‘My First Sketch’. I recently rekindled a 30-year friendship. After living in Toulouse, France for two years and barely speaking English, I started my language studies at South Bank Polytechnic (now University). Despite the excitement of studying, living in England’s capital and meeting new students in our Halls of Residence, I did miss French.
Returning home late one evening, I overheard the night clerk on reception talking to a student. Sure that I heard a French accent, I introduced myself and we started talking.
Jacques was doing his PhD, working evenings to earn additional income and to have peace and quiet to study.
As we got to know each other I would pop downstairs and keep Jacques company until the wee hours, learning so much about art, poetry, writings, creativity, expressionism and more. All in French. He became a dear friend and a mentor.
Although we haven’t talked for a good few years, Jacques was on my mind of late so I reached out to him. We had a wonderful Skype video call, each sharing our journey’s path until now. As before, I came away from our catch-up excited for new challenges and discoveries, one of which was drawing.
I had mentioned to Jacques that, whilst I love music, photography and poetry, I’d dearly love to know how to draw. When I’m writing words, I see the imagery clearly but am unable to portray visually. That’s why I focus so much on words being just right so that the reader can see what I see in my mind’s eye.
Jacques suggested I CAN draw, and to use my left hand (I’m a rightie) which uses another part of your brain and can increase your creativity. I was to draw marks, he said, anything really, but to relax and just ‘be’. I did draw some marks as Jacques said but felt I wanted to sketch an object.
I recently took a sunset photo where the sun glowed perfectly behind a building on the horizon. So, I had a go. Of course, it’s not a great sketch but I was calm and happy while I was drawing, regaling in the fact my dear friend was still teaching me :-).