Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Vicarage in Beverly, UK



Was lucky enough to stay in a vicarage in Beverly UK , and this is the view of it looking from the large gardens there. For some reason when painting on site, the paintings never look very good to me, and I think a part of it must be the 'comparisons are odious' factor in full swing.  But this isn't always true later---away from the location, the painting leaning against something in the studio, the picture sometimes comes into its own in a way it can't when on site, eclipsed by the real thing. 

 On this trip a side jaunt was made to Whitby, in north Yorkshire. It's a famous and picturesque port town, cleft down the middle by the mouth of the river Esk. It's funny how certain things stick out when you see new places---in this case the vivid memories are: the largest and prettiest espalier pear tree I've ever seen, in the garden of a little cottage overlooking the harbour; the dramatic aspect of row upon row of tombstones leaning at discordant angles in a cemetary high above the town, all the tombstones leaning like windswept trees; and recognizing the kipper shop from my favorite tv show ever, "Two Fat Ladies". After my mouth dropped open I ran across the street to make sure it was the same place. I peered through the window and saw that the same fellow was still working there that waited on Jennifer and Clarissa when they were there to buy their kippers. Passing to the back of the shop I saw the thoroughly black smokeroom that had given the two fat ladies a coughing fit, now empty but a couple fish  hanging there in the dark. Clarrissa Dickson Wright had pointed to the black dripping beams and said, "That's what the insides of your lungs look like, Jennifer." And  Jennifer had said, "Nonsense, they're not covered with fish oil." 

We did buy kippers from the man. He was unsmiling and according to our Whitby friend is notoriously grim. Good kippers though, the best I've ever had, memorable in every way. I can still taste them---I love when that taste-memory experience happens. As I write this it makes me think of what I'm going through right now with my still life, in which I'm painting from drawings and not from still life. It's been an exercise in memory in ways subtle and obvious, all good,  and aside from pleasure and sketching and color notes for myself to work from later I don't plan on going back to 'painting from the still life'. Painting from the drawing, and the memory of the still life, has been simultaneously the most freeing and disclipling experience.

Back at the vicarage and the paintings there:  one painting that didn't make it past the sketching stage is the painting I started of some flowers---I think the flowers are called "Naked Ladies" because they stand there unadorned by leaves or foliage, just pink and bare against the ground. The photo of it is amusing because my foot is sticking into the frame as if I've keeled over from the effort of making a bad painting. I had leant back to take a photo with the ipad.