Art class begins at 1pm and I find myself completely stressedÂ by the thought of going out and facing the unknown. Except it is not unknown. And it is ridiculous to be fearful. Where does this come from, this deep seated anxiety about “art”?
I grew up being told that I was not “artistic” – whatever it is that the word means. I was in fact thrown out of art class at the end of my first year in Grammar school. I was dispatched to take Physics – a subject that it was thought that I had more aptitude for. Meanwhile, at a Secondary Modern school aÂ few miles away, my twin sister was well on the road to eventually becoming a teacher of art. She was encouraged at home and always pointed out as the creative one. I only cooked.
It was many years before I was able to recognise that cooking is a highly creative skill and the one way in which I found a truly creative outletÂ for most of my life.
I have tried, from time to time, but the self-critic defeats me. I cannot get past that point of believing that art should be life-like. My hands do not have that level of skill. How could they? I was denied the learning process. I was denied the support.
There have been several false starts at self-teaching. That critic defeated me every time. (She’s called Irene, by the way.)
I once made it to an art group – but only attended for a for a handful of weeks before leaving the district and having to give up the class.
So, here I go again. This time I know the teacher – and people do not come any nicer. I have every confidence in her as a person who will do everything that she can to enable individuals both in the medium and in their self-belief. But still I have those collywobbles. Still I believe that I shall be the only beginner. The only non-adept. That I am going toÂ make a total arse of myself.
I wish the internal me knew what the intellectual me knows – it’s just a bit of fun. It will be fun. It will. If only I could stop quivering!
And I wish I knew why it is so important to me. Why, for all of my life, I have felt the need to express myself on paper with pen, ink, pencil, paint… I have no idea what it is that makes me want this so very much. Or why, if I have always wanted it so much, I haven’t just gone ahead and done it, why I feel the need to be shown how rather than just doing my own thing. Or why it is that I cannot forgive myself for not being every bit as good as Renoir or Monet or Rosetti – when I have barely even begun.
Right. Deep breath. Here I go!