The ability to draw is not a gift. I think people don’t understand this because drawing is not taught to them when they are young. Giving anyone tools without the instructions will always be hit and miss. Drawing is a learnable skill, but it is a skill that takes a great deal of commitment to master later in life.
There are only two drawings from my childhood that I remember. The first was a picture of a favourite bird, a willy wagtail. I was very young and carried the picture over to one of the older girls to show her. I think she was polite about it but I remember there was giggling as I walked away. The second was in primary school. I drew a face from a book. My friends would not believe I had drawn it freehand. And that was the point. I had drawn both these freehand and felt each was something more than my usual rough-hand attempts. I remember a sense of marvel. I remember it was not shared.
I whole-heartedly recommend Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. The drawings I have placed in the Gallery are from the classes I took back in the late 80s.
When the teacher was pinning “Having A Break” on the noticeboard, she started scratching at it. It was only an instant. She turned to me with a look of astonishment at her actions. She explained her habit of peeling off price tags – off everything – and had tried to peel the price tag from the magazine cover in my drawing.
There are some examples in the Gallery.