My father was a talented artist and would have gone on to study at a top art school if World War II hadn’t intervened. My son is similarly talented and works in the fashion industry but also illustrates books. They have a remarkably similar style even though they were taught in completely different ways. My father’s education was very formal. My son was just taught what he needed to know when he needed to know it. Both were found to be colour blind – my father mildly so, my son more severely. It didn’t stop them.
There was always that ice-skater I painted when I was in the first class of junior school. It was the only one who seemed like it was moving.
When we lived in Holland for a while I suddenly developed a talent for drawing some of the intriguingly shaped Dutch houses. I also started doing portraits of TV personalities and my children’s friends. They were good by any standard.
Next I started a correspondence art course and then took up silk-painting.
It all went well BUT:
· I was never going to be as good as the two artistic men in my life
· It was taking too much time away from my writing
So, I let it drop.
I’m not the only one
My friend Debz Hobbs-Wyatt likewise has a father who is an artist and also a brother. Is it something genetic? Who knows? She’s good with layout, too.
It could be useful
I’m a little rusty on the technical side of things but I still have the eye. When we display our students’ work I’m often asked to set it out and my arrangements do seem to work. I make useful suggestions about book-covers and I’m actually good with colour even though I possibly inflicted my father’s colour-blindness on my son. Does perhaps an appreciation of shape help me to get form and balance into my stories?
Is it perhaps then, actually the same thing just coming out another way?
Maybe I’ll get back to it one day. Perhaps when I retire. Ah, but there are a lot of things hanging on that.
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