Having recently celebrated my 74th birthday, I find myself thinking a great deal about my journey through life, starting with my earliest childhood memory.
An atmospheric sketch I made in Brittany France last May – watercolour/gouacheTen years ago I attended an Adlarian Workshop here in the UK. The whole experience was good, but the one thing that made an impression and has stayed with me since was the Alarian understanding that we can learn about who we are and what our purpose in life is by acknowledging our earliest childhood memory.
A sketch from a balcony in the beautiful village of Saorge, Southeastern France – watercolour/goucheIn many ways I am fortunate to have a visual record of my life journey through sketches/ painting and more latterly writing. Otherwise given that life seems to move so rapidly, I can see how easily it would be for memories to merge together in a bit of a blur. Being able to look at sketch books over the years reminds me of all sorts of moments that I know might otherwise have disappeared into the ether and been forgotten…
walking the Brecon Monmouthshire Canal…Crikchowell Wales. – watercolour/gouacheThe story of my earliest childhood memory.
It was 1949 and my Mother and I were living in Dovercourt Essex. My Father was still in the Royal Navy on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. I can remember being cold (no central heating at that time – only coal fires). Even at that tender age I knew that my Mother was not happy, and I can understand why. Even though the war was over….my father was still away and my young mother was on her own with a small child.
rapid watercolour/gouache sketch from Brecon Monmouthshire Canal overlooking Crickhowell
One day when playing in the garden, I somehow escaped…and made my way into the centre of the little town where I had seen a beautiful and colourful carousel in the window of a cobbler’s shop.
When the cobbler came out to ask me where I lived, I gave him my Grandmother’s address in Kent…..Meanwhile, my poor Mother was frantic and the police had been alerted.
Dovercourt is a seaside town and where we lived was minutes away from the sea, sometimes a very rough sea…..causing much concern.
Seas and rocks….watercolour/goauche. When I looked at this incident which was one of my clearest and earliest childhood memories I recognised that Escaping and seeking out the Colourful carousel were indications of my my life story. .
This is the sketch I made during the Adlarian workshop…of the three year old me in front of the colourful carousel in the Cobbler’s window. And just to confirm my ‘escape artist’ tendencies….in this photograph I am wearing my harness and reins…complete with bells:)