Monday, 12 July 2010

Poetry at Dove Cottage

This will be the last post for a bit while I take off again in search of The Great Outdoors.

And a poetic one it will be.

The day before we left the Lake District we went to visit Dove Cottage where William Wordsworth lived and produced many of his finest poetry.

We were taking advantage of a programme of free poetry in the grounds at the rear of the Wordsworth Museum run each summer, sitting on wooden benches on a grassy slope in the dappled shade of great oak trees.

As usual I cannot miss not just the free poetry but the free models for me to draw while they recite their stuff:
Got the girl's name is in fact Penny Boxall, and the bloke is Andrew Forster.

And this was Katie Hale telling us "How to Kill a Mermaid":

And while I draw, my darling wife amuses herself with the goings-on of Cheryl Cole in 'Hello' magazine!:
Keeps me from getting too high-falutin' she does!


Melinda said...

Oh, I don't know...You're way too good at this on site sketching thing. I can almost hear their poems and the warm day with cool breezes. And, your lovely wife sketch contains the focused reader's gaze while keeping an eye on that rascally artist. Yes, I can almost read her thoughts!

Have a fantastic holiday. You won't be trying any of that campin' stuff will you?! I mean, you've learned your lesson, haven't you?

Looking forward to your watercolour sketches and more lively pencil marks.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

When did I EVER learn a lesson?

The idea is to go camping again tomorrow but I think we are both getting cold feet from this week's weather forecast of heavy rain. Don't fancy that side of it one little bit!

And you must coach me in reading my darling wife's thoughts. We've been married eighty-something years and I still don't have a clue. And the cerulean hat doesn't help either. I fear I am forever condemned to getting it wrong.

It's all very well, Melinda, showing off with a pencil but my constant desire is to be able to turn 'em sketches into paintings like what you do.

Perhaps one day.

Melinda said...

Oh, dear. Camping and rain certainly do not go together. Although, if you want adventure, it starts there. I know just what you mean. There is something primal about camping that keeps luring us back to it. However, you have shown yourselves capable of changing plans if it becomes too uncomfortable.

No, the cerulean hat only works on artsy stuff. You'll need the electronic-sensing-device-cleverly-sealed-in-the-hatband hat. It reveals the subtle gesture of one's spouse and explains the body language to the wearer.

Hmmm. If I were to give you a lesson on how I painted the Shaman Rain Dance, it would prolly go like this:

1. Google Helen Frankenthaler images (any artist you really enjoy in this genre).
2. Stare at several without thinking.
3. Mix up a glob of paint for the ground.
4. Use a palette knife to spread the paint on the canvas or artboard.
5. Mix up another glob of a different color.
6. Smear this glob with palette knife or gloved hands and feel free to wipe away parts with an old sock.
7. Daub paint on top of all that with your index finger while thinking of Frankenthaler's work, but not looking at any particular image.
8. Step back, take a break and have a look.
9. Let the shapes that appear speak to you.
10. Get annoyed with some parts and use scraping tools in the areas that defy you.
11. Finish the painting in two hours or less and don't overwork any area. In fact, have a careless attitude.
12. Walk away until the next day.
13. Glaze lightly. If you want to add some subtle color layers, do so after the paint is nearly dry.
14. Now, go play your mandolin and ponder the question, "Is that something?"

Howz that for a lesson?

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Oh my god - only fourteen steps to such wonders?
Delete this comment immediately or ANYONE can do it!!

Item 6 in particular is where I've been going wrong. I've been using a newish cleanish sock :o{
And as for item 11, I've always had a careless attitude and it never got me nowhere.

Thank you very much for this personal tuition, sista. Who knows what I can achieve now with this under my belt and a cerulean hat on my head.

Talking of hats...why did no-one ever tell me before about the "electronic-sensing-device-cleverly-sealed-in-the-hatband hat"? You mean to tell me after all these painful years there was such an accoutrement that would have made my life a dawdle?

ps: spent the day on the beach today then watched the sun go down, and now home, happy and tired, to sleep in a proper bed!

vivien said...

This recent series of sketches is great - so immediate and capturing the essence of the subject.

Keep on with these .... please :>)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Is that you wi' the specs, Vivien?

I am probably much happier with a pencil in my hand drawing the action in front of me than working with a paintbrush!

And yet I still want to paint like you, and Melinda, and all those other artists who work magic with paint.
I'ts so infuriating!!!

Celeste Bergin said...

I love all your sketches..they are so pencil-y (I know, that is not a word, is it) but what is not to love love love about graphite? Truly, each one of these drawings just make my heart sing. With the simple pencil and paper we get to be there with you at the Dove Cottage, while the people read. It is so much better than video.

Brian McGurgan said...

Great sketches, David - a real pleasure to scroll through. Good luck and enjoy the great outdoors (I'm assuming you'll find it, of course). I was watching a nice nature show just last week on the wilds of Scotland's west coast - a destination for Kyoko and I one day, I hope. Eagles, otters, dolphins, and Minke whales - hard to beat that. We'll be off on vacation in a week or so as well to Germany and Provence for a couple of weeks. Best wishes and enjoy yourself!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Great comment, Celeste, sorry it's taken me so long to reply - I've been a busy boy recently.
And "pencil-y" will be my new watchword next time I start scribbling in my wee sketchbook!
Appreciate your comments :o)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Oh yes, Brian, I did indeed find the Great Outdoors but it wasn't quite as great as I hoped since it rained the whole time! What did I expect camping in Scotland in the summer.
And the only wildlife I saw was the native midge intent on eating me alive. If only they were bigger and I had a gun!
Hope you and Kyoko had a nice holiday in Germany and we will meet up one day, I'm sure, when you visit Scotland or when I get to New York.
See ya!

Marian Fortunati said...

I love that drawing of your wife!!! Just absolutely perfect!!!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Ha ha, got a million like it, Marian...if only I could turn it into a painting!
Perhaps one day.
Anyway, nice to see you here...pleased to get your visit :o)