Standing alone

Suddenly school wakes.

After hardly any communication from school suddenly it’s almost communication overload. Almost.

Missing exams papers are starting to arrive. A push to squeeze an annual review meeting in before the end of term. Some class notes from a missing in action subject. Interestingly it looks like our best guesses at what this subject has been doing in class since the schools reopened again 4 months ago have been completely wrong. Hawklad is way off topic. But as we have had no class guidance then what can we expect..

Then more Art trauma. Why is it so often Art. Hawklad submitted his exam piece and was pleased with it. Clearly the teacher was less pleased. The feedback is that the teacher had not received a final submission and had only received a rough draft drawing… A rough draft….. That rough draft is Hawklad’s (who has dyspraxia) best effort.

Hawklad’s take on all this. A shrug of the shoulders. One of those looks. No he won’t be submitting a final piece as that would be a final final piece. He will happily take a poor mark and then even more happily drop the subject in just 4 sweet weeks.

Talk

There’s a chap in the village who is an artist. A really really good artist. Has exhibitions. He has a talent for creating beauty. Even in his garden. He lets his garden go native. Will occasionally tidy it up but mainly just let’s nature sort the rest out.

Well this is what happens he does this…

This artist lost his partner a three years back. It really hit him hard. His world fell apart. Yet over time he has got going again. He has returned to making new art. He’s carrying on. He would give me a progress report every time I walked past his garden with Captain Chaos. Whisper it – the Cap likes contributing to this nature show in his own very unique way…. We talked about sitting down and having a longer chat.

Hopefully over the next couple of months I can pop over and he can show me his studio. We can have that coffee that has been on hold since the pandemic swept the world. We talked about doing this 15 months ago.

It’s good to talk.

Art…..

Dad what is it about Art. The one subject I can’t do at all. That’s why I’ve dropped it. But it’s everywhere…..”

I know what he means. With his dyspraxia he finds holding a pencil or paint brush difficult. So it wasn’t a surprise when Art was dropped for next year. But here’s the thing. This year there seems to have been a lack of drawing in Art Class. It’s been mainly writing. Which is ok with Hawklad. But Art and drawing gets everywhere. You get to draw more in other subjects than Art….

Over the last few days Hawklad has had to

– draw and paint various product designs in DT,

– draw and paint a room in DT,

– paint a backdrop to a mini stage set in English,

– draw and paint a functional land in English,

– draw various food designs for FT,

– draw a coastal feature in Geography,

– draw and paint French scene in French,

– draw a cartoon strip in Computers,

– draw a tree in RE,

– draw a cartoon strip in Citizenship

– draw an ecologically friendly house in Science

I could go on but you get the picture. And the feedback. ‘Could try to be neater’…..

The only two subject I don’t have to draw in at present is Art, unbelievably and History. Clearly avoiding drawing should have meant me keeping Art as a subject. And if my favourite subject gets me to draw a castle or the Bayeux Tapestry then I’m officially finished with school…”

Don’t you just love art….

Salvador Dali

A quick look at this mornings weather forecast sent me scurrying outside to cut the grass. Thankfully not cutting the farmers fields. I will leave that up to the cows.

I’ve heard of sleep walking but never heard of sleep mowing…. But it felt like I was doing that this morning. Today has been hard work. The body and mind have started to grind to a halt on the back of not enough sleep. Last night it was one our kip. Similar to the night before. And the one before that……

I won’t show you my attempt at nice straight lawn stripes. Think more Salvador Dali and his Persistence of Memory painting.

Add to sleep mowing, today I added sleep working, sleep parenting and sleep housework.

I have been barely functioning today. Not ideal when your trying to explain Double Replacement Chemical reactions. So add either sleep teaching or sleep chemistry. It’s odd what ever I did today resembled a Salvador Dali creation.

Maybe I’ve sussed out the secret of Salvador success. Maybe he wasn’t an artistic pioneer. Maybe he couldn’t sleep, he did sleep painting.

Salvador Dali, 1931

Abstract

Let’s be honest, it’s not really sunbathing weather here in Yorkshire. It’s ‘let’s see how many layers of clothes I can squeeze under the down jacket before it bursts at the seems’ weather.

Go on then Dad, can you see it

What is that supposed to be again.

It’s an abstract artist’s interpretation of what our market town looks like.”

No that’s not really jumping into my brain that interpretation.

What do you see then Dad.”

A series of random line squiggles and odd shapes. Forming what can only be described as a incoherent mess.

Exactly Dad. Apparently that’s the town skyline and its most iconic landmarks.”

Really. If it’s most iconic landmarks then I’m certainly not seeing traffic jams, floods, not open at weekend signs, pizza takeouts and hordes of parking enforcement officers.

Dad, Aspergers clearly doesn’t get abstract art…”

It’s ok Hawklad, Dads don’t get it as well.

I’ve got to produce my own version of that now. Really…”

Shall we just put a pot of ink and a piece of paper in with the gerbils and let them get creative.

Would be a good idea but the gerbils eat everything in front of them”

Well you can help me do it.

Ok do you want me to draw as well.

No Ive seen your artistic skills. Look at the state of my hair. No you can do something your better at.”

Ok you name it.

Go and find some chocolate for me please”

I can do that…

Pop Art

And still it shrinks. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone.

Back to school at home and back to the daily fun…. Started with the usual happy pep talk from a teacher. To paraphrase.

‘Remember I’ve set some work before the week off. It’s voluntary but I can see what people have done and how long you have spent on it. I am checking….I’m about to do your assessment….”

Ok….

Then I accidentally phoned the school. Who hasn’t done the ‘put the mobile in your back trouser pocket just to see how long it takes for your bum to unlock the phone and dial a number’ trick. The mobile can’t have been in the pocket for 2 minutes before suddenly I heard a strange voice coming from my nether regions. How is it that it takes me hours to figure out how to unlock the mobile, find the phone app, then repeatedly fail to type in the number. Yet my butt can unlock the phone and successfully call someone in a fraction of that time…..

So after I had apologised to school reception it was back to the usual fight with submitting pieces of work and trying to find the class work on Teams. Fights with explanations, hidden meanings and unclear instructions.

Quickly followed by the ritual Dad humiliation.

Dad apart from Andy Warhol what other Pop Art practitioners can you name.”

Erm……..

Ok can you at least name a few famous Pop Art pieces and before you say it, NO Godzilla doesn’t count.”

Erm there was that picture with about 100 Madonna’s replicated.

Dad. You mean Monroe and it was 50 times…”

That’s the one. Then there was the soup tin. Erm Andy Warhol was in Men in Black 3, does that count?

So basically no help…….

But maybe my backside could become Pop Art. Probably not. Not sure how big the canvas would have to be to get 50 replicas of my butt on. But if they could then I could literally be sat on an important piece of avant garde culture. Sat on a fortune.

Art

It’s not often I get a free work of art left on the car window. On closer inspection I realised just how intricate and special the work of nature was.

I could so easily have missed this. A few hours later it may have melted.

It’s such a great reminder for me that even though I’m living in a much restricted world that there is still much to experience. I can make this work. I just need to remember to open my eyes and continue to dream.

3am

Last night I was tired. Unusually tired for me. But it was one of those pesky tired setups. During the evening I could feel myself nodding off. Plenty of those ‘just starting to drift off while sat on the settee – then suddenly woken by those cataclysmic sudden neck snapping forward’ moments. This went on all evening until it was bed time. But then I just wasn’t tired. Pigging fiddlesticks……

Finally sleep came but all too soon…..

DAD, DAAAAAADDDD!

What’s up son.

Dad I’ve forgotten, sorry we’ve forgotten the art assignment.”

Ooh yeh, that one that isn’t due in until the 12th.

That’s the one, But ITS THE 12th.”

Oh big pants. Can you do it as soon as you get up?

No it’s due at the start of the first lesson.”

***********

I could see by the look in his eyes that until it was done, sleep would be impossible. So a few minutes later I was in the kitchen making hot drinks. Years ago a late night session would have had a very different meaning to tonight’s version. 3am and rocking out to Japanese Art.

Basically I sat there looking vacant, occasionally nodding (in a of course I knew that kinda way) and asking Google such questions as ‘what on earth does wabi and sabi mean’. It took an hour before Hawklad had convinced himself that he had done enough. The school panic in his world was over. His completed presentation was significantly more robust than his Dads initial suggestive assignment text

Japanese Art is cool but Godzilla is real cool. Now it’s time for bed….

Hawklad got to bed and immediately fell asleep. I guess at about 4.30am I found some sleep. I woke up a couple of hours later with one overriding thought. How can you write two pages on Japanese Art and not mention Godzilla‘s Atomic Breath just once. What has become of Art.

Morning has broken

The scene after I had just finished my early morning exercise session. I might be tired but it’s so nice exercising outside, in the sun, and yes when it’s almost warm. Not so much fun in a few months time when it’s freezing, dark and chucking it down with rain.

Well finally school has broken into some action.

  • A confirmed timetable
  • A list of teachers
  • Some class materials starting to appear on the system
  • Some work assigned
  • A method of submitting work kind of established.

Took some negotiating but at least we have a start. Something to work with.

Ok Dad it’s your favourite subject, ART. What do you know about Japanese Art? And don’t mention Manga…”

Errrmmmmmmm. Let me think for a few minutes. Manga!

Useless Dad. Ok apart from Manga what do you know about Japanese Art?

Errrmmmmmmm. Godzilla.

That’s not much help. Apart from Magna and Godzilla, what do you know about Japanese Art?”

Errrmmmmmmm. Mothra and Ghidorah

Still not much help DAD. So apart from Godzilla monsters do you know anything about Japanese Art?”

What about Rodan.

Dad no more Godzilla monsters. Your basically going to be not much help as usual.”

Yes Hawklad, sadly no help at all unless Art becomes a Godzilla Fight Scene.

Useless. Mum would have been a great help. She was great with Art and Culture. I’m stuck with comic boy…”

Yes but your mum would be no use when King Ghidorah attacked. It’s all about priorities. And your mum liked comics. I once bought her the complete TinTin comic compendium.”

Don’t you think mum would have preferred some flowers.”

Probably……

But in my defence the previous Christmas your mum had bought me a ‘Dance Hits of the 80s’ cd. She knew a metal head like me would really appreciate that type of music. So you don’t always get what you want.

Bit like me and wanting a parent who might know just a little bit about Japanese Art…”

The Dads

The ‘Stay at Home unless you are a pompous cretin called Cummings who thinks he is the UK Government‘ message has been on for months now. Ok the social distancing thing is starting to fall apart but for some of us, it’s still very much in force. One knock on effect of that is that you end of taking photos of the same thing, over and over again. SORRY. More cows. One day maybe we might get a giraffe or a camel.

This post is a tribute to Dads. I don’t need to say sorry about that.

Dad in Art I have to create some characters for my stop motion cartoon project. I have to think of some designs, sketch them and then cut them out. They will then become the stars of the cartoon. Any ideas?.”

Well you want to make them simple to make. What about superheroes. Make a simple version of Captain America and Ironman. Lots of muscles, great costumes and heroic.

That gives me a great idea. Let’s go for the complete opposite. No muscles, no dress sense and bad haircuts. Let’s go for Dads…..”

So here goes. Our little tribute to all the Dads out there. I’m trying to work out which one is me…. Maybe it’s the one still to be made which looks just a little like Thor….