This 10 minute timed challenge – a self portrait sketch in charcoal – was an exercise as much about self-acceptance of my appearance as it was about embracing the use of a medium which I usually avoid at all costs.
I have a tendency to avoid things which I find difficulty in accepting; namely looking in mirrors or practising skills in which I am sorely lacking. In my minds eye I still look 20 years old and I can still draw as well as I used to when I regularly attended art tutorials at school despite the fact I do not draw anywhere near as regularly as I used to, or should! 25 years on and now studying for a Visual Communications degree I’m gradually learning to ‘get over myself’ (as my Mother would suggest) and face up to the fact I’m a middle-aged woman complete with a slightly lined and podgy face (and hair curlers) and, far more importantly, the knowledge that I need to re-learn and practise long-forgotten skills.
It’s a learning curve which has a very steep gradient at this point in time but something which is possibly not quite so daunting as I’d first imagined – I may just need a bit of assistance of a good quality face cream and some online art tutorials!