Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Beg borrow or steal

There were very few things I liked about school. Except art lessons. The art rooms were at the top of a three story system built building, the kind that I built with the construction sets my Dad gave me. At high school I did c.s.e first ,then O'level. I was taught by a nice enough teacher to begin with, I can't remember his name but he let me get on with what I was doing and thinking even though it didn't exactly fit in with the requirements of the lesson. I didn't draw from life much but I did draw. One of the first exercises he set us was to choose an advert from a magazine, chop away half of it and try and fill in the rest by hand. I didn't really get the the point of it . But he let me paint what I wanted to paint.

Eventually there was a new head of art.  His name was Mr. Stephen.Warnes, it's 
safe to say that without him I would never have thought to value what I did or to think of applying to a foundation course after sixth form. That's him there on the left eating a sandwich. He was (and is) an incredible artist in his own right , it took a lot of pestering on our part to get him to show us any of his work, and even then he waited until after we had finished our A'level exam so as he said not to influence us.  His work is here - http://www.railart.co.uk/gallery/warnes.html      and here  http://www.artwanted.com/artist.cfm?artid=45423 .

In those days I generally used oil paint, bought from a little shop in Worcester, opposite the train station and next to the cinema. Mr Warnes told me once that you should be able to make Art even if you are stuck on a desert island with only a burnt match to draw with, I think the idea being that lack of material should not be a barrier to making if you are determined , at the interview for the school of art I went to after foundation the tutor interviewing me ( Clyde Hopkins - the painter)  asked me what I would do to support myself through the degree to which I replied , beg, borrow or steal.
Final A level exam piece
Eating a sandwich in the Art room











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