Art for Art’s Sake
No one said life was fair, and we all get good and bad luck doled out to us at various stages in our lives. That I accept with as good a grace I can muster. But when it comes to sharing out the talents, there is one I completely lack that I have wished for since my first art class at school.
I can’t draw to save my life. Neither can I paint or sculpt. I am artistically challenged.
I can appreciate art when I look at it at exhibitions or on people’s walls. But give me a pencil or paintbrush and ask me to draw something and I freeze in horror. And it seems to me that everybody else I know CAN draw.
I’m sick of hearing from yet another friend that they’ve just taken up life drawing/oil painting/pottery/sculpture/weaving classes. I feel that there is as sort of conspiracy between them all to make me feel even more hopeless. They all say things like, ‘Of course I don’t have much time now, but later on I’ll have such fun pottering around with my easel and brushes’.
At this point in the conversation I feel my ears grow hot and I smile bravely as if to imply that of course I am in complete agreement and can’t wait for that time myself. It seems such a useful sort of talent. Just get out your sketch book and the world is your oyster. No chance of any of them sitting around feeling uncreative or unfulfilled.
In my teens my best friend and I went out with two boys. My friend’s boyfriend was at art school, and she was heading in the same direction. My boyfriend couldn’t draw either, and while the other two would hang out with their little notebooks and colours, discussing the finer points of a bit of perspective, he and I would make conversation as best as we could. All I wanted to be able to do was pick up my own notebook and fill it with miniature masterpieces. Teenage relationships are tricky at the best of times, and those little books would have spared us many an awkward silence.
In desperation I turned to poetry, and tried to write as the other two sketched. The least said about my output in that sphere the better.
I’ve tried hard to find an alternative or equivalent, but I don’t think it exists. I just yearn to be able to drop casual comments into my conversations along the lines of : ‘I’m thinking of going on a painting holiday in Tuscany’ or ‘Sophie was having real problems with her GCSE art homework, so I sat down with her and we had a good talk about composition’.
I suppose I’ll have to try to write a novel. At least it will sound good, and I can pretend that it is in an ongoing state of development, so no one will ever actually see it.
Or find a class called ‘Drawing for Dummies’….