Drawing journey . . . Gore artist Jenny McNamara will exhibit Memphis Belle, an acrylic and oil pastel work, at her first exhibition which opens on Friday at Invercargill’s Art Attic Gallery. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Gore artist Jenny McNamara is looking forward to hosting her first exhibition.

‘‘A Life Drawing Journey’’ will open at Invercargill’s Art Attic Gallery on Friday night.

McNamara said in the past she had not considered holding an exhibition because she worked slowly.

‘‘I thought I could never get enough works to a deadline.’’

The idea to stage her own exhibition came after some of her drawings were exhibited at the gallery at the end of a Southland Art Society life drawing class she had taken last year.

‘‘We had all these different styles of life drawing and they were nearly all nudes and people found them really interesting.’’

She realised she had a collection of life drawings, many of which she completed between 2008 and 2010, as well as paintings based on the drawings which were enough for a exhibition.

There seemed to be a resurgence in interest in life drawing.

Life drawing was challenging because the models only posed for a short time and she needed to be very focused.

‘‘You get into a space where it’s just you and the model.

‘‘You think of nothing else and it’s a huge stress release.’’

In that time she was ‘‘trying to capture something of the essence of the model’’.

‘‘If you’re very lucky, sometimes something magic happens under your hand and you make something that is a very beautiful drawing.’’

Whatever that essence was depended on her interpretation.

‘‘This essence is of course a fiction supplied by me.

‘‘The models are usually utterly bored.

‘‘They must be.’’

When she was a child she entertained family members by drawing their faces but it was only after a weekend drawing course in 2005 she started drawing and painting seriously.

‘‘Something happened to me there and I was hooked.’’

Her favourite artists were the impressionists Edouard Manet, Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas.

‘‘My own style tends to be realist.’’

The 30 works selected for the exhibition included pen and ink, charcoal, oil pastel, chalk pastel, oil and acrylic paintings.