Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So what do you do, when you’re going through a time of personal angst, and you don’t want to go into the substance of that angst on your blog?

You tell your readers about some of the ways you’re trying to get out of that angst. Last night I went to the first night of my evening class: painting and drawing. And tonight, I am going to my very first saxophone lesson.

So there I was, last night, driving over the hills to the Hope Valley in the early evening, listening to Just a Minute on the radio, feeling hopeful after a miserable day, and there over Longstone Edge were two rainbows. Ah! A sign! The art class will be good – it will all work out. This is the start of better times.

The teacher was quiet, unpretentious and sympathetic, and asked us what we wanted from the class. I liked her. I was hopeful. It was all going to be OK. She said that when she’d had time to peruse our notes on what we were hoping to do, she would tell us a plan for the term. But this week it would be drawing a still life.

Look! One of her arrangements for a still life contained a saxophone! Another sign!

I began to draw. But I couldn’t do it. The lighting was not bright enough, and the saxophone had so many knobs and twiddly bits that I couldn’t do it. This was a mistake. Art class was a mistake. No, don’t panic, I turned over the page and started again, this time drawing the mannequin clothed in a dress made from newsprint. I held up my pencil to measure the proportions – as we’d been told to do – and I started to draw. Oh, it was awful! I couldn’t do it! What was I doing in art class? I wanted to run from the building and drive home and never go back. It was like the time we had to write a ballad for homework and I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t do it, and my father wrote one for me.

But this time I persevered. I calmed down. And soon it was time to go home. The last hour had disappeared into nowhere so I must have been enjoying myself, and I had a half completed drawing with correct proportions and it didn’t look too awful. Next week we are using colour – which is the real reason I was there – my passion for colour - and so today, on the way to the saxophone lesson, I shall buy some pastels – or will it be paints? And I need a large format drawing pad…I’m excited!

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