Lucy Wyndham shares her thoughts on learning to draw as an adult. “I am writing because with middle age rapidly approaching, I have finally learned how to draw!” Lucy told me. “It started with me trying to teach my daughter how to draw a cat, and as we all do these days, I turned to the internet for help. What I found didn’t just help my four-year-old, it also triggered a love of drawing in me that I never knew I had!”
Discovering My Artistic Talent In Adulthood
by Lucy Wyndham
It’s funny how your own inner voice can be the biggest obstacle to becoming the person you were meant to be. I don’t necessarily believe in destiny, or think that we are all meant to do just one thing. I do believe, however, that seemingly small instances in life can shape us, define our hobbies, fulfill our unexpressed needs, and even affect our career choices.
What’s Yours is Yours
I grew up in a middle-class home in Hood River. My parents are doctors, and my sister Irene (who is four years older than I am) and I had a pretty normal childhood, with parents who supported our hobbies as any loving parent would. I never took art lessons; my sister, though, took classes in Japanese painting and her works were so beautiful they would receive praise from our parents and other family members. Irene and I get on like a house on fire now, but when we were kids, sibling rivalry was an issue. Somehow, our respective hobbies were clearly delineated, and Irene let me know I was hopeless at drawing and painting whenever I tried.
Today she is wonderfully supportive of all I do and we often talk about our childhood rivalries. In a way, we understand the issue was in part provoked by how busy our parents were. I guess for my sister, drawing was her way of capturing their attention. She is now a computer programmer, funnily enough, while I am a history teacher and freelance artist.
The women in my family have always been influential in terms of inspiring me to pursue my dreams. My daughter Cara, aged four, was the one who reconciled me with my love for art and it all happened quite subtly. Her school is very big on the arts and even at age two, the teacher would suggest that we practiced drawing at home. I initially panicked, since I had no idea of perspective, color, proportion etc. but thanks to a plethora of online resources and ebooks with tips on how to draw animals, scenes from nature and people, Cara and I were soon completing at least five drawings a week.
A Haven of My Own
Pleased by how quickly I seemed to be improving, I soon discovered classic books on drawing techniques, and turned the basement into my gallery, painting during my free time while beams of natural light flooded the room. It was and is my favorite place to be and today, many of my best paintings are hanging on the walls of the homes of my family members. My sister proudly displays a painting of an extreme close-up of a sunflower: one that in Japanese tradition symbolizes radiance… a quality I always thought she exuded in abundance.
I occasionally exhibit my works (and am pleased to say, sell a few paintings to everyone from private collectors to businesses seeking nature-inspired art for their interiors). To me, painting expresses much more than I am capable of expressing in words–my vulnerabilities, strengths, confusions, weaknesses, insecurities, joys, achievements, and love.