|Drawing of pianist Neil Cowley, ink and watercolour, A4 sketchbook|
|Drawing of Bassist Rex Horan, ink and watercolour, A4 sketchbook|
As part of a week of half term activities, the event linked up Symphony Hall's Jazzlines program with the The Campaign for Drawing's Big Draw and The Big Fun, a national family arts festival. 'Mr Big plays Jazz' was a live drawing and jazz event at Birmingham Town Hall bringing to life Ed Vere's children's book about a jazz loving gorilla. The listings invited the kids to bring a pencil and pad to join in; I needed no further encouragement and snapped up a third row seat. It's very hard to get to draw at ticketed gigs. Drawing at a Neil Cowley gig would have been top of my list, and an ambition ticked off.
Now, normally I do my best to be very discreet drawing at performances and keep very much to myself. I don't assume the subjects would be in any way interested, or that they'll like being drawn. Fundamentally I draw for myself; I have my own objectives and the last thing I want is to become more conspicuous than absolutely necessary. It can be a huge challenge to draw amongst an audience, and particularly to draw people who are moving around yet get a good likeness. For a moment I began to get a bit apprehensive; the trio were going to see my drawings, and I was going to be outed.
After showing three of the best drawings by the children, Ed showed my drawing of Neil, and then Rex on bass. I took a few quick photos as he slipped my book under the projector to show everyone. I like the photo of bassist Rex Horan looking at his drawing.
I have to say the drawings looked bloody good up on a twenty foot screen. To have a band being drawn on a big screen could be a great backdrop for a relevant act. It was a fantastic event, and great to see just how people of all ages loved watching Ed draw.
I'm regretting not using better paper for these, given it was something special. The sketchbook doesn't take washes that well. I also ran out of time to properly draw Evan, their magnificent drummer.