Back to my old drawing bored

As published by The Footy Almanac, 14 April 2013

One of my earliest footy memories is at my 1970’s style laminex kitchen bench perched on a matching orange stool listening to the ‘Captain and The Major’ call the Magpies on 3KZ.  If I wasn’t tracking the progress with my Lego made scoreboard, there was a good chance I was drawing Billy Picken flying above a human pyramid, taking the specky to end all speckies!  As soon as my father and two (considerably) older brothers returned from far-flung suburban battlefields, for some reason I’d always ask ‘what was on the banner’ and ‘who won the Little League?’  At six I’d experienced the odd game in the flesh at VFL Park so I guess those were the missing pieces of my afternoon’s imaginings.

As a little tacker there was little choice but to amuse myself most of the time, and when I grew bored with (somewhat tragic) self-invented ‘me v me’ games I’d crack out the coloured pencils.  Footy was obviously an obsession, and drawing tributes to my heroes was an enjoyable distraction until Looney Tunes or The Goodies came on.  Around the 1987-89 period my final burst of attempted footy artistry honored favourites such as Daicos, Millane, Brown and BT.  Often they would be enacting a key moment I’d witnessed, but as much as I loved drawing the players, I enjoyed recreating the unique vistas of the various grounds – even the sponsors logos on the hoardings.  I considered copying off photographs cheating, but now in retrospect, perhaps I was cheating myself from acquiring the skill to better represent the human athletic form.  And ultimately I probably just grew tired of eking out the tedious crowds!

Now my little boy is developing an attachment to Collingwood, and interestingly, drawing.  I’d barely sketched anything of note for 20 years, until recent secondments by Mr Six to depict all manner of animals, dinosaurs, cars, motorbikes etc.  I manage to impress him and Miss Four, if no one else.  “You’re really good at drawing Daddy”.  ‘Yeah, thanks mate, not really’ I respond, disappointed at failing to even match my childhood efforts.  Alas, whilst I can handle a camera and compose decent photos, I find it frustrating not to reasonably transfer an image in my brain down my arm, into my hands and fingers and onto the page!  Although my mother and sister are talented artists, words are my stronger suit.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s what I managed to salvage from a yellowing old scrap book I feared lost.

With thanks to John Carr (@TheHolyBoot) for prompting this piece.  Good to know I’m not the only footy tragic whose misspent youth compelled them to while away the hours in such a manner.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. theholyboot says:

    Great stuff Jeff. I just think these are wonderful. The detail, the advertising hoardings, the old stand and the play, as if you were in the middle of it all.
    And I too have rediscovered drawing to an extent with my kids too…miss 6 even does the odd footy drawing!


  2. jeffdowsing says:

    Thanks John – I do enjoy drawing and it’s a bit of a time warp. Kind of weird how time and memory works in that it feels like yesterday on one hand yet it also feels like a lifetime ago, as if you are recalling a different person. I guess that’s why they say kids keep you feeling young. I look forward to your footy art blog, I’m sure it will be a ripper.


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