Not a shoot out with the OH or some doctors, actual drawing.
I cannot believe how happy simple drawing makes me and, amazingly, at my age it’s new. Many people go through a stage of drawing endlessly when they discover what to do with a pencil. I never really did, partly because I was enchanted with writing very early, there are ‘books’ I wrote aged five. Also, of course, I just thought I was rubbish at drawing and didn’t know how other people could do it, I had no idea I couldn’t see very far.
About four years ago, looking for new craft stores I found an art shop in the next town to me, running drawing evenings, life drawing and portraiture and thought I would have a go. It really helped that a lot of the students were also rubbish. For the first five or six evenings I sat beside a little old lady who rendered the nude, patient model in green scribbles that would have had Picasso putting his head on one side and asking what it was meant to be and wasn’t the eye, if that is what it was, in the wrong place?
So cheered by comparison and the lack of tuition I continued to attend. It was also a big attraction that wine was served and at the time I was worried that because of the drinking of the OH that I would develop a psychosomatic aversion to alcohol such as affected my grandmother. She, brought up in a pub and marrying an alcoholic, suddenly had a problem. At my cousin’s wedding she took one sip of champagne and her face swelled up like a balloon. It did the same ever after with just one sip of alcohol. Determined not to go down this route I bought a glass of wine at each drawing session in half time and consumed it publicly with no ill effects of any variety. I only ever buy it when I have got to the colouring-in stage or I’d be giving Picasso a run for his money but the object was achieved and four years on I can draw, as well.
What I am doing now is the illustrations for my novel, which is finished. There are eight illustrations, including the cover.
I intended to write the book the moment my duties as a carer had finished but that summer – 2017- I broke my arm so badly, I couldn’t type but I could hold a light plastic pencil, so I drew the cover.
That was going to be it but I had drawn the buildings where the action takes place so I knew what you would see if you came out of one room and turned left, for example, as I did for the village, which is on the book cover. Then one of my writer’s group asked for a floor plan which I was happy to do, as it was in the text anyway. Having done those, there were one or two things that had been banging about in my head so I got them on paper too.
I went off to my local copy shop and got four copies of each to colour in. This is not a bad idea, I have back ups, can do experiments and best of all, my chosen medium will not react with ink and I cannot accidentally erase the pencil lines.
I know you’d like to see but I won’t put them on the Internet and pre-empt my own copyright, that would either be asking for trouble or great publicity, depending. I cannot tell if they are good or not, I couldn’t see very well until I was sixteen. They could be worse than I think, it could be me and Jackson Pollack riding a bicycle across a lake of paint shouting ‘wheee!’
Or it could just be me carefully colouring in stuff that looks like what it is meant to represent ( I am hopelessly old fashioned sometimes.)