SKETCH 2017 TOUR Black Swan Arts 22 July – 3 Sept

SKETCH 2017 on Tour

22 JULY – 3 SEPTEMBER 2017

BLACK SWAN ARTS 2 Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BB

SKETCH 2017 – Sketchbook Drawing Prize includes 100 sketchbooks by 77 artists. It is selected from an international submission of over 500 Sketchbooks. This is the fourth SKETCH exhibition since 2005 and this year it will be touring UK venues.

Preview Friday 21 July 6- 8pm

OPENING TIMES – Black Swan Arts   Mon- Sat: 10.00am- 4.00pm



The SKETCH 2017 Catalogue is now available to purchase online through the RABLEY BOOK SHOP. Each of the 77 artists in the exhibition is represented in this fully illustrated catalogue with an image from a selected sketchbook. Introduction by Meryl Ainslie, Director of Rabley Drawing Centre.

SKETCH 2017 – CATALOGUE Open Sketchbook Drawing Prize. Catalogue of the artists sketchbooks selected for the SKETCH 2017 Open Sketchbook Drawing Prize.102 Pages, laminated soft cover, fully illustrated. 17 x 17cm. Introduction text by Meryl Ainslie, Director of Rabley Drawing Centre

This book is currently only available to purchase online via by following the buy now link below. PDF versions also available.


Publication Price £27 / PDF version £2.99 (plus VAT and P&P)

First edition published 20th May 2017 by Rabley Drawing Centre, Rabley Barn, Mildenhall, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 2LW, Email: Telephone: +44 (0)1672 511999 Website: ISBN 978 0 9926817 1 5

Printed in the UK by Blurb (



..”the selections for Sketch 2017 continue to challenge what the concept of a sketchbook is and for. One searches for intimacy and authenticity, questioning the role that notebooks play in an artist’s practice. Anne Desmet’s people and places evidence a sketchbook as a constant companion..” Fiona Robinson, Evolver Magazine July/August 2017

Read Fiona Robinson’s full review of Sketch 2017 in Evolver Magazine


22 July – 3 September 2017

Black Swan Arts, Frome

2 Bridge Street

Frome, BA11 1BB

9 September – 6 October 2017

Plymouth College of Art

Tavistock Place

Plymouth PL4 8AT

20 November – 15 December 2017

Peter Scott Gallery

Lancaster Arts

Great Hall Complex

Lancaster University LA1 4YW

with thanks to our collaborators and sponsors


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SKETCH 2017 – Invitation to Wiltshire Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Special evening exhibition viewing and sketchbook workshop
Tuesday 6 June 5-7pm
Or Tuesday 13 June 5-7pm
with Meryl Ainslie, Director of Rabley Drawing Centre

This is an open invitation to teachers and teaching assistants to join us for an inspirational evening of Sketchbooks and a free multisensory sketchbook workshop suitable for all levels and abilities.

SKETCH 2017 is a sketchbook exhibition of 100 artists sketchbooks selected from 500 international artists. This exhibition will truly inspire you to draw both in and out of the classroom!

There will be an education pack sponsored by Derwent pencils available to take away including worksheets, sketching ideas for all levels, a digital copy of the exhibition catalogue and more.

Please share this with your teacher friends on facebook.

If you would like to join us please contact Meryl Ainslie in the gallery on 01672 511999 or email Please include your name, school and personal contact telephone number as places are limited.

Pile of sketchbooks_ webDEFINTIVE DERWENT LOGO



Following on from our Experimental Drawing Summer School week we launched into experimenting in print. All the methods we covered require minimal equipment but have maximum potential!




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The Experimental Drawing Summer School was an intensive 4-day course encouraging the exploration of drawing through new ‘ways of seeing’.

Over a week of experimenting both out and about and back at the studio, the group produced exciting multi-sensory drawings of varying scales that challenged the perceptions of object, place and space.



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Sandy Sykes ‘Drawn to Ideas’ course review

Drawn to ideas…to the edges…to the insides…


Sandy Sykes ran an inspiring three-day course at Rabley crammed full of ideas, processes and reflections from a life time of making prints, drawing and painting.

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iPad to Intaglio Part Two course review

iPad drawing for multi-plate intaglio printing  – Part Two

IMG_3337iPad to intaglio combines the best of both worlds: The amazing creative power modern technology and the qualities and ink and surface realised with intaglio printmaking.

In part two we have continued to develop images in the iPad using different layers and opacities to make more complex multi plate intaglio prints. I hope you find these photo’s helpful to remind you of the print stages. Do add comments and we look forward to seeing how your iPad drawings develop!

Meryl and Amy-Jane

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SKETCH 2013 SEMINAR Discussion


Naomi Frears ‘behaving badly’ with her sketchbook!

It was a full house for the SKETCH 2013 seminar on Saturday 28 September, with delegates and speakers coming from as far as Yorkshire and Penzance. Thank you to all of you who joined us for a stimulating day. Meryl Ainslie, Sketch curator and seminar organiser. Continue reading

SKETCH 2013 Exhibition Opening

Exhibition 16 September – 12 October 2013

Open Thursdays and Fridays 10 – 5pm. Saturday 10 – 2pm. other times by appointment


RABLEY DRAWING CENTRE, Mildenhall, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 2LW

Handling a sketchbook takes us to the heart of the space inhabited by the artist. The turning of a page brings a flow of ideas: fragments of images to come, references to places visited, experiences absorbed and thoughts provoked. It is a unique and privileged position, the prospect excites and the time spent rewards. We hope you will visit and enjoy this unique exhibition. Meryl Ainslie, Artist and Director, Rabley Drawing Centre.



SATURDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2.15 – 5.15pm

Tickets £15 in advance only. Contact

 ‘The Role of the Sketchbook in Contemporary Fine Art Practice’

The discussion panel will include Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research Artist Emma Stibbon RA, SKETCH2013 Selector, and Artist Sandy Sykes SKETCH2005 prize-winner. Cat Roissetter SKETCH2011 prizewinner. Invited artists from this exhibition with give short overviews of this sketchbooks and practice.

SKETCH2013 Open Sketchbook Drawing Prize and Exhibition uniquely promotes the diversity and importance of drawing, and the role of the sketchbook in contemporary fine art practice.  This year 52 sketchbooks have been selected from national open submission by a distinguished panel of judges: Meryl Ainslie, Artist and Director of Rabley Drawing Centre, Mel Gooding, writer, curator and lecturer on art and architecture; Stephen Felmingham, Artist & Programme Leader BA(hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, Plymouth College of Art; Sara Lee, Rabley Artist in Residence 2013 and Master Printer, Blackbird Editions and Emma Stibbon RA; Artist, Senior Lecturer Fine Art:Printmaking, University of Brighton.

SKETCH started in 2005 and is curated by Meryl Ainslie for Rabley Drawing Centre, a research and exhibition centre promoting the role of drawing today through the gallery, drawing school and artists’ projects.

Exhibition Dates and Venues

16 September – 12 October 2013

RABLEY DRAWING CENTRE, Mildenhall, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 2LW

10 January – 8 February 2014

BLACK SWAN ARTS – FROME, 2 Bridge St  Frome, Somerset, BA11 1BB

17 March – 22 April 2014


Tavistock Place,Plymouth,Devon, PL4 8AT

Sara Lee – Landscape & Colour 2013

Array of pastels

Rabley Artist in ResidenceSara Lee, ran her second course of the year at Rabley last week.  The brilliant, sunny weather meant students were able to fully explore the surrounding landscape at Rabley through colour and the medium of pastel.

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Rabley Summer Exhibition 2013 Gallery

The Rabley Summer Exhibition Opening is on Tuesday 25 June from 6 – 8pm. We do hope you will join us to see the work of 27 artists who have been working with us at Rabley Drawing School this year.

OPEN June 27 – July 13, Thurs – Sat 10am-5pm

For all enquiries, please contact the Exhibition Organisers:

Rabley Drawing Centre, Rabley Barn, Mildenhall, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 2LW

T: 01672 511999 / E: