I had a friend once whose father was an artist. He had a gallery for a bit, and had done a stark, mesmerising painting of a tiger that my friend hung in his living room. I close my eyes and I can still see that tiger, the paint piled up thick on the fur, the frightening energy of a beast frozen in movement, one paw raised, eyes fixed on the rest of us, that bland and deadly tiger confidence purring deep inside. “Did your dad like William Blake?” I asked. “YES!” said my friend. “It’s that tiger! How did you know?” How could you not know? That’s art I guess. His dad had gone to art school in the fifties. Back then, I remember my friend explaining, for the first few weeks of art school you learned how to draw a circle. “Just a circle?” I asked, but there was no just about it. You had to learn how to draw a circle freehand. The circle had to be perfect. It took weeks. This was the foundation. Art school, I learned, back in the fifties, seemed whimsical, but when you tried the whimsy out for yourself with a pad and… Read full this story
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