Mark-making and meditation with Katie Sollohub

Ref: S1D33510

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About this course

Connect to the process of drawing through meditation using body and breath to respond to the expressive qualities of drawing materials, including charcoal, graphite and pencil. Be inspired by the present moment, and the beautiful surroundings of West Dean College.

Course Description

Combining mindfulness meditation with drawing. A retreat style day, with all materials provided, suitable for any level, no expectations. You will be led into the session with an introduction to mindfulness meditation, using body and breath as a focus for your attention, followed by an introduction to the drawing materials you will be using for the day. You will be paying attention to how the materials feel in the hand, the touch on paper, the sound of drawing, the movement of the body, the relationship of your breath to the whole process.

Drawing could be described as making marks on paper. With this idea in mind, you will be making a series of experimental drawings, large and small, making marks in response to sensation more than observation. This approach aims to keep you present to the process, rather than focused on the outcome. It doesn’t have to look like anything, and you do not have to be good at drawing to enjoy this course and benefit from it. Whatever your experience, the practical exercises are designed to enable you to let go of self judgement and expectations. You will be encouraged to play and experiment.

For example:

• Drawing with charcoal across a large page, one mark per breath, notice what you notice

• Making marks as you move, with pen and pencil on tiny pieces of paper held in the hand

• Making large gestural marks on a larger piece of paper with the eyes shut, following a meditation

• Draw from observation, taking a line for a walk, looking around you and not at the paper, to remove judgement and expectation

• Rub out or rip up a drawing, collage it back together again

You will go home from this course with an experience of drawing, rather than finished drawings. You may choose to leave all the work behind and trust that the impact of the process, the way of looking, of paying attention to your subject and your materials will be long lasting and affect the drawings you make in the future.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course, the College will supply all of the materials, including a large roll of cartridge paper to share amongst the group, masking tape, A1 cartridge paper, charcoal and charcoal powder, rubber, pencil, graphite powder, rags, fixative and Pritt stick.

What students need to bring

  • Notebook and pen/pencil.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • You will not need to buy any materials from the shop, although anything we use on the course will be available, should you wish to buy some to take home with you.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Additional A1 paper at 50p per sheet.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear - no open-toes or sandals.


Katie Sollohub

Katie studied Anthropology and Fine Art. She teaches freelance and in 2014 she received an Arts Council Award for a residency at Turner's House. Working in charcoal and oils, her work has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, the Lynne Painter Stainers Prize and the RA Summer Show.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.