Hanging Boots Art Workshops

John Sutcliffe : Artist in Residence with Dronfield Heritage Trust  

Hanging Boots Workshops at The Peel Centre Dronfield,

email : bookings.dht@outlook.com or contact 07814 140034

Drawing and Painting Workshops

Learn drawing and painting from new perspectives. Whatever interests you can be your subject. As an experienced Artist Teacher, John will help you explore techniques and methods and fresh ways of seeing and expressing be it Abstract,  Portrait or Landscape.

We will work in a variety of media; ink and charcoal, watercolour, acrylic, oils and collage.

Workshops are both fun and challenging, encouraging questioning and engagement with the nature of fine art. They are suitable for beginners and those who wish to move on in their work.

“The Hand and The Eye: Foundations of Drawing”

Exploring the immediacy and simplification of line, contour and the edge in a variety of contexts. Interior, Exterior and the Model.

You will use a variety of media and learn to see in fresh ways with a view to expression and interpretation through drawing.

Un Painting.

So I start with the thought: ‘I want to paint a picture of…’ then it is possible that our imagination stops because what it is going to be is already nailed to the floor. Older children do this a lot. I think its because there’s a sense of ownership and pride in technical ability – and it is not unreasonable to think this way. There is also – key to the choice of subject, the place of memory.

The allegory of the birth of painting (a story I will tell) is all about a girl wanting to keep the image of her lover when he goes away to war. We will learn something from contemporary artists and those from the past.

And painting is so much more than the image, although the subject or object is of high importance. There is a record of thought in every mark, a documentary about the artist no matter how young or old.

In these workshops you will learn processes of mark making in order to bring greater expression to your painting. You will learn by painting. Using the material and the brush as extensions of yourself.

Great fun and totally absorbing.

‘Un Photography’: Recording the presence and absence of light.

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Abstract photographic and filming techniques.

All photography is the recording of light. Light reveals the subject and photography is an instantaneous and highly accurate method of recording this revelation. A photograph only goes so far to record; as the subject is always known to us. It is always a photograph ‘of ‘ something visible. A photograph is usually obvious, the image is as powerful as that first note of a song we know. We understand it immediately.

But what happens if we change the parameters? Not only in the camera, but by changing the form of light? Or by using movement of the camera?

The course will explore methods and subjects recording movements and distortions of light – in the end reflecting on changes in time itself.

We will begin with what we know and create circumstances for developing new imagery, look at inexpensive methods of changing light and focus, using long exposure techniques.

This will develop a range of understanding of photographic skills so is suitable for beginners as well as those with experience. We will explore time-lapse photography and the use of motion in film-making. We will be mindful of composition and explore meaning in imagery


email : bookings.dht@outlook.com or contact 07814 140034


More about Hanging Boots 

Hanging Boots is an umbrella name for the variety of work John produces. He is producing artwork and film to be projected onto the Dronfield Hall Barn on the opening nights in February. He will be using state of the art digital techniques to map the film onto the building (a process called projection mapping). He is working with Adobe Creative Suite and VJ software to create and edit his artwork and films. He is happy to discuss the project with anyone interested.

A further project will involve a structural installation in the grounds of the Barn using video mapped LED lighting – watch this space.


 Johns projection and photographic work will be on show at Dronfield Hall Barn in April  and November 2016. New work and work from his previous shows will be on display. He will also give the performance of ‘The Thickness of Shadows’ during the event

As described on other pages John exhibited recently at the Birmingham City University Institute of Art and Design Arts Based Masters Show: ‘Set Your Chatters to Hum’ in which his work explored the nature of light, photography and poetry. The large installation displayed in darkness explored the nuances of darkness, light and revelation. Large and small abstract high gloss photographs of simple artists’ fluid materials – gesso and pitch, were displayed in boxes of light which reflected onto the viewer causing the viewer to explore the images extremely closely.

He has presented a performance work “The Thickness of Shadows” to the International Journal for Art and Design conference at the Tate Liverpool and at the Birmingham Institute of Art Centre for Fine Art Research conference ‘Twice Upon A Time: Magic, Alchemy and the Transubstantiation of the Senses’.

He also performed his poetry and thoughts on art education   “P(Art) Life”   to the National Society for Educators in Art and Design (NSEAD) conference at the Birmingham and Midlands Institute in June 2015

He previously exhibited at the New Art Gallery Wallsall, with an installation, using 8mm cine film painted and projected onto objects and paintings.

He has been known in Derbyshire for his paintings of the Peak District and semi abstract portraits, exhibiting regularly since 2005.


 Why Hanging Boots?

“Well it came about as a process of developing my thoughts. I use a sketchbook every day and make a drawing in it. I have to make myself …- I often just feel an intensity and then move my hand in an abstract manner. There is purpose and a search for meaning involved. At other times I may draw something figurative, sometimes from memory or something I’ve seen. In accessing this ‘intensity of thought’ I might think of a word or some words. (words are important – I understand that they are signifiers of memories and as such become very specific) but drawings – images they are vague when it comes to memories they are more immediate) anyway where were we – intensity of thought – and words. I place the words on the page before or after the drawing. That’s where ‘set your chatters to hum came from’ and ‘the thickness of shadows’ stuff like that .

I made a drawing of vertical lines and the lines suggested hanging, there were little curls at the end of the lines and that put me on to boot laces . just a thought.. in a moment.

Sometimes when I look over the order of thoughts – the words and the images work together but sometimes I pull the words out and string them together.

The text resulted in a series of poems in which ‘hanging boots all laid aside’ was a line.

I pulled ‘hanging boots’ out, because to me it sounds like the saying when one gives up. ‘To hang up y’ boots. To me, it is at the point of giving up when you have to move on, so they signify a past and the rest – the future is to play for and that hasn’t been described yet. It’s on the edge. I can only describe what is now or past. All there is now is what’s gone and the future is open season. I think making art is always on the edge, take risks – it’s all a risk. But its all there is for me. And sometimes it costs a lot in terms of time, relationships, money etc. Its about leaving the past where it is and stepping out.

I also like a song by Captain Beefheart called Floppy Boot Stomp – maybe that came into it as well.

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