Tuesday 3rd January 2012
Steps taken with easel and Isobel
FLIP charts are adequate when sketching with a pencil or crayon, but not for painting in water-colours. I was, therefore, most grateful to Isobel when she granted me not only an easel, but also the freedom to pursue this new interest beyond the confines of my quarters.
No serious artist would, however, attempt to work in a gale force wind.
Consequently, when, after but ten minutes on the paving stones of the patio, a particularly severe gust caused the easel to topple over, it was immediately apparent that to continue would be pointless.
“I am a little sad,” I told Frances, “but do you think we will be able to do another try tomorrow?”
“You’re mad,” she exclaimed, touching my shoulder in a gesture of affection. “And don’t you feel cold? You never wear shoes, even if it’s freezing or pouring with rain. Why’s that?”
“Rhetans wish always to feel the land. Some believe at first we were as trees,” I smiled.
As expected, tea-time with Isobel that afternoon was a much friendlier occasion.
“What a shame it was so blustery this morning,” she remarked by way of greeting. “I gather you weren’t able to do very much.”
“But I have started! And the wind will not be strong for all time.”
“Please can we hear more music?” I requested, immediately, in order to remind her of my conciliatory mood.
With the return of fairer weather, I was able to proceed with my brush strokes.
Although I was allowed to have both my hands free, Frances was under instructions to attach a shackle round my ankle. A chain led from this shackle to a wooden bench, on which she would sit.
The bench, I saw, was not affixed to the ground. Therefore, after having the easel in the same place for three days, I asked Frances if it would be possible to move it so that I could attempt a different subject.
“I’ll talk to Hugo. See if we can shift it before you start. Where would you like it put?”
“Near to the pool, please. Painting water will be difficult, but a good test. Yes?”