Art For Macmillan Cancer Support: Art Demonstration at Botanic Garden


By Anton Dolders, Regional Cahir of Arts at Macmillan Cancer Support

This week’s art demonstration report centres on a drawing session conducted by me at Botanic Gardens coinciding with it’s Christmas art and craft fair on Sunday 6th December. The weather was mild with a surprising reprieve from Southport’s indigenous weather condition: windiness which usually prevails even without the influence of hurricanes in other parts of the world. Strong wind is never conducive to successful outdoor art demonstrations;  paper gets whipped out from under you and any material requiring a container is destined for flight. However, drawing is relatively simple as all that is required is a pencil and paper which can be pegged down if necessary.  I drew a picture of Botanic’s Garden’s gatehouse from under the canopy outside the café; manager Steve Settle very kindly arranged for this creative opportunity to proceed.

Birkdale demo 010 b croppedBotanic drawing demo 3BI have been creating line drawings in pencil since the age of ten and it has always been one of my favourite ways of working as it enables a complete composition to materialise within a few hours and I generally us a 2B pencil throughout. Other materials which allow equally rapid results include, pastel blocks, pastel pencils and charcoal.  I used a burnt umber pastel pencil to draw architecture in Birkdale over the Summer in what proved to be very successful Macmillan fundraising activities endorsed by Paul Lynch owner of Paul’s Barbers on Liverpool Road. It is another fine example of Southport’s business community’s willingness to help our cause.

I became serious about portraying local scenes in pencil as a teenager. Many of my pictures concentrated on the region’s water and marine physiognomy provided by  the canal, coastline and Mersey. Although I was born in Southport, my home town is Lydiate which has not only a great source of inspiration but also a good geographical base for my artistic movement as it is easily accessible to Southport, Liverpool and Ormskirk. Each town has very distinct and different characteristics and between them, they represent a massive overview of Britain’s history: Medievel stone of a Lancashire market town; a major port’s industrial dockland past and it’s rejuvenated visage and seaside air and aura adorned by classical ironwork and canopies of international influence and unequalled lavishness  (where correctly maintained). The region’s natural and manmade definitive features and connecting lineaments have all contributed to my enthusiasm for locating great subjects to draw and to my standards when doing so.

I must convey Art for Macmillan’s appreciation for the support we receive from local business owners and organisations in particular local property managers, Anthony Hill Commercial; management at Wayfarers Arcade and Dobbies Garden Centre who have been tremendously helpful with the provision of venues: usually vacant commercial properties in which to exhibit artwork and raise funds for the provision of care and counselling for people suffering from a terrible illness. The public is reminded of the warm welcome it will receive when visiting our gallery at Cambridge Walks. It is accessible from Eastbank Street; Chapel Street or via the rear entrance to The Atkinson open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am – 5.15pm and on Sundays 11am – 5pm.For full details regarding Art For Macmillan Cancer Support’s exhibitions and events look at our website:

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