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Catman’s Blakean View – unknown Year 4 artist

It’s a foolhardy non-artist who puts his childish art on public display. The great drawing on the left isn’t mine, but a real work by a real, talented child artist. But I’ve drawn my morning online ‘learning to draw’ exercise for one of three great courses offered by artist-coach Jane Beinart (thoroughly recommended to anyone who thinks they ‘can’t draw’ and wants an unpressured, relaxing way to ignore that inner voice).

This exercise was to ‘recreate’ a picture by a child. I chose one we featured on the Finding Blake site I edit, in Linda Richardson’s post about a school class she took as artist-in-residence. She read Blake’s poem The Tyger. Then they all drew something.

It was the half-human, half-tiger creature that caught my eye, but actually re-drawing it I realised how this child cleverly framed the whole scene in four panels, splitting not just the everyday above-ground world from the hidden below-ground, but human/’cultural’ from animal/’natural’: mining machine vs mole.

What a brilliant Blakean imagination! And what is the bug ‘saying’ as it walks away in disgust, in whatever language bugs have?…

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Mark Goldthorpe

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