I followed Weekend Notes' advice and signed up for Julia Wakefield's Life Drawing Class at the Hahndorf Academy and I can honestly say it was one of my favourite experiences in Adelaide.
I had not drawn since I was in school so I was apprehensive about drawing in a class full of people, and nervous that I may giggle at the wrong moment. I spoke to Julia on the telephone beforehand and she assuaged my fears and encouraged me to come along.
I took the 864F bus from near the railway station in Adelaide to Hahndorf through the Hills. I mention this because the bus journey contributed to my enjoyment of the day. When you get on the bus in Adelaide there are the huge majestic buildings of Adelaide's CBD and the wide streets which stretch before you.
As the bus heads out of the city the sky widens and you see Hans Heysen's paintings brought to life in the greys and dusky greens of the Eucalyptus treesabove the dry brown grass in the paddocks, in which the brown cows graze.
After 45 minutes or so you will arrive in Hahndorf. As many readers will know, Hahndorf is Australia's first German settlement town, settled in 1838 mostly by Lutheran Prussians. It is a beautiful tree lined town with shops and cafes each side selling weather vanes, leather goods and other German souvenirs.
Once you arrive in Hahndorf, cross the road and go to the Seasonal Garden Cafe and have the sourdough toast with honey and a bowl of fruit. The fruit portion is huge but delicious. Have a cup of Earl Grey and enjoy watching people going about their daily lives.
Then at 10am it is time for Life Drawing Class at the Academy. The Academy itself is well worth a visit with a lovely giftshop and gallery and some original drawings by Nora Heysen. Julia gives exercises to do which concentrate on different aspects of drawing. For example, initially we had to draw the figure in front of us without looking at our piece of paper to encourage us to observe as much as possible. At about 11am there was a break for coffee.
The class runs Thursday mornings from just after 10am to just after 12.30am. The classes alternate between tutored and untutored classes, so it is best to check with Julia first if you do want to attend. It costs $25 for a tutored class and $15 for an untutored class. You are encouraged to bring your own charcoal, paper and clips, but boards and easels are provided. I understand Julia is running another of her classes "Drawing for the Terrified" this Autumn.
What I enjoyed most about the class was that Julia is clearly a very good teacher, as well as a good artist, and she is very encouraging as well as instructive. The other people in the class were very friendly and the surroundings were inspiring and lovely. It is a truly wonderful way to spend a Thursday morning.