I have to write about Art for this week’s Sunday Scribblings.
Do you remember me telling you about the flower and produce show in my parents’ village? One year as well as my vegetables and things I entered a painting in the arts and crafts section. Don’t laugh!
Well a few years ago I joined an art class. Up until then the nearest thing I’d done to a picture was painting by numbers or filling in a colouring book. But my Mum always thought I had flair. She liked the way I added my own interpretation the picture I was colouring . I was flattered of course, but if the truth be told I used to get muddled with the colours and had great difficulty staying inside the lines! She took that to be me expressing myself.
Anyway, I religiously went to the village hall for my classes every Wednesday night and really came on well. I didn’t always understand my teacher’s one word comments. He would say ‘yessss’ or screw his eyes up and say ‘mmmm’
The highlight of the six week course was to be a life study. I didn’t really know what a life study was but I didn’t ask because I didn’t want to appear stupid. So you can imagine my shock when a handsome young man came into the room and took his kit off!
At first I thought a streaker had invaded our class, but when no one else seemed particularly alarmed I realised that we were about to paint a nude. I was SO embarrassed. I didn’t know where to look. Actually, I did know where to look and ....wow....!
I thought I did a pretty good job of it. Ok, my painting was not exactly life like, It was a painting after all, not a photograph. But I was encouraged by my monosyllabic teachers comment – ‘I say!’ he muttered. I took that as quite a compliment.
So back to the village art and crafts competition. I entered my life study, in fact I titled the piece ‘Life Study’.
I didn’t win. The first prize went to my Mother for her dull water colour of a boring bunch of flowers. Second was a landscape which I reckoned was copied from a post card and third was a portrait of a man with big ears. It was called ‘Prince Charles’ but I couldn’t see any likeness - except for the ears!
Just as I turned to walk away a special prize was announced for the most original painting in the competition. As I kept walking I heard the name Rosemary Pinkerton called out. I thought lucky Rosemary then realised the prize was going to me!
I turned to see the Vicar holding up the painting with a huge grin on his face. ‘Strewth’ I thought. The vicar is smiling at a picture of a naked man! Whatever next?
Then he said something along the lines of ‘It’s not often we see impressionist paintings in our annual contest’
I was about to call out that it was not intended to be an impressionist painting, when my friend Keith appeared from nowhere and clamped his hand across my mouth. ‘Don’t say a thing’ he whispered. ‘Just smile and accept your prize graciously’
The vicar continued ‘The judges could not fail to be charmed by this amusing yet understated image of a.....of a.....’
Then he paused, looked at the picture and then at the judges. They all looked blank and old Major Trumpleforth shrugged his shoulders.
He continued ‘this image of .....of......a pig. Yes, a prize pig’
I gave up art. I clearly never was going to be the next Picasso or Constable. I still have the prize, a little silver sculpture of a dog – or is it a cow? I’ve never really been sure.