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.


  1. Lovely stuff. I love that fluid style you have. You get so much life and movement into the pics. I can feel the wind blowing! :)

  2. Thanks Liza.Just a bit of a rough start.
    Hope it going ok your end.:)xxx

  3. Do you find wit the types of lines and curves you sketch with that movement is important to your style?

    I mean in so much as capturing motion and energy of even still things like buildings.

    This is the feeling I get from your work, it is very much alive and with the illustrations of people you get the sense of movement and the energy of their emotion via the lines, curves and strikes.

    Excellent stuff :)

  4. Hello Jimmy! I am so sorry I didn't reply to this. I think I meant to at the time and then forgot!
    I think your comments are astonishingly perceptive. Its been said taht I work 'instinctively' ,which is what I think you are getting at. Its a bit hot and miss though - but hopefully when I do get it ,I nail it.
    Thankyou sweetie.xx