Louise Edwards

Drawing for me isn’t something that has always been easy or fun.

As a child I drew and doodled and found the joy and freedom of paint and crayons, pencils and print, to be magical. I was captivated (and still am) by colour and shape, and tried to recreate them in my drawings. I didn’t worry about how the end product looked or if the colours were right or true to the subject, it was just such fun.

As a young adult I chose to study art at school and college and found that the joy I had once felt soon became squashed by the strict rules of old fashioned art teachers, about how one ‘should’ draw and how your drawing had to be ‘perfect’ or it was rubbish, pointless and wrong.

I quit college feeling really low in my second year. I really lost my way with what I wanted to do. So I chose not to draw or create. I could not make perfection come out of my hands, I could not make things photo-realistic and that must be wrong. So drawing went away, for quite some time. Seventeen years, in fact.

But like all true loves, it was still there, hiding in the back of my mind and so once again, I picked up the pencils and the pens. I made marks, I drew lines, and I made no rules and followed no plans. My drawings were weird and wild; they didn’t have to be perfect. The colours didn’t have to blend or even go together and the shapes didn’t have to be photo-realistic. They just had to come from my heart.

These days I see drawing as a huge amount of fun. I illustrate straight on to fabric and then colour it in with silk thread or cotton floss, sequins or metallic threads – totally against the rules, right? Not what most would call drawing?

Whatever comes out of my hands/head/heart will be what you see on the page. Drawing plays a huge part in my embroidery and textile work because everything I stitch or illustrate has come from my first try, unedited, unchanged. What you see is what you get. It’s my view on things, the way I see it. And that may not be how I ‘should’ draw things and my work may not be ‘perfect’ but who cares? …Because (and this is the lesson they SHOULD teach every child at school) first and foremost, drawing should be FUN.

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