Tuesday, 25 September 2012

An Angel at my Table

I was sat in my shed the other day, with a pristine, unopened sketchbook staring up at me accusingly from the table. I'll be honest with you, I was hoping for divine intervention. 

For quite some time I just gazed from the pad to the brand new, 'professional' box of pastels, gently lifting them out, one at a time, then placing them neatly back into their custom-made beds of foam.

I've had them now for a couple of weeks. So why, you may  ask, have they not had their first outing? The reason is, and I'm a little reluctant to admit - *whispers* - I've been too scared to use them. 
Now there's a confession; though have opened them on many an occasion to admire and touch their utter perfectness. 

Scared because I didn't think I could do them justice. 
Scared because I truly didn't believe the end result would be worthwhile. 
Scared because I thought they'd get the better of me. 
Scared because......well, for all sorts of reasons, the least being, I don't really know what I'm doing (yet) when it comes to 'proper' pastel painting. 

Picture this......a stand-off in a Wild West film. Me, Clint Eastwood style at one end of the dry, dusty and tumbleweed-strewn road and the pastels at the other. 
I knew I'd have to win this one. 

'It's you or the pastels, kid.' Slurred the half-asleep Sheriff, somewhat unhelpfully.

'So you think you can paint with me dude? Dicing with a professional set, y'all hear? 'Think you're good enough?' Came a mocking voice from inside the box.

And so I decided that I couldn't put it off any longer; it was them or me.

I reached for... my camera.

I did something that I've never done before and that was to record every step of the journey through photographs. I knew I would eventually  learn something about myself at the end of the process, be it good or bad.

I can't pretend it was an easy journey,fraught with mistakes and sometimes utter frustration, but I'm pretty darn sure there was an Angel standing at my table watching over me. (I'm a soppy wee thing...)

And yes, I did learn something about myself........ 

'Confidence is such a fragile and precious thing.' David Duval 



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