Beth Rodway

The Drawing Year 2018
BA Architecture, University of Brighton

After graduating from the University of Brighton with a BA in Architecture,  Beth wanted time to explore her ever-growing passion for drawing. Prior to The Drawing Year, the subject matter that Beth felt most comfortable drawing was limited to buildings. I wanted to expand on this and most importantly build on the part of my BA I enjoyed the most: storytelling. 

Boy in Blue Bedroom

The Studio Room in Colour course was a critical class for my development and studying some of my favourite artists, Henri Rousseau and Henri Matisse, really influenced my working process. The method of taking the studio and effectively using set design to transform it into a colourful utopia was a process I adored; I had mostly worked in monochrome before The Drawing Year and this class taught me the importance of colour. The Drawing at The National Gallery course introduced me to a world of 15th and 16th century artists who now hold great influence over my practice; until then I had only looked to more contemporary artists for inspiration. In a digitally driven world I found it very calming to spend the day working from, discussing and closely studying the paintings in the collection. 


Diversity and development were the most important skills I took away from The Drawing Year. Initially I found it very challenging completing exercises that felt unfamiliar to me, such as life drawing and drawing in the middle of the city. I have always been very meticulous and discreet over my drawings and soon found that became a hinderance and an obstacle for my learning. Once I abandoned this approach and became more open to different mediums, artists and compositions, which the course throws at you through the different courses, I found that my work started to develop and my brain felt more challenged and stimulated. 

The Drawing Year gave me the confidence to enter the art world. I’ve since exhibited at Nottingham Contemporary and in the Royal Academy Summer Show which led to me gaining representation with Trinity House Paintings. I have the Royal Drawing School and their encouraging and knowledgeable tutors to thank for these opportunities as I am certain they would not have occurred without The Drawing Year. 

I’m currently continuing to produce paintings for Trinity House whilst also working as an Architectural Designer. It’s important for me to continue pursuing both subjects ahead of completing the second part of my Architecture degree at The Bartlett (UCL). I’m very interested in the dual perspectives of art and architecture and will keep exploring these methods of representation.