Taking Stock - April 2, 2012

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A picture, apparently can tell a thousand words, which is bad news if, like me, you’re not overly blessed with talent when it comes to art.

Seeing, recently, the fantastic works produced by our Young Seasiders entrants reminded me of my own involvement in this most prestigious competition, as an Over Wyre schoolboy.

Back then, when shorts were compulsory, even in the freezing depths of winter (an issue I must remind myself to revisit at a later date) the whole class was invited to show off their talents – our works going on display at the Grundy Art Gallery.

When I say that, I should really point out that nearly all our works went on display.

It seems one boy wasn’t to be trusted to produce artwork suitable for public consumption and was, presumably out of pity, tasked instead with writing the captions for everybody else’s contribution.

Yes, my handwriting was immaculate ( something my colleagues at Gazette Towers might find hard to believe, given the scrawls they have to decipher) but it was more than a little difficult to explain to the Old Folks – particularly with a sibling who has always had art talent to spare.

Frankly, I was a bit of an embarrassment and secondary school wasn’t much better.

Everything that came out of the pottery room was labelled a paperweight, despite my intentions of crafting a tea pot, bust or bowl.

In the art room phrases such as ‘abstract’ were thrown about in relation to my creations, although I suspect they were, in reality, just a kind way of saying ‘rubbish’.

It’s not that I don’t have a creative side.

Music has always been a good outlet, despite assertions from certain band mates that drumming is just ‘hitting stuff’.

Of course, it isn’t and, besides, it’s taken me on tours to foreign shores and the stage of our own iconic Empress Ballroom.

I’d like to think I do OK with words too, even if the occasional gremlins do creep in (thanks to those who pointed out last week’s!)

Hopefully my children haven’t inherited the duff art gene – after all, I want to admire their fantastic creations in years to come and not their neat handwriting.

The signs are good.

Our eldest can already draw a stick man better than I can and those clever folks at the nursery have worked out how The Twins can create just about anything with hand prints.

Not that it’s the end of the world if they can’t paint.

And, maybe that primary school teacher was spot on when I was tasked with writing, rather than drawing – however grumpy it might have made me at the time.

After all, 25 years on from my art exhibition shame, I’ve made a career out of writing captions for other people’s pictures – and headlines for the stories which go with them.

And, in that world, who needs 1,000 words when, most of the time, six will do.