Barry John Harrison SGFA

Barry John Harrison Hon. Treasurer SGFA


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Took pencil at a tender age
Made marks to puzzle the greatest sage
Then off to school and painty pots
I coloured in the other tots

At secondary art was a test
Success at O level, I felt my best
So I for a life in art’s wide scope
Till teacher said, “at Art School you won’t cope”

Disheartened I had to earn my daily bread
Became a junior banker instead
But in my brain the need to make still churned
Artless oils, drip paintings, plastic sculpture, out I turned

But three dimension, colour, confused my brain
I became chiaroscuro once again
Took pencil, pen, charcoal, chalk
Smudged images reality to stalk

Then I found fellows of like mind
An art’s workshop formed we of a kind
And here we worked, displayed our wares
Talked of art and life; beer mellowed our cares

Showed our creations on Black Country walls
Some found it good, others it appals
But this part time bohemian life to end
The pragmatist says your dollar you defend

So mundane work brings me to London’s clamour
To find vaults of high art and facile glamour
Galleries to visit; plays to see
Sadlers Wells: line of dance to enthral me

To travel now; the sun crusted Med
Bright lit vistas filled my head
And hour upon hour, day upon day
I sat and made the sunlit images in grey

The gaudy beach where tourists sun
Lost ruins where summer streams cease to run
Here I honed my trade to its distinctive look
Made vistas in Factor eight-stained sketch book

And when another thirty years did flee
Bank Manager, Teacher, Finance Director: part of me
But at the core; behind work and fun
The pencil imaginings formed slow and one by one

Sharp focused forms of terpsichore
Mythologies of the mind to see
From where do all these pictures grow
The answer; I’m the last to know

But this growing graphite brood needs the test
To go out and be compared with the rest
So Society graphic and fine: I join their rank
And so into the future to fill the pages blank.