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The Story Changes in the Retelling

Last week I took a class at Leith School of Art in Edinburgh. I had never been and had wanted to go and so I did.

The course was about showing layers of meaning in an art work. To calm it a collage class would feel too reductive. It felt more involved than that as we were not using found pieces (although I know collage is much more than just that).

We spent the first day looking at slides of artwork, discussing them, then concentrating on a few objects for drawing purposes. We practised using various drawing materials (oil bar, zest and graphite my new favourites) then painting swatches of colour.

I had an idea of where I wanted to take my piece within the first few hours of class. It came from nowhere and was so completely different from my usual themes.

The project was underpinned by a couple of quotes I had read in David Eagleman’s books, The Brain and Sum.

“Our past is not a faithful record. Instead, it’s a reconstruction, and sometimes it can border on mythology.”

“…a life where episodes are split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure.”

I collected sketches of Lottie, drew a typewriter in various ways then drew out the beach scene in my mind. It was quite different from the photo I had taken on the day.

We can take countless pictures and fill out notebooks with drawings to capture that moment. But once it’s gone, it’s gone. It changes when we think about it, talk about it, look back at our recordings.

I’ll miss my little class. I felt a nice connection with our group and our sporadic chats during 11am tea and biscuit break time and 1pm lunches. I think we all learned admire about ourselves during the process.

Colin Black taught this class. To see his work pop his mane into Google and have a look around.


I am an artist living and working in a rather gorgeous city. My art can be purchased in various shops throughout the city as well as from my online shop. Most of my work is for commission, private and corporate. I am the founder of Crash Course in Art History Limited.

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