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Ripley CourtSchool

Becoming an Art Scholar in Year 8

My Journey to Becoming an Art Scholar

I’m Charlie, a Year 8 pupil at Ripley Court School and not so long ago, I was lucky enough to be awarded an art scholarship by my future senior school. Something I am absolutely delighted about.

I have always loved art; as a little boy I would design small monsters that lived everywhere in the house and whenever I had seen a film, I would race back to my house, desperate to capture the characters of various cartoons on paper. Although a one-legged mess was the initial result, gradually my drawings gained more clarity and with a Christmas present of a sketching pad, they were soon progressing in leaps and bounds. And so, with a newfound confidence (and still retaining my ever-present passion) in art, I moved up into Year Four.

The overall highlight of that year came on a sunny Thursday afternoon in Mrs. Barratt’s history class when my sports teacher came in. Having brushed by my desk he caught a glimpse of the Norman soldier that I was drawing. And although I did not know it at the time that faithful, armoured warrior brought me to the attention of the school’s art teacher, Mrs. Morris.

Then as the next few years passed my art developed, pushed to my limits by my art teacher Mrs. Morris, I experimented with new media, finding a love for acrylic and pastel work on top of the sketching that I have always loved. Soon I arrived at a cross-roads, Year Seven had come and I had a serious decision to make as to whether or not to attempt an Art Scholarship. The decision weighed heavy in my mind, it was the only chance that I would get to push myself up a level, but I worried about the difficulty of the exam, was my standard of art good enough? After a mental battle, a few days before the entrance deadline, I took the leap, I wanted to become an Art Scholar…….

The next year was one of rewarding chaos, art was everywhere. Helped by my (now) two art teachers; Susan Meer and Talei Morris who have both been so supportive and helpful. The amount that I was doing also increased on a drastic scale, my portfolio of work had to be perfect. However, although these were hectic times, I found myself enjoying how much art had come into my life. It is now a way to calm myself, detach myself from academic work, I love how it uses a different side of my brain and how it is a huge part of culture across the world, a universal language.

Soon the day of the examination was upon me, I was determined not to crack under pressure. In the exam I was surprised as, despite the overwhelming stress of most tests, I was enjoying myself; my pencil flew across the page, furiously shading, planning, developing. The hours flew by like seconds and on the other side of this not-so-stressful ordeal the heavy weight of contentment settled in my stomach. I had done it, I had actually done it. The only question left unanswered was; was it a success?

From that moment onwards an agonising week of uncertainty commenced, the suspense was gnawing away at my confidence. What did I do wrong?

As this painful wait continued I began to lose hope, but before long a small envelope arrived, addressed to a Master Charlie E. All feeling drained from my body as a numbing tingle of anticipation took over. I studied the envelope for a moment before tearing eagerly inside, then, as I read the first paragraph, a Year Four dream came true…….

I could not have done this without the help of both Susan Meer, whose weekend lessons helped me to move outside of my comfort zone, and Talei Morris, whose work and dedication towards my portfolio and encouragement I could not have done without. But mostly I would like to thank my parents, their trust in me gave me confidence and their constant support is something that I will always owe them.