Saturday, 23 June 2007

Eleven: Do more painting/ drawing

I am not artistic.

This was drummed into me at an early age.

Whenever I did attempt something, my 'all or nothing ' personality made me want to produce perfect pictures, and when I couldn't, I gave up. But then I give up easily, maybe far too easily. Hence the three marriages.

Like everything else in my life, e.g. having an ED when no one was talking about 'that' and taking prozac when it was newly discovered, my type of drawings will probably be more acceptable now than they were when I did them.

I consider myself unable to draw a straight line, but hey, what is a straight line nowadays? There are so many variations on straight, that even straight looks crooked.

When I draw little funny figures on the board at school, my five year olds always giggle or ask me 'what's that supposed to be?'. Enough said.
However, in my 39 years of teaching, I have used this to my advantage by saying 'you know I can't draw very well, but you try, I bet you are much better than me'. That turns even the most hesitant child into a Picasso before my very eyes. The other ploy I use is,' not everyone is good at everything, but we all keep trying'. Sickly sweet, I know, but it works every time.

Picasso, now you know why he is my idol. it's the pure wierdness of his art, the nakedness, the honesty, the clarity and starkness of it all that amazes me. When I look at his work, it makes me want to pick up a brush and go where he's just been.

The other person's art that blows me away is Steven's. Mind you he blows me away with all his talents. His art always has an element of sadness and reflection about it. Even when he's drawing a birthday card which he does for the whole family (one of the most important presents I receive), there is still this phantom of futility about it, coloured with a haze of cynicism. Tugs at my maternal heartstrings, even while giving me immense pleasure.

It is him who I have to thank for my 'art'.

Four years ago I was recovering from a slipped disc operation, followed 9 weeks later by a left shoulder operation and was in a very low state, both physically and mentally. I was walking that 'tightrope' of life. Could I stay on or would I fall off, or should I just jump?

After giving me lots of ideas and trying to urge me to take an interest in something, anything, Steve said to me one day 'What about painting? I'll bring my easel and paints round and set it all up for you, and when you feel like it you can have a go'.

Which he did and which I did. And like everything in my life, including this blog, when I get my claws into something the whole obsessive 'all or nothing' takes over and it's like one massive glorious binge. I started very slowly working through the pain and eventually not a day went by without me painting something, even if I just copied stuff. (I still believe I am better at copying than original stuff....although the previous little drawing was my very own- see 'fight the bulge')

Mind you, had it not been for Steve and Mark's continual praise and encouragement, I don't suppose I would have persevered, as I am my own worst critic and if I get it into my thick skull that something's not worthwhile, then it takes a lot to re-convince me that it is.

As you know with your own lives, we always grow from pain and sorrow and I think that's even more true with art. You have to have sunk into some sort of black hole in order to dig really deep within yourself to find something original to say/draw/sing about.

And, conversely, when life's going swingingly well again, this angst gets put aside till the next time. Likewise with my art and drawings. I haven't done anything for years, back at work and devoting no time to myself and to my pleasures anymore.

Enough. This is my year. The time is right. Art here I come. Thanks Steve.

this is my time

time for me

time to just be

what about thee?