to create a gigantic artwork of a human face. It is hoped 29,000 self-portraits will make up each pixel of the massive artwork being created by artist Louise Bradley. ArtisanCam, who are organising the project, will be asking every primary school in Cumbria and Lancashire to take part. The winner of the best self-portrait will receive an iPod touch and the winning school will get the services of an artist for a day.
Cherrie Trelogan, Cumbria County Council's arts participation officer said:
"Drawing is a powerful form of expression that has been part of human life for thousands of years and can be done by all ages at very little cost. Techniques are boundless and can range from designs drawn in the sand to computer animation, from maps and technical drawings to cartoons or drawings with light beams. Let's show the rest of Britain what a creative county Cumbria is."
Media enquiries to Gareth Cosslett, News Manager on 01228 226332