I’m pursuing a six session Introduction to Acrylic Painting course at the Ilminster, Somerset, Arts Centre. With an Art A level many years ago I have from time to time dabbled with drawing and painting, inexpert oil painting and rather better water colours, but nowadays there is a lot said about acrylic paints and techniques and I am keen to learn something of this, in the main as I understood there are advantages over the other media.

I assumed acrylics were a new invention since my student days, but that is not the case – acrylic painting dates back to the 1920s in Mexico, near on a century old. Week 1 to 4 on the course, taught by Shena Bulcock, is aimed at generating our interest in handling the paints, experimenting with techniques and generally gaining confidence. That is the point we have reached. Next we have weeks 5 and 6 for us to pursue our own painting projects.

To this end I visited the Arts shop in Taunton to buy two blank stretched canvases and clutching these in a brown paper parcel I happened to call into the Library seeing that an exhibition of paintings was being hung.

Noting that I was clutching a package under my arm a gentleman greeted me. ‘And what have you brought us for the exhibition?’

I explained I was just a curious passer-by and that I did have two canvases in my paper parcel, but they were blank and freshly bought.

He laughed, ‘well, give them a title and we’ll hang them. You never know.’

I was tempted, apart from in my schooldays, I have never had work in an art exhibition and here was my chance. “Blank Canvas, Number One” and Blank Canvas, Number Two”.

The exhibition has been brought together by people known to each other with the exhibition proceeds going to a charity for the homeless. Each entry pays a fee of £10 and there will be a prize. There is sponsorship from Sainsburys. It will run for two weeks.

Now that diversion is set to one side, I must start working on my project; maybe I can enter a painting in the exhibition next time.

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