This week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Violette Clark. Her earlier lesson had been about creating a whimsical, dream cottage which led me to create a fun collage of a magical, quirky house. The thrust of the lesson was to work in a cartooning style and storyboard happy childhood memories.
My childhood was not always easy and I experienced challenges and obstacles to be overcome but nevertheless I could generate a very long list of happy childhood memories. The trick for me was to whittle down my options. I started by getting rid of anything that was going to be too difficult to depict in a simple drawing but then I decided to focus on memories of things I did more than once, the happy things that were routine for me. The idea was to use ink and watercolour but my schedule has been mashed this week so I ended up adding the colour while watching a movie with the Pictlings. Consequently, instead of watercolour I used coloured pencils. I am not adept at all at using coloured pencils (it’s on my list of skills I need to improve) but it seemed quite apt to do some simple colouring in given I was illustrating my childhood.
I drew my little vignettes around a central cartoon version of wee me. The title banner beneath looks brown in the photo but it is actually gold. The fun times with my Grandad might need some explanation: there’s eating ice cream, representing all the sweet treats he used to give us, collecting eggs from a farm, and stomping fruit for my Grandad to turn into wine. Then there are depictions of me reading and drawing, both activities that I did voraciously and still love. I loved to climb trees but am also afraid of heights so I had some favourite trees that had great trunks and branches for climbing and scaling along without being too far off the ground. Another outdoor activity I loved was hunting for insects, bugs and beasties, lifting up rocks, turning over slabs, peeking under pieces of wood, on an insect safari. Finally there is a drawing to illustrate me playing detective, solving crimes committed by and against my cuddly toys. I was an early reader of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes stories so I liked to set up little mysteries with clues to be solved. I didn’t actually use any sharp knives – that was just for the drawing – but what I actually used were corn cob skewers as perfect wee weapons.
So those are a few of my happy childhood memories. Maybe you could have a think about what memories you would choose.