Artist Fay Ballard is leading a weekly creative workshop with dialysis patients at Hammersmith Hospital. She is writing a weekly blog in response to her experiences.
Michael and Olive were sleeping and Irving was reading his book, smiling warmly when I arrived this morning. Akos accepted my pile of sudoku puzzles, snipped out of newspapers, before I disappeared to the first floor to find Chantelle. She’d moved to the St Peter’s Ward for dialysis. Smiling and keen to start, I asked Chantelle whether we should take another apple or try and draw two small rectangular boxes in two-point perspective. Opting for the latter, we began by considering our eye line in relation to the architecture and contents of the room. Could we see the different angles of the window, tables, beds and computers around us? I sketched simple line drawings of rectangular shapes to indicate two vanishing points on the horizon at eye level, explaining how to construct a three-dimensional object in space.
Next, we began studying one of the boxes I’d brought along, calculating its angles, proportion and depth of field and using a pencil as a measuring device. After many revisions, we settled on a good likeness and then began a second attempt. Time flew by as we worked steadily, absorbed in our quest; two and half hours without a break. When I left, Chantelle had started drawing the box again and would be studying perspective on YouTube. Would she like to continue next week? Yes, definitely, and please, please she insisted, I must wake her if she is deep in sleep.