Almost every day I draw something in my sketchbook, and if I don’t do that I’ll probably be colouring a drawing in Photoshop or, more recently, carving lino to make a rubber stamp.
I’d always intended to study art, design or photography at university but, although I studied fine art and art history up to A level, I did a degree in Theology and Religious Studies.
I became a school teacher, but I didn’t teach art. Even so, I would use art in my lessons whenever I could – encouraging kids to create images or comic strips to help them remember things, helping them to draw things if they got stuck, providing materials so they could make art work on fabric or create Documstained glass windows on acetate. The list goes on.
After a few years teaching I was diagnosed with M.E/C.F.S and spent long periods at home resting and recuperating. But when I had the energy I would make greetings cards for friends and family.
Within a year of leaving my job I started a Master’s degree, again in Theology, but in my spare time I kept making cards, doing some sewing, crochet and then started to take photos again like I’d done when I was younger.
Every so often I’d try drawing again but I’d get frustrated that my sketches weren’t very good so I’d stop.
Danny Gregory’s book, The Creative License changed that for me. I read it about 3 years ago and haven’t really stopped drawing since. This book taught me to forget about perfection and to just enjoy the meditative feeling that comes from being absorbed in drawing.
Since then I’ve drawn all kinds of things but more often than not my drawings are of objects or scenes that are right in front of me. I’m documenting the everyday stuff, and this felt new to me, compared to what I’d drawn in school.
Then a few days ago a message popped up in my Facebook inbox from a friend in Greece, saying ‘Look what I found!’ and attached to that message was the picture at the top of this post.
I’d almost forgotten doing it but I made this drawing probably in 1999 when I was at university, sitting on my friend’s bed. Seeing it again sparked a lot of memories in different way from looking at a photograph. When I looked at it I started to remember the moment that I drew it, and I also remember those objects on the bedside table – even the ones that don’t look very clear on paper are actually quite clear in my memory.
And then I remembered sitting in my room, in the same house where I made this drawing, and making a watercolour sketch of the view from my window.
So it seems that drawing everyday objects and scenes isn’t actually that new for me at all. And even though I stopped doing it for a while, I’ve eventually found my way back to drawing and documenting my life, almost subconsciously, because it seems that back then I didn’t even realise that that’s what I was doing.
If you’d like to own a print of one of my drawings don’t forget to check my Etsy shop, which I’ll be adding even more items to very soon.