My Idea Of Art Is A Big Headed Man With Wonky Eyebrows

PUBLISHED: 16:27 14 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010

I HOPE you all enjoyed the Easter break. Last week I asked readers what they thought the Market Square in Ely could be used for, other than the Thursday and Saturday markets, and in particular on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and several people have replied

I HOPE you all enjoyed the Easter break. Last week I asked readers what they thought the Market Square in Ely could be used for, other than the Thursday and Saturday markets, and in particular on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and several people have replied with some really interesting suggestions, which I will pass on to interested parties and update you when I have had some official feedback. It would be great to see some of these ideas implemented in the near future with a view to encouraging locals and tourists to spend more time in Ely.

The funny thing is that when you get to a certain age, and that certain age coincides with your children flying the nest, you start to focus much more on missed opportunities; all those things you never got round to or found the time to try out. And now that I am in the enviable position of being able to leave the house without checking that I have wet wipes, tissues, the baby sitter's mobile number, or worried that I might come home to find the house wreaked by teenage excess or boys playing footie in the living room, I have decided it is time to take up some new hobbies. Anyway, on Thursday night, I went along to the Life Drawing Group in Ely which meets in the Old Dispensary in St Mary's Street. I never studied art at school, but always felt there just might be some artistic talent lurking within me and let's face it, it wouldn't be fair to deprive the art world of my take on the world, now would it?

The club is run by Alan, with some help from John, and both were welcoming, friendly and encouraging when I turned up feeling a bit foolish. I was slightly worried when the first thing Alan did was hand me a big rubber! Could he tell by just by looking at me that I was bereft of any talent? Maybe he had noticed that I didn't have artist's fingers or something!

Alan was actually very helpful and gave me lots of tips and he managed not to laugh once as I produced what can only be described as 'man with small head and wonky eyebrows'. It is a still life class so we had to draw a man who sat very still in various poses, but for the life of me I just couldn't get him into perspective. I think I might be better off with caricatures as it won't matter so much if the head is too small for the body. At the end of the class I went round to look at everyone else's work and realised I had concentrated so much on getting the eyebrows straight that I failed totally to bring any sense of it being my own style to the drawing. Alan helpfully told me I was holding the pencil as if I was writing and that I needed to be a bit freer with my strokes, but although there was some progression in the latter half of the class, I still managed to make the poor man look like a cross between ET and Cat Stevens. I haven't worked out yet whether you can be taught such things or whether you have to possess a basic talent or 'eye' for art to make any kind of reasonable artist, but I am going to persevere as it proved to be an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours on a Thursday night, and who knows, perhaps a raging talent is bubbling away underneath my clam exterior or then again, I may bring a whole new concept of big headed people with no elbows and wonky eyebrows to the art world.

PS: They also served a very nice cup of strong tea.

Thought of the Week

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people are so full of doubts.

Bertram Russell.

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