Art and Writing: A Journey

Dad and I in historical Nunhead Cemetery, December 2019

Suggested audio: Dream Away by George Harrison

My dad, David McAdam, has an account on here wherein two galleries displaying a small amount of his artwork can be seen. He is colour blind and mum and I would go to the art shop in Edinburgh (when we lived in Scotland) with him to help select the correct colour pastels and oil paint for each project he was working on. We would then lay them out for him to use at the easel. Dad painted a delightful cottage scene as seen through his reality. The colours were positively psychedelic and I wished to have seen the world through his eyes! Dad’s handicap as such never held him back largely thanks to a warm art teacher who gave him nothing but encouragement together with his strong faith in his ability. One of my favourite pieces was a large portrait of Ludwig Van Beethoven with a rainbow striped background done in the early 1980’s. It intrigued me, perhaps I was looking at that rainbow that we skip across but never realised the importance.

The most difficult parts of the human body to capture were the nose and hands yet look at the intense emotions expressed in the pastel portrait he did below, her left hand masking her mouth agape:

“Good mourning” by David McAdam

Dad continues to enjoy artwork although it is more of the musical and celluloid variety as his easel has been folded up for the time being.

As a child I too used to love drawing. Especially with my cousins when families got together at my granny ‘s house. I used to draw chickens, the Jaws movie poster, women in Victorian dresses and severed heads. Quite the collection. More befitting of an asylum patient’s cell wall! We used to draw treasure maps then go to where we’d added an “X” and dig to see if anything was actually there. Nothing ever was of course but it was the thrill of the chase. I was always quietly envious of one of my older cousins who could draw aeroplanes with precision. I stuck to chickens. The years rolled by and my drawing skills didn’t improve beyond basic anatomy exercises done in high school biology and a compulsory Anatomy and Physiology course at work.

I noticed that I became more interested in labelling outlines, especially exercises enjoyed at CBT/CAT therapy and art group sessions. I drew a side profile of my head in simple outline format and the cranium split into two parts. One part had very positive imagery and the other part was definitely the dark side. I realised how much it represents my extreme black and white thinking. Was I really like that as a person in reality? People assured me there was more light within me and humour than any dark, morbid persona I thought I was. But I struggled to meet in the middle, as it might be.

Cut to present day. The drawings have been confined to random doodles in my journal and I’ve since listened more to the encouragement of my family and friends regarding writing. I have social media (links HERE) and still feel unsure where to “fit in”. I wrote about the subject in the links provided below. Twitter was initially fun but I felt I’d committed myself to an account only allowed to indulge in a particular scene. I deleted the ValiumFreak to focus on Facebook and Instagram where I know people who understand any deviations in content subject.

Since growing up with an artist who inspired me to attempt pictorial art but not blossom as I thought I would I’ve come to realise that art takes on many forms and written word is but one. And one I’ve come to very much enjoy and explore. From a dedication to my oldest friend Emma to brutal poetry inspired by the website Documenting Reality, I love how there are many variations to explore.

Whatever mood or subject enters your mind, write about it and see where you end up. Current affairs, nature, inspiring people or moments, memories, health and wellness, the list is eternal.

Further reading:

Who Are You?

Skip Across The Rainbow

Thank you mum, dad and my husband Bernie for your love and support and to all family and friends.

© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™

5 thoughts on “Art and Writing: A Journey

  1. Another well crafted piece of written art. As Wally could say “Sometimes I almost believe you.” Who is the mystery cousin? He asked knowingly. Is he the famous film star beginning with G? Or is it – “Well, that’s your money or your life?” By the way, I got Walter Mercer to run me up a few pastels: only half-penny each.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely piece of you this is. A great photo of you and your father and it is wonderful to read how belief and encouragement helped him to overcome difficulties with art. Again, this offers insight into your childhood and… guess what… my first piece of art in school was of a great white shark and a severed head. I thank the Jaws double bill that my own father took me to for that one. Written word is very much like painting in a respect, a blank canvas to fill as you see fit. Keep writing Mouse, you will always fit in here and not a soul can ever take that from you.

    As for your father’s art – it has always spoken to me personally and I was incredibly proud to use one piece in particular for my poem, Unconditionally Me. My personal favourite.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just squealed out a joyful obscenity at the shark and severed head connection, that’s miceless!! Thank you for your feedback, I really enjoyed writing this retrospective piece and it’s amazing what we each overcame to get to where we are now in each of our respective journeys. Long may it continue as long as we have that crucial thing: faith and belief.

      Dad recently sold the blue eye paintings and they’ve been posted back to Fulham, here in London. Their destiny is to watch over the curious buyer.

      Liked by 1 person

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