Been fitting a new kitchen recently and as usual, BBC Radio 4 is my constant companion. Yesterday the theme was Memory Experience and I found a couple of things fascinating - the Life Defining Memory usually between 15 and 25 years of age - when important life decisions and career forming moments are lodged in your consciousness, and Flash Bulb Memory.
I've often thought about why I get the urge to do things and get driven on in certain areas and not in others. Listening to the people on the programme, confirmed my view that strong, mainly good, memories of designing and drawing (mainly model aircraft), along with a lot of time spent on my own out in the countryside,watching wildlife, were defining moments in my childhood. However, like one or two commentators, my memories like this came slightly earlier. In my case, I went in a totally different direction initially, career wise (which came as a complete surprise to me and the reasons for this are many and varied!) but, eventually the draw of these earlier influences won out, a fact that I'm very thankful for.
I suppose I am no different to most people as far as the Flash Bulb is concerned though, with major events fixing a time and a place in your mind and possibly altering your viewpoint to some degree. My top 3 chronologically are;
- Apollo 11 and the Moon Walk - watching with my Dad,
- death of Diana - girlfriend ringing me and waking me up with the news - she had worked for Al Fayed and knew Dodi, very interesting, and
- 9/11 - painting and listening to Radio 4 (as usual) in a little cottage near Stoke, Staffordshire.
Anyway, I've had time to slap on the base washes for my slightly offbeat painting (in alkyd), the design of which is coming together in sketch form at the moment. However, I still have a strong suspicion it will end up looking exactly as if I gone about it in usual way - I can't stop myself :)