I’m one of 6. Number 4. 2 older brothers 1 older sister and 2 younger sisters. Twins.
The younger of 2 brothers went to art school and he was the one to recognise my interest in art and nurtured and encouraged me. He would let me watch him draw and then one year when I was about 7 he bought me my first Paint By Numbers kit. He patiently explained what I had to do and how to clean my brushes afterwards. (I’m still quite particular about looking my brushes). I would be absorbed for hours, carefully painting up to the lines of the shape I was painting. Checking each time I had the right colour to the corresponding number. I remember it wasn’t the final picture that satisfied me but the fact these separate blobs of colour that seemed randomly placed would merge to create a recognisable image. It was magic.
I’ve realised you can still purchase these kits although the images are more varied and sophisticated than they used to be. There are also a myriad of colouring books and Mandala patterns available for any age. They’re advertised as ‘Mindful’ which I can understand as I have always found drawing, painting, working with stone, doodling very meditative and absorbing.
Going back to painting blobs of colour … I’m still discovering combinations of colours that surprise and please me and the effects of colours in layers that emerge and recede depending on their opacity or translucency. Each realisation takes me to the next level of learning and ideas. The beauty in being an artist is that you take your experience and development in the way you want to and it will be a different quest for each creator.