Monday, 3 January 2011

Sweetly Sang The Marrow Grass

  Here are some scans of my sketchbook location trip to Ainsdale, last October. They are very rough -  I had marrow grass sticking through my jeans and my inkpot kept wobbling!

 I went there to do prelimnary draws for my college diploma project - Shelagh Delaney's Sweetly Sings The Donkey (pub'd 1963). Briefly: it's a short-ish novel (100 pgs) set during the early 50's and is written in the first person. Our narrator is taken ill and is sent away from home to convalesce at a very large Victorian manse/sanatorium for Catholic school-children suffering TB/diptheria/polio etc.
  The Home is run by nuns and is literally built on the sand of the shore-line - hence my sketches of a large rather crumbly Victorian manse that looked out to the Irish sea. The location is apparently Southport or Blackpool, though personally I think its Southport because the resort that the characters walk to later on is described as 'genteel' and that would apply more to Southport I think.
 My half day crawling over dunes was to try and capture some atmosphere for working up later into more finished illustrations.
 Since I've had a bit of a gap, I plan to go back this week to refresh memory and spend longer there.
 All images are:  ink/wash, conte crayon, chalk, charcoal.