My Grandad was my art teacher as a child and I would sit by his feet as he showed me how to create tone, perspective etc etc. From a very early age I remember being enchanted by what he could do with a pencil and I wanted to be like him. I would copy portraits from the teen magazines; Kylie, River Pheonix, Corey Haim (showing my age)… and I just wanted to be as great as my Grandad. Working 2D to 2D when I was younger, we then had models when I did Art A level and I realised 3D to 2D was much harder. Later in life I joined a life drawing class in Writtle, run by the amazing teacher Jimmy Jones who taught me in a way that changed not just the way I drew but the way I see – changing my work and attitude to drawing. Grandad had passed away by this time and Jimmy filled his shoes for a while. Unfortunately I had to stop those classes because of work but you never forget the lessons of a great teacher.
This Saturday I met another great teacher! I had an amazing treat booked in the form of a one day course on making a mini portrait sculpture out of clay, using photographs. I’d chosen photographs of my son when he was a baby (it was his choice). Working from 2D into 3D was a totally new dimension for me, as was using clay. I’ve used Fimo clay before and I’m sure I used this clay many moons ago when I was at school but the texture, the feel of the clay, the coolness and ease of use was a feeling I’d long forgotten. Billie Bond, a very talented artist, was running the class in her studio and the whole experience was amazing. From the welcome to the step by step instructions, the giggles and the provided lunch (homemade vegetable soup!) to the final achievement of the day!
I can’t wait to go to another class- my only regret was that I hadn’t taken my camera so that I could share how this little buddy came about. Billies help and guidance got me to this stage – and I’ll be going back to finish it once it’s been fired in the Kiln!
If you have a gift to buy someone I would highly recommend a course – trying new skills and creating interests like this are so beneficial to well-being! Find a local course and if there are none then book someone in to an online course instead. You might unlock a new passion!