Bad Art Experiences

I recently posted a couple of bad art experiences on social media. I'll share them with you here in more detail.

The first was from my school days. I was probably about 15 and in an art lesson. At that time we used powder paints (which I still love); we only got to use those new fangled acrylics in the sixth form. I was mixing some paint and noticed how brown and disgusting the paint water looked. One thing led to another and I was pouring in more powder to thicken up the water. Then for a dare, I drank it. It was fairly horrible as the sludgy powdery manky badness slipped down my throat. Luckily, I lived to face another day.

A second school based incident was when I took a 2 litre bottle of Happy Shopper coke into another art lesson. For those not in the know, Happy Shopper coke was a really cheap brand of pop that barely tasted of anything at all, but at least it was fizzy. For a bit of fun, I drank the whole lot as quickly as I could - which took a couple of minutes - and then tried to do the biggest burp possible. My findings were that the burp was indeed pretty big, but not quite as earth shattering as I had imagined. Plus it gave me severe gut rot. Amazingly.

You may be asking what my teachers were up to at these times. They were busy painting their own art work. Quality teaching. But not quite as bad as my physics teacher who spent the whole of my two GSCE years in a little room smoking his pipe. I had to revise from a physics text book. Fortunately, from what I've seen, things have certainly moved on in the intervening years. (It would have been hard to move backwards.)

Amusing anecdotes aside, my worst art experience has to be hurting my hand in February this year. At its worst I wasn't able to do more than ten seconds painting without it hurting. By June this year it had got better to the point where I could do fifteen minutes a day. Woo hoo.

Despite the impact this had on the progress of my paintings, I kept my spirits up by working on my website and blog, primarily with my left hand. At times though, I did feel that everything was against me and I would never be able to paint again. Or play guitar. Or the piano. It effectively wiped out a lot of my hobbies.

After many weeks of unsuccessful rest, I saw a physio who gave me acupuncture. Suddenly, I was able to do three hours of painting a day. It was amazing (as opposed to most supposedly "amazing" things that barely reach average). I have had a few setbacks, as certain things aggravate the condition, but in the main, I was back to painting.

Then finally my NHS physio appointment came through and the physio gave me some stretches for my thumb. Again this seems to be having a positive effect. I'm now able to do three hours of painting consistently every day and I'm going to start extending this next week.

So my next painting has taken a long time to complete (see detail above) but I think I will finish it within the next two weeks. It has been a major slog and mentally hard to stay positive, but it finally looks like I'm getting on top of the problem. I've still got a way to go to get back to full hand fitness but hopefully things will continue to improve.

One of my favourite quotes is from Winston Churchill:

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

This quote has stood me in good stead many times, and while my hand problem doesn't qualify as "hell" the idea certainly helped me again.

That's all for this week, I think I'll go and make myself a nice cup of paint water. Can't get enough of that sludgy powdery goodness...

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