Thursday, 22 January 2009

Doodle Earth; we came , we saw, we drew our socks off!

Well, Happy New Year! 2009 and it's gonna be just fine! Doodle Earth 2008 has come and gone, schools have swapped their postcards in the biggest littlest school exchange programme that we know about - with almost military like organisation, but a million times more fun! It's been a blast for us 3 artists, being able to go to so many different schools and meet so many young artists drawing such beautiful and interesting maps and postcards that show us what's important to them in their local world.

Please do read on for pictures, stories and photos from the schools by the artists, and keep a lookin now and again for updates.

Best for now, and for all the fun drawing to do in 2009!

Jenny, (one of the three).

Friday, 28 November 2008


Hello all. Last post from Michelle. I could hardly believe it was all coming to an end as I arrived on Luing for my last day big drawing. How wonderful to spend time at the school I was told I couldn't miss, though getting stopped by boisterous cattle along the road, I made slow progress. This beautiful lighthouse is Fladda, the young artists told me.

Lauren created a marvellous textured land and sea scape, complete with gulls, so atmospheric.
And how could I not mention Stewart. To my utter delight, Stewart and I realised that we had met before. On my first visit to Luing in April I had been walking through a field of cattle and got a bit terrified by all the stomping as I could see they were nervous of us around their young. Up drove a friendly young farmer on his quad bike, nonchalantly telling us not to worry and just to keep on walking. That 8 year old farmer was Stewart. And that's his dad's smashing tractor below.

What a wonderful end to an extraordinary, indescribable journey. Thank you to everyone I met along the way, you made it what it was. This is Michelle Letowska, signing out.


Good morning, Michelle here. Rockfield Primary P6 were a pure joy to work with for the whole day. They just laughed and laughed and laughed at the results of their left handed and closed eyed drawings....its always such a suprise what ends up happening on the page when your eyes are closed.
Everyone had put some serious effort into their preparatory drawings so we had lots and lots of material to work with.

These inspiring cards show some of the things the children thought were important. Friends, of course, and below, the school itself, both drawn absolutely beautifully.

Easdale and Kilninver

Hello hello, Michelle again. Easdale Primary is a lovely wee school on the island of Seil, just across the water from Easdale island. All 34 children took part in lots of drawing fun, including this young chap drawing himself using his left hand. Not a bad likeness at all!

After the break the older children made a whole range of beautiful postcard to send to Lochgoilhead primary. The one above show a fantastically sunny day of fishing aboard a trawler.

After forgetting my box of treats (materials) and getting horrendously lost, I eventually made it to Kilninver Primary, who threw themselves (including the teacher!) into creating some fantastic renditions of each other. The class told me all about the recent mapping work and pointed out lots of marvellous things that would inspire their card.

This lovely night scene of the bay was carefully rendered using soft pastels on dark card.

Achaleven and Dunbeg

Good Monday morning its me, Michelle. What better place to start the week than Achaleven Primary? Down through the old school and out in the yard is a little cabin for the older children. Their view over Loch Etive is a well kept secret that, through their stunning observational drawings, they are about to share with the world.

After a fabulous morning of drawing exercises and lots of fun drawing classmates using the wrong hand, the group produced a superb array of postcards. I just adore this picture of Connel bridge with a pheasant in the foreground.

Only a few minutes down the road from Achaleven is the lovely school at Dunbeg. The afternoon had erupted into rays of sunshine, so our lovely warm classroom became a hive of activity.
The postcards from Dunbeg were inspired by not only the surroundings but by the people, as the postcard above testifies. And isn't this a marvellous dappled horse, complete with tartened and bearded rider?

Kilchrenan and Dalmally

Kilchrenan is a delightful little school along another single track road that seems endless. Their newly landscaped garden is coming along very nicely and the P4s to 7s were a lovely group who didn't miss a chance to draw their teacher Mr Dickie in one continuous line (not a bad likeness at all).

After lots and lots and lots of quick drawings, maps and planning, a brilliantly diverse range of postcards began to materialise. I loved this one of all the older pupils and staff at the school, every single one with a big grin on their face.
On to Dalmally in the afternoon, once again further than I thought (must be something to do with not driving often, this losing all sense of distance versus time!). The school had undertaken an unbelievable amount of preparation and their sketches of the area hung on a washing line all around the classroom as postcard inspiration.

This psychedelic electricity pylon is just beautiful (yes, a pylon)...

as was this rather more sombre but stunning landscape.

Lochnell and Ardchattan

Hello people. Michelle again. Lochnell Primary has over 20 P6 pupils so our large group spent the morning looking over their wonderful preparatory work. The whole class had made beautiful studies of the school building and drawn four pictures of things they saw on the way to school. After lots of the old favourite warm up exercises, we spent some time creating collaborative maps, discussing and drawing pictures which would help to navigate the area and mark out special features.

Everyone then chose an image to draw for their postcard so that we ended up over twenty beautiful, individual drawings to send on to their link school. I loved the pencil work on this postcard, its so carefully done.

After a fantastic homemade lunch at the school, I packed up and headed up to Ardchattan which was further than I thought....the road just seemed to go on and on and on. The tiny school of only eight pupils were quietly drawing when I arrived, so everyone was ready to try some eyes closed and wrong handed drawing to liven things up a bit.

As the afternoon drew on, beautifullly confident and colourful postcards emerged - these two are different takes on the same groups of houses. Smoke billows gently from wood fires in one and another wonderfully and carefully documents every single house in the round.