This post was inspired by this post – Free Write Friday: Doodling is taking me places… – written by Trudie over at My Vintage Childhood – The photos are of art that I have done myself, and also of the current state of my art room.
I was surprised on a quick search of my blog that I have never told the full story of my getting kicked out of art class in year 9. To tell the story I have to go back a little bit further, to primary school.
When I was little, my parents quickly learned not to give me colouring books with things on the pages, because I would get deeply upset when I could not keep my colouring within the lines on the page. As I got older, I discovered that while I could imagine amazing things in my head, they could not be transmitted via my brain, down my arm, through my hand and fingers onto the paper. I could not draw.
Oh sure, I could make a stick figure, and some rudimentary shapes, but to draw what was in my head was totally impossible for me. This was incredibly frustrating. And yet, we had to do art as a subject in school. There was no choice. I loved paint, I loved colour, I was really good at collage and things like making jewellery, glitter balls, sequin art, gluing things to canvas, things like that. I just could not draw, not at all. Much of the time I was allowed to do my own thing rather than trying to draw things, once the teachers learned how frustrated and angry I would get.
Until year 9 in high school, that is. I had a teacher who believed that everyone could draw to a very high standard, if they tried hard enough. She pushed me to draw. And she pushed me. And she just kept on pushing until I snapped.
I forget what actually ended up happening. I forget what the exact breaking point was, or what I did – I’m guessing I tore up my paper, and possibly any other paper I could get my hands on, out of sheer frustration. I’m guessing there was crying, screaming and yelling.. I think I’ve buried what happened so deep inside that it will never be unburied even if I wanted it to be.
What I do remember is the teacher snapped. She told me I was hopeless at art. That was the one thing she said nobody could be! She’d stood there in front of the class at the start of the year and told us, we all have an artist inside, some people just have to work harder than others to let them out. This fact was not news to me – I knew I couldn’t draw, and I’d told her that from the get-go.
Over the years in my art classes, I had found that art did not have to = drawing. I could do some amazing things with paint. It just did not resemble anything else. I said I would prefer not to draw and I would like to be allowed to do my own thing as in past years with other teachers. She said drawing was an important part of the course and because I would not do it, she told me that she was sending me to T2.
Funny, how t2 is now a store most people would love to be sent to. Back in those days, it meant detention. Every time I was supposed to go to art class, I would have to go to t2 detention instead. You had to work on something from your class there, but not painting or gluing or any of the cool things. I was limited to drawing. Yeah, right, like I was going to do that!
What I would do, each lesson, I would get all my colour pencils out of my pencil case. I would sort them into order – they each had a name and a number. I would sharpen them all. Then I would draw small boxes, colour them in, write the name of the pencil and the number next to the box. I did this for nearly 6 months of year 9. Finally art was over, and another class took the place of art on my schedule. THANK GOD. I was so bored, and there wasn’t much left of those pencils.
Of course if someone tells you that you are no good at something, you really don’t want to be involved with that thing anymore. Year 9 was the last year art was a “forced” subject, and in year 10 I did not choose to do art as a subject. I also put away my colour pencils for good. I completely stopped any form of art for over 10 years, until I was a bit older and wiser, and I tried a ceramics class, which led back to painting.
As the years have gone by, I have found ways to be an artist without needing to be able to draw. There are loads of stencils you can print out. You can use stamps. Dot art is another great way to make art without needing to be able to draw. Things like ceramics and pottery can be hugely therapeutic without having to be able to draw. And if you want to do your own thing on a canvas, you can just play with colour until you like what you see.
With Adult Colouring In becoming a thing, I have finally got my coloured pencils back out again. Adult colouring in books can be pretty expensive but never fear here are some great free printables to get you started – Color pages for Mom – Free colouring pages for adults. I am now able to keep my colouring within the lines, which makes it a relaxing and fun activity for me.
One of the first things I needed to do was to make a colour chart. That is something I have had a lot of experience with, lol. :) Though it has been a while and I made a mistake, so I’ll probably end up making another one. Sadly though these colour pencils do not have names on them, so I improvised and made some sticky labels, and my own names.
Over to You –
Are you into the new Adult Colouring In trend? What kind of art do you like to do yourself?