“Kemp, you’ll never produce anything artistic!”.


I remember very clearly when I was twelve an art teacher at school saying this to me. They say that one never forgets a good teacher well that is very true but I say that one never forgets a bad one either. What he meant was that I couldn’t draw or paint, I just couldn’t translate what I was seeing into something on paper and as for anything abstract well that word simply wasn’t in his dictionary.

One must also consider that computers and digital photography didn’t exist then so it was a case of those that could draw/paint and those that couldn’t, those who had some artistic talent and those that didn’t, black and white with no grey . If I’ve learned one thing in life it is that there’s only one true black and one true white but a huge range of shades of grey (no pun) and that’s what I’ve always tried to convey to those of a younger generation that things are very rarely as black and white as they might at first seem.

I first became interested in photography aΒ  few years later as it gave me an outlet for my artisitic leanings. I greatly admire the work of many photographers as I do the work of many painters and other art forms but analogue photography frequently left me wanting more and that’s where digital photography and digital processing comes in. Put simply it was a revellation!. For the first time in my life I could express myself artistically and experiment to my heart’s content. My camera and computer screen might be my brush and canvas but it’s the workings of my brain that is responsible for the end result.

So, I’d like to him for his comment because ever since then it’s been a lifelong ambition to prove him wrong. πŸ™‚

Best wishes



14 thoughts on ““Kemp, you’ll never produce anything artistic!”.

    • Hi Sophie,

      Thanks for the kind words but I don’t think that there’s anything remarkable about my art. It’s always stuck in my mind that comment though.

      There’s no right and wrong in art . If there were it would kill creativity and experimentation stone dead wouldn’t it?. Leaving that school was one of the happiest days of my life :). I have a great respect for the teaching profession but things have changed a lot since my schooling. It was so often case of “sit down, shut up and listen to what I say” :).

      Hope all is well with you, best wishes, Leigh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Leigh!

        I totally agree on the fact that their is no right or wrong in art. Some people who become teacher are not there because they love teaching and that is a shame because they can discourage such great students in any subject. There are still a lot of teachers who love the “shut up and listen”approach and it’s a pity.

        Just for the record, I do think your work is remarkable!

        ~ Sofie

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve thought about this since last night when I read it. Sometimes teachers are awful. I remember one telling me I didn’t have talent acting and was banished from even trying out for parts. The same teacher later told me my writing skills were subpar. I wanted to prove her wrong. At least about the writing. And I worked very hard to come to where I am today. Kudos to you for not letting that stop you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi,

      And Kudos to you too for succeeding in your writing. I absolutely detest it when people put others, especially kids down. I’m afraid that most, not all, of my teachers weren’t that bothered about trying to interact with the kids. Their attitude was that learning was all about just sitting there and absorbing insformation and then repeating it parrot-fashion.

      They were also quite brutal on occasions and I remember blackboard erasers homing their way to their intended targets like and guided missile and one maths teach that I remember just loved to belt the kids with one of his training shoes whenever the opportunity presented itself. Of course they wouldn’t be able to get away with it nowdays but, in the early seventies it was a much different world.

      Best wishes and all success to you.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I knew a few teachers like that, but they were monitored a little more closely those days (80s and 90s) and tended to humiliate kids with their intelligence most often. It was interesting when some of the smarter kids (fortunately I was one of them) understood when it was happening and was able to avoid it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, those were the teachers I cherished. When I took creative writing in high school I was encouraged. She instilled the habit of writing daily and gave us the tools to help us if we were stuck with writer’s block. It’s one of the reasons I insisted on continuing with it. I’m happy you found someone that inspired you and fueled your passion for history.


  2. That was a terrible thing to say to a child. We are all creative in our own ways. I once had a dance teacher who told me I couldn’t be a dancer because I would be too tall. I quit then and was sad for ever. I loved dancing. I could have done modern dance instead of ballet.

    Liked by 1 person

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