My Second Childhood - in Colour!

November 2, 2018

BROWSING in one of my favourite second-hand bookshops the other day, I came upon a tome called The Story of Art, a lavish production (407 illustrations, 216 in colour) which must have cost at least thirty quid when it was new.

A robust hardback with glossy (slightly torn) cover, it was on offer at ONE POUND, down from a fiver, presumably to clear space for new stock. At that price, I thought, I couldn't go wrong. So it proved.

Like most people with pretensions to artistic talent, I am inspired by my elders and betters. Flicking through its pages, I spotted a medieval wall tapestry. There was something about its composition and tone that prompted me to get out my gel pens and start drawing. 

This was the result - Medieval Battle Scene, a title wholly without originality or imagination, but which at least serves its purpose. For a medieval battle scene is what it seeks to be.

It occurs to me more and more that my drawings and paintings are fundamentally infantile, the daubings and dabblings of a mind as it was circa 1947 when I first began playing around with crayons and water colours.

My hero Pablo Picasso would not, of course, have seen that as a disadvantage because he regarded children as the best artists of them all.

'Every one of us wants to paint like a child,' he said.

On that basis, I think I'm perhaps on to something...

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