Drawing - should I stop thinking. Or think more?!?!

Why do I draw? It’s a question I have been thinking about a lot recently.

More so whilst I am here in Mexico, mainly because there are lots of things to draw - or rather perhaps lots of things I feel like I should be drawing. I always have a feeling when I see something interesting that says ‘ Oh I should be drawing that’ but then I sit down to draw it and nothing really inspires me or I end up doing it and getting very impatient that it’s not finished yet and hating the end result and myself a bit. I know I am not ‘meant’ to draw anything - so why then is there is internal feeling to do so? Does it come from a place of wanting to or ‘feeling I should - because I always have; mentality.

When I was younger I drew all the time and it was for the joy of it! I loved to draw and subconsciously it was probably a way of working the world out. When I got older and was at school and moved into 6th form it was the basis for all of my work, I drew an idea before anything else and I was encouraged to do so and I loved to experiment with different methods / styles.

At university it continued, I have pages and pages of sketchbooks of doodles, ideas and notes. I think whilst I was there though something changed within me and I stopped drawing for pleasure and started to draw with more intention and reason. Then when I found something out or go to a point of inquisition I was happy with, the drawing seemed a bit redundant. The pleasure aspect almost seemed ridiculous, as if there always needed to be a reason or a ‘brief’ to draw and that feeling has stayed with me ever since.

Now when I sit down to draw I will myself to be inquisitive, but I find it pointless. I hear myself saying - why don’t you just take a picture. I would just take a picture if there wasn’t this feeling of the continued will to draw something. An artist I follow on Instagram - Trevor H.Smith - you can follow his interesting instagram HERE> posted about this too recently. How he had to overcome a fear of drawing. I had suspected that I might perhaps be afraid of drawing too, but not wanting to confront this I kind of ignored it.

Why would I have a fear of drawing - there are of course lots of elements that go through your head when your drawing - for me a lot of them are negative. When I visit drawing exhibitions or see a drawing I like, my first thought is always - damn that’s so good, why didn’t I think of that! Which is absolutely absurd.

So I still care about drawing, I want to do it more so than ever before, but I seem to stall or falter when it actually comes to the act of it. So in the spirit of a recent blog (trying more things for the joy of it and worrying about the end point or whether it looks good on my C.V less) I need to find a way to draw again.

To get myself out of my drawing pit - I am going to give myself a new challenge every week and try my hardest now to worry about the outcomes. Suggestions are welcome of course. Or if you are an artists reading this and you feel my pain, please get in touch - let’s share stories - let’s share drawings? Direct Message me on my INSTAGRAM - OR EMAIL VIA MY WEBSITE…

Some recent drawings I have done below. I hate them. But I need to get over that.

Bridport Open Studios in progress!

Fantastic visitors and comments so far for this year's Bridport & West Dorset Open Studios event

Included are new pieces featuring Digital Prints of European Towns & Cities, as well a selection of new collage works and paintings. I have chosen to include a few sketchbooks that contain early ideas for paintings and collages and working drawings. Image below of surface illustration. 

Complimented by Sarah Jane Ross's work which includes industrial and nautical sculptures, cast in plaster.  Encaustic wax, scorched plywood and inks all work together to create interesting pieces that call to local places. With some pieces linked to subject matter of more political and national significance. Such as the casts of Milk bottles - Image below, which reference the dairy farming industry's relationship with supermarkets. 

We are open for two more days, come and see us in a beautiful white space, with Sarah's studio open for viewing too. Sat 16 / Sun 17, 10-4

Megan Dunford - Surface Studies
Sarah Jane Ross

Bridport Open Studios..

I am taking part in Bridport Open Studios again this year, this time after a very generous offer was made by a talented artist... Sarah Jane Ross. We are exhibiting from Sarah's lovely home, where she has a studio and spacious conservatory where we can feature our latest pieces! 

I will be showing a series of new photographs. drawings, prints, paintings, collages & zines. We would love to see you there if you can make it... our work is very different but we have similar interests and it sits well together. 

Click here for the BOS website


A day in Bristol to explore the offer for Young People . . .

A cold, wet and dark start to the day, but a bright & optimistic end.

Today, as part of my role a Bridport Arts Centre I visited 5 cultural organisations in Bristol. Picking the brains of other learning officers and staff members whose focus is working with Young People to ensure those key young people's ideas are heard within the organisations they are linked to. 

BAC is taking part in a Arts Council England funded opportunity called Agents for Change. The scheme assigns a creative professional to selected Arts Organisations, specifically NPO's across the country. This opportunity, hopefully,  enables them to work with key members of the staff team, to make them re-think the way they operate, in order to achieve their new goals. Our agent is the fantastic Mena Fombo, an inspirational thinker and leader with specific experience of working with and for Young People. 

Working our way around the city, we met Hannah Higginson Engagement producer at Watershed, Clare Karslake from the Learning Department at Arnolfini, Another Claire - Claire Simmons from Bristol Museum, responsible for the development of work with 16-25 yr olds and Ailish from The Young People's programme at Tobacco Factory. As well as this I had an informative but lightening speed tour around Knowle West Media Centre where Mena works on leading the Young People's programme. 

The amount of things I learnt today was extensive and far too long to list here - but I am hugely grateful to all of the above organisations and individuals for making the time to talk to me, share common problems and generate new ideas. 

So that's the easy bit, now to go back to work tomorrow and work out how to create space for all of these fantastic new projects I want to begin at The Arts Venues I represent...watch this space. 



Current work - moving forward

The end of last year was fairly exhibition heavy on my practice and I have taken the decision to move away from that this year, focusing on writing and smaller pieces that contribute to a larger series. 

Still looking at rural dwellings  - because it's always useful to have a starting point - I want to enjoy the making and spend time developing techniques. I relished the time spend doing this when I was completing my degree and since feel that this joy has been lost somewhere...probably between the work and the deadline! 

I will keep this space updated...


Poole, Lighthouse - Collecting the Image

Megan Dunford - Collecting the Image
Wednesday 12 November - Wednesday 25 November 
Top Floor Gallery 
Many artists through history have been intrigued with the arrangement of gathered objects as collections and the obsessional nature of collecting. 
With previous subject matters in her work focusing on the object as representation or even replacement for human presence, no-where is this more apparent than in this most recent body of work Megan has chosen to exhibit at Lighthouse Poole. The exhibition includes a series of collected artefacts and images alongside new pieces.

New Exhibition Coming up...

As I said I would keep (or aim to keep) my blog up to date, I feel it's only right to feature forthcoming exhibitions! So here it is; I am having an exhibition at Lighthouse Poole, Thursday 12th - Wednesday 25th of November 2015.

I will be occupying a little but very lovely corner of the Top Floor Gallery for a fortnight. The exhibition will intentionally be work-in-progress, (much like the artist) but I have big plans! 

Hope you can make it along, more info as I have it. 


New Curatorial Explorations - 

Myself and Marjory Mulrooney are joint curating an exhibition 'CRE8 - A group of 8 women artists in West Dorset' 

The exhibition features a selection of very talented artists making thought provoking and interesting work right now! 

The Exhibition takes place at Chapel in the Garden, Bridport,

Tues 10 Feb - Sat 14 Feb, 10-4,  Sun 15 Feb, 12 - 4

Participating artists include:

Marjory Mulrooney

Megan Dunford

Rachel Dunford

Greta Berlin 

Eva Fahle-Clouts

Jennie Hanrahan 

Isla Chaney

Carolyne Kardia 

The exhibition runs alongside an event that takes place on Sat 14 Feb, in Bucky Do square Bridport. To celebrate the Bridport Wildcat Strikers.