There’s nothing more liberating than starting with a clean page. Yet at the same time it’s daunting. So many misadventures and calamities waiting to happen. Still, a march of a thousand miles begins with the first step … as Confucius said (or some other geezer). I’ve got a vast piece of virgin cartridge paper awaiting my clumsy imprints. It looks like its A0 size or maybe bigger… whatever size comes after ‘0’? Everything seems colossal when you’re stretching across in a wheelchair. It’s tan coloured paper so hopefully that’s half my job already done… Hopefully I have to do a painting of a Charolais bull in a wheat field.
We’ve been asked to bring a can of hairspray today. It doesn’t have to be the expensive type. That’s good, I can leave my Hanz de Fuko Style hair spray at home. In its place I’ve brought Wilko’s own brand at just 95p. I compare my acquisition with Pete whose busy setting up.
Me: “How much did you pay for your hairspray Pete?” –
Me: “I only paid a quid”
Yes, it was one of those schadenfreude moments. It brought much pleasure to me but not sure Mike was enjoying my company.
All is revealed by our teacher. We are working in charcoal today and the subject is a ‘magpie’. Why a magpie I don’t know. I wonder whether I can do two of them together: I’m suspicious that way.
It’s going to get messy I know. My willow charcoal stick seems a bit bent. To make things worse, our teacher breaks our sticks in half. This is not going well.
Drawing magpies is not so bad. I wonder whether I should confine my artistic repertoire to variant of the jay. I scour with sweeping abandon across the page using my diminutive charcoal stick.
Then I’m introduced to something quite novel – it’s a ‘putty rubber’. It removes all the unwanted smears as if by magic. And there are plenty of smears. In fact, I think I’ll have to use the putty rubber on my face. I’m convinced that I’ve smudged on my left cheek. Perhaps I look like a chimney sweep, but is anyone in my art class about to enlighten me?
There, done. It’s surprising what a few touches with a piece of white chalk can do. Miss, I’ve finished!