Anyone who knows me at all will know that, from time to time, I am likely to produce a new painting and that long suffering friends and relatives are likely to be on the receiving end of uncalled for works of art.
The reason for this is partially that back in 2003 I bought the now infamous book "How To Draw Anything" at a local discount shop (my alternative title "How To Draw Anything, Especially Sheep" as the writer managed to stick something round and wooly into almost every page) - and this re-ignited my interest in art despite all the best efforts of my teachers at school to discourage my interest in, well, anything really.
Since then I've experimented with various things in art: done portrait courses with a teacher who could only hear you if you stood on her correct side, life drawing classes with a Penguin obsessed Dutch woman (Mad Penguin Lady), done several oil paintings via the Bob Ross method (a method of creating great works so easily that they could arguably be done with both hands tied behind your back - but that are ultimately a little generic and soulless as a result) and run out of wall space several times over - hence the unwanted gifts.
If pushed into a corner and forced to make a decision on my favourite painting medium I would admit that whilst I prefer the texture and end result of oil paintings I tend to use Acrylics because they allow me to get a picture done in half the time - I would add that Watercolours may be fine for people that actually know what they are doing, but that I can't cope with them myself.
Anyway - onto the story in hand.
A few years ago we discovered a restaurant which soon became a favorite. It was an Indian restaurant and several times during my meals there I was convinced that my mouth had died and gone to heaven - it was that nice. We became friends with one of the waiters and actually ended up inviting him to a family occasion.
So when we heard that he was getting married in India and would then be moving to another branch of the restaurant about 100 miles away I decided that a suitable time to give him a painting would be when the trouble and expense of returning it would be too much - and duly sat down and waited for pictures of his traditional Indian wedding to appear on Facebook.
Finally they did and I set about my usual method: which these days tends to be to print off a scale-copy of the image and draw a grid over that, then draw a grid on the canvas and try and copy the image box for box. This is a technique known to artists around the world as "cheating", but it works for me
The painting was quite hard to do in fact, as there were a lot of yellows, meaning that i had to do several layers to cover the canvas below and it was sometimes difficult to get shadow and depth into the picture. Also, because it was all in traditional dress there were a lot of decorations, hairpieces and beads and bangles to incorporate to give it that full feel of India
However, soon enough it was finished and when he returned briefly to the usual branch we took the painting in and handed it over. I'm not saying that Leonardo DaVinci would have done anything other than immediately looked for a match and set fire to the result - but it was of an acceptable standard
He certainly seemed to like it - showing it to all the other staff and being very gracious about it.
A few months later I visited him in his new restaurant - we made a day trip of it and spent some time walking around by the docks before he brought up the subject of the painting again
'Ah Pixie' he said, 'I am afraid that your painting has caused me some trouble' he paused, 'you see: when i am working in the restaurant I am living above the building with the other workers until my wife arrives from India: so I put your painting in pride of place in the living room. But the other day I came in and I saw one of my fellow workers and had to stop him'
'Why?' I asked, 'What was he doing?'
'He saw the painting and thought that it was of some family gods: so he had started praying too it. I said "don't be silly: that's me and my wife!'
So there you go. Without intending to, and purely by accident, I have created religious art
I wonder what my art teacher would have to say about that
Or my Religious Education teacher, come to that