September 2015 – I’ve always been envious of those that could draw and paint and ‘do’ art and music. Feel the art and feel the music where I can ‘only’ appreciate it but never participate in it. I thought that was my lot, to stand apart and watch. I have always wanted and wished I could draw, never more so as my daughter becomes more and more proficient with still life and characters she imagines as she is heading towards high grades in her Art GCSE this year. The art supplies shop in town is one of her favourite places to browse and dream of different colour pens and different pencils and on one of the visits I sought her recommendation for a small sketch book and the right grade of pencil (HB) and a pencil sharpener although I know I have several of those tucked away in drawers and boxes around the house. And from that shop we headed to our favourite corner of the nearby pub and sat and drew. and then, as I drew and became more frustrated with my images lacking any relationship to reality I once again wished I had the ‘drawing gene’, the gift of the artist, the ability to render what I see to paper in a faithful reproduction.
The beer glass, as I later found out, wasn’t drawn by the eye but was a left brain symbol for a beer glass, an ellipse or two and some straight lines.
And then I drew the dog that was lying in front of me – I just copied what I saw line by line, or edge by edge to use the artistic term, and for whatever reason it just worked.
Emboldened by the sudden glimpse of what could be possible, I upped the ante and went for some dramatic figures.
The figures, ah, the human form totally eluded me.
The beer glass I could almost get away with, symbolic shapes almost in perspective. But the human form, from imagination, was just beyond me. I had drawn a 10 year old’s representation of the human form or was a younger representation than that? This was the age something or someone had persuaded my left brain that I couldn’t draw, couldn’t accurately represent 3D space in a drawing. In art. And so I had stopped, and this was a legacy of that time. A representation of what I wanted to draw but from the time I stopped drawing. Confirmation enough that I couldn’t draw. And so I stopped. Again.