Wednesday February 16, 2005
“I don’t feel like writing about stuff just now,” I said.
“What do you mean, stuff?”
“Oh, you know… daily doings, poetry, cabbages, kings… that sort of stuff.”
“Yes, well, we all know about you and cabbages. I’m after some help here.”
“Oh, just do pictures. You always say a picture is worth a thousand cabbages. Or something.”
“You really do want cabbage?”
So, as I put the cabbage on to boil…
Today’s picture is one I found in my archives today, from the last time I was heavily into watercolour. It’s of a northern English village, taken from a black and white photograph I snapped so long ago I forget the name of it. Something-thwaite, by the look of it, and by the whispers my memory produces when I look at it.
The last time I had a serious bash at the watercolours was in 1995-1997. I went to classes. Met a fabulous tutor, and I’ve forgotten his name, too; my memory plucks up ‘Ferguson’, but I wouldn’t guarantee the accuracy of that. He taught me the importance of the marks on the paper. “Look after the marks, John,” he said. “Look after the marks and the rest will look after itself.”
He was right, of course. And, when I was painting this one, in his class held in a Portacabin at the back of the primary school in Williton, he came up and said: “Everytime I see this it gets more exciting.”
Some old guys are good with the encouragement, aren’t they?