About 5 years ago I was wondering through my local low-price everything-under-the-sun shop when I came to the Art section. They had lots of pens, pencils, paper and, most importantly, a book called “How To Draw Anything”
Now I’m a lifelong scribbler. Give me a pen or pencil and it’s only a matter of time before I start doodling lines, funny faces, whatever – though I had never become very good at art for a couple of reasons.
The main one was that, back in the pre-history of the planet when the monkeys were banging sticks together and grunting at strange obelisks in awe and I was at school (OK, so it wasn’t that long ago – though sometimes it feels it), I was basically told by my Art Teacher that I was useless at art and should never draw again.
For the purposes of this story we shall call this teacher Trevor – though his real name was Kevin.
Trevor was the old style of teacher who was only interested in his best students, the ones whose results would make him look good – anyone else didn’t really get a look in.
For nearly four years I learned next-to-nothing in his class until, for a glorious period of 1 term, I was transferred to another teacher who we shall call David – though his real name was Andrew
David was more of a 60’s hippy child, who called everyone “people”, insisted we all sat in a circle so no one would be deemed leader and cared more about encouraging people to express themselves than actual end-result talent. As a result of which my art improved a hundred fold.
Anyway, Trevor and David aside – there was this book in the shop and it was only about £2 (don’t ask me what that is in dollars or euros, but it’s cheap in any currency) and I thought – why not?
So I bought this little book “How To Draw Anything” – though on reflection it should have been called “How To Draw Anything, Especially Sheep” and worked my way through it.
Now I’m not going to claim that five years on I’m suddenly some Van Gough, or Pablo Picasso – in fact I’d do well to be Van Gough’s Van Driver, but the thing is that I discovered something along the way, via occasional art classes with mad Penguin-obsessed Dutch women, elderly teachers who were deaf in one ear so you had to stand on the correct side of them and students who produced miracles of art just by dabs of colour in the right places.
Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.
One day, in the not too distant future, I think it would be a good idea to arrange a showing of amateur art at a local museum. I’m not going to look for world-shattering precision, or avant-guard artwork – I’m going to look for people who have a passion for creativity regardless of the end result
And I’m going to call the show Give My Regards To Kevin.
My novel may never get finished or published, my paintings may never hang in the Louvre, but sometimes the pleasure of creating something is its own reward