We each were artists until about our tenth birthday, when something strange happened. Our teachers, our parents and our peers started talking about 'Big School', yes, with those capitals and suddenly we became self-conscious and wanted to be 'Big People' rather than kids. The unfortunate casualty was art. Art was suddenly not as serious as 'Maths, Language and Science' again those capitals.
Some people were lucky, they had parents or teachers who loved this strange game we played with our pencils and brushes. They silently encouraged us to continue playing, however, only if we had talent. Those who hadn't talent heard the silent message.
I was the latter. Art at my school was regarded as a fay hobby, beaten by boxing, Latin and other such stuff. However, inside me, genes came to play with my father's talents, even though I'd not seen him since I was 4. I wasn't as good as him, but I couldn't stop drawing, it was an escape from the confused poverty my poor mother unwittingly found herself in (and us), and that saved me.
Fast forward to me aged 21. I'd been kicked out of Kenya where I grew up, because of my father's wealthy family. Lost, I travelled the world. Again, art saved me. Not only did it grant me inner peace when I clicked in to it, but it frequently paid my way. Penniless in Switzerland, to keep my thoughts from my empty belly, I was drawing an ancient jeweller's shop. The owner came out to watch me and trebled the money I asked for the drawing and asked me to do more at the same inflated price.
Settling in London, I set up a small company selling my art to individuals, shops, galleries and creating all sorts of things from record covers to pub signs. I made tons of money, but soon got bored with business and decided to give something back to the world, so became a teacher. No, not of art, for they'd not accept unqualified me as that; I taught geography and mountain sports. Galleries continued to take my work.
I now face an interesting situation. A stroke last year changed my artistic abilities and, undaunted, I'm playing, regaining my fluency and ability with colour. Drawing, for me, is a meditation. Well there we are - do keep zipping over to this site to see where I've got to.
Forgive the poor images of my work taken through glass where I've previously sold my paintings, as I've only a few paintings my wife insisted we keep.
Bye bye for now.