Irene Ruchi

Irene Ruchi first joined a studio course at the Royal Drawing School in 2014 and now she lives in Italy, she has enrolled on online courses that she can do from home.


The first time I enrolled on a public courses at the Royal Drawing School was in 2014, it was a life changing experience for me. I came to London to see friends (at that time I’d been living in Moscow) and by happy accident I found the School. I visited the National Portrait Gallery and there was a portrait exhibition by Catherine Goodman. I struck speechless. They were fabulous! I googled the name of the artist and found the School...

I booked three courses in that Autumn Term: two daytime courses, Figure, Form and Space and the Anatomy course, and an evening Portrait course. For a beginner as I was, those were a demanding two months of intense work. I remember myself being constantly surprised by realising who I am, asking where is the real me, what is my perception of life? I found out that drawing for me is the best way to understand myself and also to understand the world around me. From that time drawing became to be sort of diary for me; my “journal in time”. It helps me to travel through life.


In 2020, I moved to Italy and faced a lockdown here - it was the time to be back at the Royal Drawing School.

This time I booked a Drawing and Sculpture course, followed by Painting a Portrait course in the Christmas programme. Both were online. I’m not much of an IT person and I was worried about how it would go. Why not to try though? Otherwise one will never know... it’s very natural for an artist to experiment, isn’t it? Well, the courses had the same intensity and were as informative as in 2014 in the studio. I had the same feeling of discovering more about myself, the same feeling of being at the place where I have to be, the same feeling of being alive despite the situation in the world.


Padlet wasn’t a problem; it was nice to observe the artworks of other artists - in studio it's not so easy to return to look at the work of your fellow students. It was also wonderful to realise that you are in a creative process alongside other people from different countries and different time zones. It was fascinating.

All in all, I hope that each of us will have a chance to work again in a big studio at the Royal Drawing School, and share a glass of wine together afterwards, but I also hope that we will still be able to have this magic experience online, in order to remind ourselves that there are lots of points of view of the same figure or subject, that there are lots of ideas born when observing and discussing artworks of other artists, that everything is relative.

For me it doesn’t matter where my inspiration comes from - from life or online reality...