Tom Small


In 1979 my wife organised a series of painting lessons with a French Artist who taught art in a college in north west London. The painting lessons turned out to be anything but. For ten months he made me draw anything from toe nail clippings to the pieta and paintings in the various galleries dotted around. My painting instruction came over a three day period . Friday evening was spent in mixing colours , Saturday evening I drew him and Monday I did an underpainting of the drawing. He told me he was returning to France the next week and when I complained about lack of painting instructions he said drawing is a technical skill needed to start. Painting is an art that will take years and no amount of teaching will make you a good painter, but you certainly won’t be one if you can’t draw. He cheered me up by saying I was reasonably competent at drawing but only time would tell whether I would ever be competent as a painter. At the age of 86 I’ve only just realised how right he was.