Guernsey Library Hosting Monthly Drawing Together Club For All Artists
Published: February 8th, 2023
By: Sarah Genter

Guernsey Library hosting monthly Drawing Together Club for all artists An 18 by 24 inch charcoal drawing by Drawing Together facilitator Leah Mealing, that was inspired by Bram Stoker's "Dracula." Mealing will be facilitating the Drawing Together club at 5 p.m. every first and third Wednesday of the month at the Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich. (Submitted photo)

NORWICH — The Guernsey Memorial Library has another new club that began last month: Drawing Together. The club is facilitated by local artist and Guernsey Memorial Library Board Member Leah Mealing and meets at the library at 5 p.m. every first and third Wednesday of the month.

Mealing said she started the club because she wanted to get back into drawing, and making art with a group can keep people inspired to keep creating. She's structured the meetings to allow for those completely new to drawing to learn the basics and work their way up, with the overall goal of reaching realism in their art.

"The goal is to draw realistically. 3D and realism is the ultimate goal. So we started from the very beginnings, like mark making, value scales, the very beginning. How to hold the pencil, how to sharpen a pencil. The very beginnings, because we did have at least two people say that they never really drew before, so I really wanted to start from the beginning," said Mealing. "Drawing is forever. You don’t just learn it all in one shot. So it’s going to take a little while."

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Drawing Together is completely free to join, and all materials needed to participate will be provided. Those who would like to join can sign up at the Guernsey Memorial Library front desk.

Mealing wanted to keep the meetings small each month, so there is a limit of 20 people per meeting. However, because the club meets twice a month, she said if one class is full interested individuals will still have the chance to attend the second meeting of the month.

The next Drawing Together session will be held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15 at the Guernsey Memorial Library.

In addition to working through the basics up to more advanced skills, participants will also learn how to use a variety of media throughout the monthly meetings.

"We’re not going to do painting, it’s just drawing, but we are going to use different media. We’re starting with graphite, and I want to show people how to work with charcoal," Mealing explained. "Then we’re going to do ink drawings, and eventually wash, and some of the people there are interested in colored pencil."

Although the group will be working through a sort of curriculum, Mealing said interested individuals can sign up anytime. As the group progresses and begins working on projects, she said she will have time during the meetings to work one-on-one with new members, and walk them through what's been covered so far.

"If somebody comes in new, while they’re working on their project I can get them started in the basics. I’d have time to go back, so nobody feels lost," she said.

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Participants will also learn about different supplies out there to use in their artwork, such as different pencils, charcoal fixative, and drawing boards. However, Mealing knows art supplies can get expensive, and she said when possible she will provide low-cost alternatives for common art supplies.

"I show the more expensive stuff, but I also show people inexpensive ways to do things. Like you know how you have to spray the fixative on your charcoal drawings? Well if you can’t afford a $16 can of fixative, you can use Aqua Net hairspray. So I always try to bring up inexpensive substitutes, when something can be substituted," said Mealing.

Above all, though, Mealing emphasized that the meetings are meant to be a fun and relaxing way for individuals to explore art and develop their skills.

"I try to keep it light, I try to joke a little bit, because if people can relax, it’s easier to learn. I’m not so rigid, ‘you’ve got to do it this way or else,'" said Mealing.

In the future, Mealing hopes to collaborate with the newly-formed Chenango Writers' Association to create a book with written works and art created by members of each club, as well as put on an art show featuring Drawing Together members' work.

More information on the Guernsey Memorial Library and their available clubs and programs can be found at and the Guernsey Memorial Library Facebook page.