|
|
Examiner
  • Annie Dear: Eraser in hand, I prepare to be creative

  • Look back on your school days, and it’s pretty easy to be secure in the knowledge that your best subjects were no doubt taught by the teachers who inspired you.

    • email print
  • Look back on your school days, and it’s pretty easy to be secure in the knowledge that your best subjects were no doubt taught by the teachers who inspired you.
    I have very fond memories of my English teacher – Mrs. Jennings was without doubt the most inspirational teacher I ever had.  She made Shakespeare make sense; she instilled in me a love of poetry, and enabled me to write somehow effortless essays.
    On the other hand, take my art teacher, Mrs. Swales. She was vile.  I suspect her knowledge of art came from the back of a cereal packet and it showed.
    My only memories of this woman was that for a start we learned to paint a monochromatic scale – blobs of paint, with white at the top and black at the bottom, with various shades of gray in the middle.  How useful was that, I ask you?
    Then we had to learn the names of various famous paintings, and learn a bio of each of the artists. To say I was bored to snores would be understating things.
    And then when it came exam time, we had to draw thumbnail sketches of all these famous paintings. All very well and good, but nowhere in this woman’s repertoire was her ability nor interest in teaching us how to draw.
    So there was I trying desperately hard to do a quick drawing of, for instance, Degas’ “Two Dancers on the Stage,” only to end up with a couple stick figures in a vague froth of tutu. Monet’s “Water Lilies” looked like blurred pastel spiders, and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” looked like I’d been smoking something funny in the art room and thence went berserk with swirls of yellow and blue.
     But you’re never too old to learn, now are you?  My darling daughter, Madam – who as you know has moved back to Sydney – worked with an artist – The Beckster – here in town, and she has very kindly offered to teach me to draw. She’s really quite enthusiastic at the prospect of teaching this old dog a new trick. I am naturally dubious, as the most artistic I’ve ever been in my long and checkered life is while playing Pictionary.
    I apparently have to equip myself with a pad of drawing paper, a couple of soft lead pencils, and an eraser. I immediately pointed out to her that she’s set me up for failure by arming me with an eraser, but she assures me that even the best artist will want to rub stuff out from time to time.
    Like any new venture of mine, I am quite prepared to be instantly enthralled and brilliant at it, until the ninth day commeth and I realize I indeed stink at it. However, I will give it a damned good belt and see how I go.
    Page 2 of 2 - I doubt I will be able to rival Degas, Monet or Van Gogh in a huge hurry. But hey – I reckon even without a lesson I could give Jackson Pollock a run for his money.  I could fling oils on a canvas and think up a catch title, couldn’t I?
     But I guess I will need to slowly make the progression from lead pencil to paint first, now won’t I?
    Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc @hotmail.com.
      • calendar