For five minutes I was an art student again.

So I went to meet my mum for lunch today after she’d been to watch a rehearsal at the ENO – I’m not a fan of opera in a language that I can understand, it’s always a bit weird when you realise they’re waxing lyrical about having to do the washing and load the dishwasher (in their dreams). I think normally my mum lunches with a couple of other women with whom she watches the rehearsals but today for a change it was me who chomped through pizza while she ate cannelloni and very nice it was to see her too. I really wanted to go to a beany casserole type place but as mum’s walking isn’t great at the moment we went for the closest option.

After lunch we popped over to the National Portrait Gallery and had a look at the Tudor paintings and then jumped forward a few centuries to the late twentieth century ie 1980s onwards. There were some really amazing paintings there, particularly one of a meeting of the Royal Academy board caught my eye and imagination. There were also lots of students sketching details of paintings and sculptures and it made me think about when I was an art student (which technically speaking was never but in my head I sort of was).

Feeling all nostalgic I thought about the term during GCSEs when two or three of us were selected to join a group of Foundation students at Camberwell School of Art taking a life drawing class. I can SO clearly remember when the male model walked into the room in some sort of dressing gown/robe and then took his place in the middle of the room and removed the robe. Aged fourteen and studying at an all Girl’s school this was a BIG deal for us, I think we handled it very well, though we hooted with laughter and shock on the bus home. It also made me think about all those trips I’d taken to museums whilst studying art and later fashion and all those times that I’d sat drawing the foot of a greek sculpture or such like. So when I left the gallery and walked up the Charing Cross Road I think that it was inevitable that I would go in to the art shop that I always shopped at, Cass Art London, and it was probably also inevitable that I’d blow almost my whole weekly budget on art materials! Anyway I felt exquisitely happy for the briefest of moments.

I had an idea I wanted to do something with acrylics and charcoal, I think I maybe even pictured it in my head but now I’m home I think my shiny new paints, paint brushes, pencils, charcoals and papers might get consigned to a cupboard, not quite at the back straight away but that’s sure to come.

If by some miracle I do draw/paint something maybe I’ll post it here. Maybe I’ll paint the self portrait drawing in the fashion of Frida Kahlo I did years ago – if so I won’t be posting that anytime soon.


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