Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Old-fashioned fun

Grandma draws Catriona
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
When I was at secondary school, it was after S3 that we cut out of our curriculum those subjects we didn't intend to take Highers in. In my case this meant no more Art - and I regretted this, for though I was never a painter I had always enjoyed drawing. Life drawing turned out to be far more up my alley than I had suspected, and I can still recall producing perfectly recognisable pencil drawings of two friends whose turn it was to stand on desks in the middle of the art room. (Vera Campbell and Alison Goodall - are you still alive?)

My granddaughter has started drawing - she does a wonderfully confident circle as the starting point for mysterious heads with round, dark eyes and random facial markings - and this week demanded that I should have a go. Because she was wearing a very distinctive Peppa Pig cardi with big stripes and big buttons, it was a bit of a cheat, really, to gain instant recognition and acclaim for the figure I produced, but the exercise re-awakened all the joy I used to have in this sort of thing.

I recall sitting quietly, bored out of my skull, in the house of a friend of my aunt's. I must have been six, I think, or maybe seven. The whole afternoon was redeemed by my being given a small bit of paper - maybe out of a diary? - and a pencil. I drew the dresser - a massively intricate piece of furniture - and the patterned china sitting on the shelf. It took ages to finish, and I was engrossed. Much, much later - like maybe ten years ago - I amused myself during a "Please Take" in an Art class (sitting in the class of an absent colleague keeping the peace and supplying paper when required) by sketching the faces of the pupils around me. Great hilarity when one of them caught sight of what I was doing - I had to do the whole lot then. Great disciplinary tool, really.

Anyway, "Do another Catriona" resulted in a gallery of small stripey figures left behind as we returned yesterday. Who needs the computer?


  1. Scholastic achievement is important and seems to become more so every day! Often, we miss the beauty of God's creations because we are so tied to academia..Things like painting and drawing help us to "dig a bit deeper" and we often discover a deep truth about God in a simple thing like a flower! I guess photography does that, too!

    I love this photo....Catriona is looking you intently on your drawing. I still cannot believe how quickly she has transformed from baby to little girl!!!

  2. Where are these portraits? i think we should be shown!