My Story About Mother Giving Me a Pencil to Draw With

by Jeremy Blackburne
(Fort Johnson)

Cat Reading Newspaper

Cat Reading Newspaper

I was fortunate enough to have parents who were well vested in the arts - including fine arts, animation, ballet and the occasional live theater.

At the age of four I was given a pencil and some copy paper as my folks got upset when I started coloring in the ugly wallpaper designs. It was a mixture of floral designs with lots of color that kinda clashed with the rest of the decor.

One thing I remember was how poor we were. We had to share meals with family who lived on the north side of the railway tracks.

In junior classes I was put with boys much older than me - or so it seemed to me at that time. I used to think I could draw funny stuff which the older boys used to laugh and they always used to ask me "what should I do next with my drawing of 'my father sitting?" I used to scratch my head to give them the idea I was thinking!" Some of them offered me some of their lunch which I was pleased about.

When I got a bit older, I think around 9 or 10, mother said to me I must apply at the local library to win a scholarship to get into the county art school full time. So I applied and three months later I had to go for a meeting with the headmaster and several art teachers (some taught life drawing, sculpture, 3D fine art etc).

There were trick questions about famous painters, techniques that oil painters used and I thought I had blown it -- failed utterly.
As the days rolled by I got more depressed with those thoughts that I'd never become an artist.

Then, in late fall, a letter came addressed to mother say that I had passed and was to start in the new year. Boy-o-boy, was I happy. From that day on, I used to get out my sketchbook and draw. And of course, the days were not long enough for me!

Jeremy Blackburn

PS More to my story with the fun I had in art school.

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