The Friends of Dame Laura Knight Society,
Malvern & Colwall Branch

23rd  September 2019:

A talk by our guest speaker Graham Davies, entitled 'Working on the Spot'

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Heather introduced Mr Davies as a long-time friend and enthusiastic supporter of our society which very soon came across in his lively and entertaining presentation. He first gave a brief background in how he started in his profession, having studied at Liverpool in the 1960s specialising in portraiture. However, it was whilst persuaded to undertake a commission for the company Lever Brothers that he realised the potential for caricatures.  Things however didn’t start out too well, with him taking far too long to complete his pictures, and it was only when he realised that by reducing his “tools” to simple ink pens that he was able to produce drawings in far less time. This was not to say that quality suffered; quite the contrary, by having to work quickly it taught him to concentrate on capturing the character and spirit of the person rather than “worry about the detail.”

Consequently, with many years of experience behind him, Mr Davies was able to entertain us, with tales of sometimes having to work in “trying” situations, ranging from drunken business conventions through to boisterous wedding parties and even a dark (and loud) nightclub, where the owner couldn’t understand why he needed  light to draw.  Perhaps the best tale of the evening was in him being mistaken for a waiter at a wedding and insisting that he serve the champagne, no matter how hard he tried to persuade otherwise.

As anticipated, Mr Davies offered to draw a couple of caricature portraits of volunteers taken from the audience. These were watched in admiration with all pleasantly amused as to how, after a few simple pen lines and shading, a comical picture emerged but equally one capturing an essence of the sitter.

On behalf of the society and audience, Gwyn expressed our sincere gratitude for Mr Davies’ highly entertaining lecture.

 - Michael Johnson, Society Archivist