Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Why I love to scrap

I took up card making in Jan last year after subscribing to a part work, Creative Papercraft, which went bust in about June after issuing too many fabulous free gifts. I started scrapbooking in about January this year.

I absolutely love both, particularly trying new techniques and painting. I love using Twinkling H20s, watercolours and acrylics. I am thrilled to have rediscovered by creative 'mojo,' because it's been lost for a long time.

Let me explain. When I was a kid, I was always in my room writing comics, novels and stories and making little drawings to go with them. I always had my own style of drawing, rather child-like. I was never good at still life or anything technical. At school, I went into the fourth form to take art O level, and for the first time had art teacher Mr Roper. I remember he kept coming round to see what I was doing, that first week, to decide if I had any talent. As always I did a very quick drawing - it was a lively scene of people in a cafe - and then reached for my paints. I was good at painting. At the end of class he came round again, and said: "But it's very child-like - there's no light and shade." I was appalled: I wanted to tell him to think about Plymouth artists Beryl Cook and Brian Pollard: they had their own style and I had mine. But I didn't.

Fortunately, my other art teacher, a young woman called Miss Turvy, liked my work. She gave me a B+ in the mock o level, but sadly, the actual o level examiner must have been from the old Roper school because I got unclassified!

That put me off drawing and painting for several years until I started going to a watercolours night school in Newbury.

The first week I was given a postcard to copy. This seemed to be what they did every week: copy postcards. It was a muted watercolour of a bridge, and I duly copied it but didn't enjoy it very much. The next week, I decided to free the watercolours: let them be vibrant, let them dance across the pages. But the teacher frowned and said it wasn't the right technique (washing, blah blah, watering them down, Prince Charles, muted). So I didn't go back.

Now I am rediscovering the joy of creativity, fuelled by the numerous magazines and books I'm reading. My latest passion is slowly becoming altered art and ephemera, though I haven't tried it yet. I've yearned to recreate some of the work I've seen in Craft Stanper and Somerset Memories. Today I've finally ordered the right type of stamps to help me do this, from Crafty Individuals I'm going to redesign the cover of the mini book I'm working on as a first step, once the stamps arrive.

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