Adventures in Letter Writing No. 34: “Every artist was first an amateur.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I have always doubted those adult colouring-in books for providing relaxation but actually I may have to eat my words. I had to adapt the idea to make it work for me but I think I am a convert (of sorts). Through a combination of sorting a gazillion pencil crayons for the Letter Writing Day (I am starting to worry about my hoarding tendencies), looking out a couple of children’s doodling books (adult ones are still too fiddly by half – I stick by that), and wanting to decorate some envelopes for friends, I have had a lovely time. I want to say that not only do you not have to be Jane Austen or Thomas Hardy to put pen to paper but equally you don’t have to be Van Gogh or Monet to do a little doodle on an envelope and colour it in.  Having done an Art Foundation Course once upon a time I’d like to think I will progress to my own designs one day but the course was many moons ago so for now it’s just lovely to copy some ideas from cards and books and gain growing confidence (that sounds a bit Churchillian doesn’t it?!).

I even searched out my old A Level Art “Rexel Derwent Studio Quality Colour Pencils”. I’ve got to hand it to them, they are far superior. I love that I must have sharpened them all with a Stanley knife too from way back when, and they’ve been sitting there waiting to be used ever since. I only have 12 out of the 72 different colours looking at the list on the tin they came in. I’m intrigued by some of the names – Madder Carmine, Vandyke Brown, Delft Blue. A trip to the Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick is now on my wish list…

I know letters sometimes go missing in the post but that’s a chance I’m just going to have to take with my little, some might say, arty designs, and to be honest they are only silly little doodles to keep myself amused and didn’t take ages to do, so as I always maintain nothing is ever wasted. It’s good practice if nothing else. They aren’t originals but I am enjoying myself, and hopefully the recipient will like them. I’m sure no-one minds about eating their dinner off their laps either mainly because it’s too much hassle to clear the table…

Happy colouring!


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