Art Group

I was recently asked if I would be able to write a poem about our Art Group (visit the Sutton Art Group website to see what we get up to there). Up for a challenge, I came up with this one, which they were so pleased with they asked me to read it at the opening ceremony of our 20th Annual Exhibition last Saturday, so I thought I’d share it with you too.

The Art Group

Outside, the windows are awash,
Wet on wet this watercolour morning.
The messy collage of a weary world
continues out there, but inside, inside…

Inside is a cacophony of colour
spilling across the tables,
blending with pastel chuckles
and bright acrylic laughter.

The broad brushstrokes of practice
sit comfortably alongside
the detail of accomplishment,
each hand working, creating,

whilst quietly
the paper absorbs the memories
these friends trace together
each Friday morning.

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But is it art?

Just over a year ago, my husband and I decided to join the local art group. We’d wanted to find a hobby we could enjoy together in our old age (!) and having explored various ideas including sporty stuff, choirs etc, art seemed to be the least exhausting option.

It has been great. Really wonderful. The other art group folk are a fantastic bunch and we spend a lot of time laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Which is just as well, because pretty quickly it became obvious that I do not have a natural talent when it comes to putting paint on paper. In fact, I’m pants at it.

Irritatingly, my husband has proved to be astonishingly good, and the art group has rekindled his old passion for painting. He’s churning out lovely pieces at such a rate, we’re going to have to move soon to accommodate them all.

The opposite side of the coin is me. I’m plodding away, churning out rubbish. It is just so frustrating. In my head my picture is going to be a beautiful dancer poised in a perfect landscape. On paper it’s a lumpy out of proportion excuse for a human on a muddy blur of greenish stuff. My pretty flowers aren’t. My trees are lollipops painted by a three year old. You get the gist.

It’s even more annoying since I know I can draw passably with a pencil, it’s just the bloomin’ paint not doing as it’s told. It has often made me grumpy, sometimes tearful, and occasionally violent.. towards the paper anyway, ripping pictures up in a stormy huff and flinging them in the bin with venom. This was supposed to be enjoyable…

Anyhoo… as I say it’s been a year now, of me trying but totally losing confidence and being heartily embarrassed by my efforts during the art group sessions. But yet I’m still plugging on.

Just lately, I’ve had one or two things that I’ve been vaguely happy with. Mostly when I’ve been trying the least, just sort of doodling. My watercolours are still a bit washed out, but coloured pencil work is coming on a bit better, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve ventured back into acrylics, which previously has been the medium that has made me the crossesist (yeah, I know… but it’s perfect, and should be a real word even if it’s not).

In the past I’ve tried to actually copy something. Do something realistic and beautiful, but not so long ago I realised how miserable the failures were making me, so I started just sloshing on paint and seeing where it got me. D’ya know what? I had fun! And actually, the pictures have started looking like I want them to. Maybe not brilliant, but they look like mine. Like I have some sort of my own style.

I admit, they, like my poems, are a bit dark and broody, but that’s it. That’s capturing what I’m aiming for. Sometimes I think we need to embrace our limitations. I may never be able to paint a pretty flower, or a magnificent animal. My trees may always be lollipops, but they are my lollipops.

So, I am taking a leap here. A big leap. A very big leap. I am going to share some of my pictures with you on this blog, and hopefully, hopefully, you will be able to watch me improve and grow, and maybe, in the not too distant future, I will start to gain confidence and be proud of my creations. In the meantime, here are some of my recent attempts with acrylics….

p.s. to see some of the beautiful work other members of our group produce you can visit the ‘our art’ page on the Sutton Art Group website at https://suttonartgroup.wordpress.com/our-art/

Connection lines

Taken as part of the Photo101 challenge – today’s theme ‘Connection’

These are some hand prints my husband, myself and my twin daughters did nearly fourteen years ago.  We had great, messy fun producing them, and at the time, made a conscious decision that we should each make our hands into a different pattern, as well as using a different colour.  Thus, they are different and yet the same – much like us as individuals.They have been gracing my walls ever since.

Underneath I have pinned the scroll of my extended family tree which goes back over 200 years. There are many that are long since dead, and even some more recent relatives that I have never known.  Nevertheless, we are still connected by a blood line, and keeping a record of their names means that their connection to us will continue to be remembered by future generations.

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