Today we are talking with CSM Short Courses life drawing tutor, David Price, to learn more about his work in the CSM Short Course exhibition and to get a more in-depth look at his own artistic practice.
What is your full name and what short course/courses do you teach?
I’m David Price and I teach Creative Life Drawing, Life Drawing Masterclass – Head, Hands and Feet (Weekend), Anatomical Portrait Drawing, Life Drawing for 16 to 18 Year Olds and Anatomical Drawing for Beginners.
How did you come to work in your field/discipline?
I studied life drawing and anatomy when I was a student at Edinburgh College of Art when it was part of the curriculum. It was a rigorous course with an exam at the end and probably wouldn’t be popular now as it was old fashioned and formal. Still, I did learn a lot and it has come in quite useful again because it is no longer taught in art schools. I have been teaching drawing now for over 25 years and have taught all over London including at the V&A, Tate Modern, Royal Academy and now at Central Saint Martins Short Courses. I try hard to make my courses relevant and fun and not much like the ones I did. People still want to draw people and I’m happy to help them if I can.
Tell us about your work, where you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired
Like many artists, I have a broad practice doing different things at different times. Painting and Drawing are central to all I do. I also have a studio in Margate where I make work when I’m not teaching. I moved there 5 years ago – but I still show my work through a London gallery. I am currently working on paintings for a solo exhibition next year so I’m making some huge oil paintings on canvas. Inspiration takes many forms – but as someone once said – it always finds you when you are working.
What are you working on at the moment?
My gallery has a new space in West London with big walls so I’m making some big paintings – much bigger than any I’ve made before. Size isn’t everything but it’s a great challenge to make bigger work and it’s pushing me to do things I haven’t tried before. I’ve been experimenting with a faster drying alkyd oil paint which is helping me to work quickly. This in turn has led me to make much bolder paintings that haven’t sat around drying for ages whilst I lose interest in them. Everything – even the large ones – is painted in a day or two, and this makes them very exciting to work on.
Tell us about the work you submitted, being featured in the Central Saint Martins Short Courses exhibition.
Since most of my teaching at CSM Short Courses is life drawing, I made some drawings as I might do in one of my classes. I wanted people to see me work and see if the course is for them. Life Drawing is almost always fast as the model can only hold the pose for short periods. I like this about these drawings – they were all made quickly whilst I was filmed, so that added to the tension. It was good fun.
Which piece of creative work, in any discipline, do you think everyone should see and why?
I’m not sure there is one thing everyone should see as we all like different things. Often, famous paintings when finally seen are a little disappointing in real life – so I think it’s better to be surprised by things and open to new creative works. I have seen a great deal of art work – all over the world – but you can’t really predict when that feeling of being inspired will come. But if you keep your eyes open you’ll see some wonderful things and you don’t usually have to go too far.
What is the best bit of advice you have ever received?
I think it was, “Don’t be an artist” My natural inclination to do the opposite has kept me going all these years.
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
I’d say, don’t be afraid to change and try new things. Most people, despite what they might say, are worried about trying new things and fear they might lose what they can do already. But it’s not true. You can go backwards and forwards and even sideways. It doesn’t matter where you start or how you get there. Nobody cares more than you – so trust your instincts and lead the way.