Nearly thirty years ago

I've managed to keep nearly every sketch book and piece of artwork I've created since I was twelve. This makes for a lot of paper, the majority of it pretty awful and very much in the learning curve category. I was never really very good at drawing, I simply had a fertile imagination, a doodly way of sketching and an immense drive to become 'an artist'. Whatever that meant.  Anyway, today I found this sheet of sketches while rummaging through a pile. I was torn between nostalgia and slight embarrassment.  It almost feels as if another person drew it. Which in a way, they did.

The sheet is dated September 18th, 1988, so that would be just at the very start of my A level art course. I was twenty and between the ages of sixteen and twenty, I had spent most of my time being (unknowingly) pretty depressed and screwed up in a  damp bedsit.  By the time I pencilled these sketches, I had pulled myself together and was living in a shared farmhouse in the countryside, near Oxford. It was beautiful and maybe that's why I was unconsciously themes here of metamorphosis, as it felt as if my life had started again. 


Despite my disconnect from them, now that I am almost fifty, I was amused to see that I have always liked tall skinny houses that are rather unapproachable.

My anti-war sympathies were obviously still with me, though it would have been more optimistic to make the Spitfire turn into a butterfly, rather than vice versa.

At first I thought that the woman and her children were pointing at the plane, but then I noticed the clouds...

 I used to draw a lot of little fisher people, this was one of the first.

However, despite distance of the years, I actually found a little sketch which is almost where I am going with my work now, nearly thirty years later. The idea needs tweaking, but there's something there...it's almost as if my younger self sent a little gift to me, through the decades.


Joy said...

I love your sketches! You had talent, it just needed direction.

Twiglet said...

What a lovely set of sketches - they just show what talent you have always had and so brilliant to be able to use that little message from the past for your new work. x Jo

Karren said...

Such character shines through in these beginning sketches. How nice to be able to look back and see your younger self like this.

Lyn said...

wow, I love looking at peoples sketchbooks they are always so interesting! xxxx

Lin said...

Wow! What a treasure you found!! You may not like these or where you were at with your art, but it shows your growth. And all of these are STILL better than anything I can draw today...at 50.