Bits + Bobs + Comfy Sofas

It is a known fact now that I am a complete & utter life drawing addict. I happily take my bits & bobs (drawing boards, materials & glorious nude models) anywhere & everywhere that will have me.

It is a lesser known fact that for me, even a garden shed would do.

So just IMAGINE my delight in the fact that my classes are being taken in by some really spectacular venues – that don’t present any concern of woodlice wiggling onto artists drawing boards..

One such place that has kindly welcomed in Bella’s Bits & Bobs is the members club Shoreditch House for people in the creative industries. My class pops up in the spacious but cosy Library with it’s stylish interiors & so-comfortable-I’m-never-getting-up armchairs.

I have popped a few photos from the class here mentioning the super cool art materials I’ve been using for my class & the yummy ‘bits & bobs’ we snacked on during drawing. I will write a proper post on all the Derwent materials I have been using so if you’d like some tips on that keep an eye on my blog!

If you’re a member of Soho/Shoreditch House you can come to the series of classes over the next few months so keep an eye on House Seven or email me for dates.

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IMG_9274 IMG_9334 I have been using Derwent drawing materials for as long as I can remember & was thrilled to offer the class a nice range of materials for them to explore and let their creativity run free..

I usually recommend beginners use willow charcoal (it’s soft, forgiving & messy – just what it takes to be an artist!) but also suggest pencils for those keen on the finer details.

The Tinted Charcoal set are a lovely material to use for a longer pose – building up texture and colour .. IMG_1240 IMG_1242 IMG_1346 IMG_1275

My favourite kind of creative ‘mess’!!IMG_1296 IMG_1299

The first of my series of classes at Shoreditch House was kindly sponsored by the DELICIOUS brand Coconut Collaborative yoghurt pots. Oh my, they are quite frankly the best things ever AND their logo has two little naked people!

Honestly, if that’s not a bits & bobs match made in heaven, I don’t know what is..

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The class began at 11am on a Saturday so the babes behind Nomi cold-brew coffee understood the need for our guests to have a little pick me up..IMG_1311

And finally, for the artists in the room who were in need of a seriously yummy sweet HEALTHY fix – we had gorgeous chocolate truffles by Raw Bon Bon… Now it’s that’s not a perfect combination of bits & bobs & boobs, I don’t know what is!!

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Bits + Bobs + Bella’s Story

I have been having quite a marvellous time taking my bits & bobs here, there & everywhere.

But where, my friends, did this all begin?

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Well…

My love of life drawing was instilled at a time of my life when I suffered with anxiety. It wasn’t outwardly obvious, but internally I was a little stress-pot.

Drawing is such a therapeutic activity for me & my recovery from the stress came through evening life drawing classes.

I found it hard to motivate myself to draw at home, always finding a distraction or seeing my self-critical voice overcome me. So I found the discipline of going to classes perfect. I would go on my own, plug into a relaxing CD & draw. Often feeling stressed at the beginning of the session, the drawing would consume me & my feelings were softly relived.

It was this that made me determined to share it with as many people as possible – whether they are stress-pots or not! So I started a Sunday class at my parents house in Notting Hill. I enticed my friends with the promise of homemade cakes, paracetamol (if they were nursing Saturday hangovers) & lots of tea. Oh, and a beautiful model, of course!

We shared food & drinks & a wonderful community began.

This living room class ran religiously & was attended by countless friends & their friends .. until they started to ask me to run classes in their own living rooms. Thus, Bella’s Bits & Bobs began.

Of course, personal therapy certainly isn’t the main reason for life drawing! Indeed, it is quite frankly the best way to learn to draw from observation. 

” Every time a model makes a move, there’s something to learn & work on. Shadows & skin texture, the way the limbs move, extend. Every pose or position, reveals a whole new composition, and another focus for a drawing. A great range of movement is possible, right in front of you, which combined with the anatomical & structural complexity of the body, make particular demands on us when we draw .. ”

Extract from Why all artists should have naked ambition

So please, rare up your naked ambition and join me!

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Bits + Bobs + Birthday

Birthdays are all about birthday cake, right?

It’s not like we want to remember the pain our mothers went through or dwell on the fact that our teenage years have far become a distant memory .. and so focusing on something sweet & completely in our ‘birthday’ rights to consume easily takes precedence.

I would also suggest that birthdays are about birthday cakes being made for us, however this year I decided that no one else could create what I was dreaming about for my birthday.

And so, I made it myself : The Ultimate Chocolate Owl Cake called ‘B’

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It was quite frankly stunning.

And delicious, of course.

Check out my little Instagram photo of the construction process: Video The sound track of Sufjan Steven’s ‘Carrie & Lowell’ album – one of my all time favourites. If you haven’t heard it yet – pop on an apron, melt some chocolate & bake to some magical music..

And now it’s time for another Bella’s Bits & Bobs life drawing video blog! Who’s surprised to hear that my birthday party involved a beautiful nude?!

My wonderful friend Lauren modelled for us. We all absolutely loved drawing her and she joined us for the birthday meal & cake after. What a dream.

Another of my incredible chums – the talented chef Alicia Radage – whipped us up a gorgeous feast. She chopped, tossed, grated in the kitchen as we drew .. It was such a treat and every last morsel was consumed.

I am so excited that Alicia has joined my little Bits & Bobs team & is available to whip up wonderful dinners and my events so if anyone is keen for a life drawing & dinner party, please email me: bella@bellafranks.com

Over and OWL-t as they say.

(Ok, no one else says that)

 

 

Fine Liner Life Drawing

All I want for Christmas are black Muji 0.38mm fine-liners.

Yes I am a woman of specific yet simple tastes. But of course, this is why:

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When I run a life drawing class, I begin by explaining a little about why we are sitting in a room – pencils poised – paper at the ready – fully clothed – while a robed figure waits tentatively to bare all in front of a group of strangers.

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Devon : Fireworks + Sea Swims

There’s nothing more lovely than a weekend jaunt to the countryside.

London is brimming with activities which I find both brilliant and at times a little overwhelming and so for me, escaping the City maintains a stable balance.

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A very good chum of mine recently moved from London back to his roots in Devon & so I jumped at the chance – and indeed jumped in the car for a 5 hour drive – to visit him on the weekend.

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Hot Pink Wheels + Hyde Park

Do you ever get the feeling that you are, perhaps, a little unusual?

I get that feeling a lot.

It happened to me on Sunday : the moment I left the house with my roller blades in hand I thought to myself “now look here Bella, taking your roller blades for an outing is unusual. If you want to fit in with the crowd, divert straight to the Breakfast Club & order avocado on toast ..”

However, the park was looking so lovely & I felt my blades needed some fresh air & some TLC so I said no-to-avo.

My companion for the day:IMG_7011

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Bella’s Bits & Bobs Video Diary

There are many things in life that I love, but I am going to simplify my favourites for the sake of a new venture :

Bella’s Bits & Bobs video diary.

Or, as one might call it in this modern day, my Vlog (there’s something about a ‘v’ & ‘l’ written consecutively that doesn’t sit well with me, but if the internet says it’s a word, what can we do?)

So here’s my love list :

Naked people & drawing : life drawing

Exploring + adventure

People + people’s living spaces

Colour + inspiration

‘Organised fun’ (I am a Virgo, to be fair)

Teaching + sharing what I know with anyone who will listen!

And thus the outcome : I bring life drawing classes to people’s living rooms & am making videos as I go.

It’s set to be a very exciting journey (for me, the guests & of course my MEGA FAN vlog watchers. Eg. my mum)

To give you an idea of where the journey will go, these are a few of my favourite living room life drawing hotspots : a rocky houseboat in the Towerbridge Moorings, a leafy warehouse in Hackney Wick, a cosy spot by the fire in Peckham Rye, an old billiards room in South Kensington .. and many more!

Follow my journey, and if you like it – perhaps one day I can come to your living room?

Now that would add something else to my love list. No doubt.

HELLOOOOO WELCOME TO BELLA’S BITS & BOBS….

Bella’s Bits & Bobs Trailer

I am very excited to have officially launched :

Bella’s Bits & Bobs: Pop-up living room life drawing

I have been running these ‘fun, relaxed & sociable evenings’ (to quote myself..) for 3 years now and so I decided it was about time to let the very secret nature of them out the bag. To ‘spread my bits & bobs’, so to speak..

Welcome to what is sure to be an exciting, colourful & surprising ride – brought to the online world through video blogs & unusual musing from me and my many bits & bobs.

Become my friend : @bella_franks

Follow my classes : #bellasbitsandbobs

Check out my art : #bellafranksart

BBB over and out.