Monday, 3 November 2008

Memories of home

" Norfolk on my mind " by Susie Mallett October 3rd 2008

I haven't done any painting for ages and ages so today I took a break from work, from typing and from thinking and I picked up a paint brush. With no idea at all what I was going to paint I just brushed on a few of my favourite colours, Prussian blue being number one amongst them, and I waited to see what happened. Low and behold a Norfolk landscape appeared before my eyes, which isn’t really surprising as it is where I learnt to paint. My mother would drive me around the Norfolk countryside for hours and every so often we would pull into the side of the road and while I painted and drew she would read her newspaper or chat to me.

I am as ever amazed to see that blobs of paint and a few squiggles of the pencil can give us the impression that they are trees. They aren’t trees, they are just blobs of paint, but I am ever grateful for this talent of being able to deceive the eye into believing, just for a moment, that they are real trees, because today it gave me the opportunity to take a much needed break. While painting or drawing I enter a world of my own, totally absorbed by the marks on the paper and the consistency and colour of the paints.

Recently I have renewed contact with a second cousin in Australia who is also a bit of an artist, but like me she is not producing as many pictures as she would like. We made a sort of pact, we decided we should try to put paint or pencil to paper once everyday. Mary, that’s my cousin, has also asked for a bit of tuition so she could in fact turn out to be my first art student in cyberspace.

When I am at home another member of my family gets a bit of free tuition and lots of encouragement too, that's my dad. Having sat at the dining room table watching me painting for most of my life he recently began using the watercolours that I had given him on his retirement almost twenty years ago. He is quite good already and he becomes as absorbed in his work in much the same way as I do.

Watch this space for a family exhibition!

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