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Thursday, 1 July 2010

There Was This House...



I'd been out with the camera exploring an area I had thought I knew well enough, when on some whim I crossed a motorway (by means of a footbridge, I hasten to add) and plunged into a small wooded area that I found on  the other side. Quite unexpectedly, I came upon this house, or half house. It looked like something I  remembered from WWII. a house with one end wall missing, floor joists exposed, bits of furniture left in place (though not shown in the picture), holes in the roof... I could go on. Even its surroundings had their air of mystery: the water, for example, was stagnant, I guessed rain water - it had been raining, but not excessively. There was no road to the house that I could see. The chappie in the blue jeans was part of the scene. I thought he might have been a workman waiting for materials or instructions or any of the multitude of things for which workmen will wait with endless patience. And he was just standing there as I have drawn him. I tried to speak to him, but he seemed not to understand English. The scene was quite dark and the camera's batteries too low to operate the flash - even had I been able to get close enough to use it - so I made a pencil sketch and later on this watercolour from it.

17 comments:

Kay said...

oh-- that's eerie... lovely, but eerie.

Gwei Mui said...

Gosh, it's very forlorn, very sad and beautifully painted

Kass said...

Maybe it was part of an abandoned movie set. I like how static the workman is.

Titus said...

I echo Kay: eerie. Something is evoked in the tale, and the painting has that mystery too - particularly the figure.

Jim Murdoch said...

I grew up in a semi-detached house on a small housing estate of probably no more than fifty houses. Not sure if fifty houses is enough to count as an estate but I can’t think of a better expression. There were three avenues. The one where I lived was the only one with odds and evens. In the second avenue there was, at the very end, a fully detached house or, to more accurate, a semi-detached house that wasn’t attached to any other. I never knew why this oddity had never been completed. The best thing I could come up with was that they’d run out of money but I’m sure the answer has to be more interesting than that.

Sally said...

so many questions- who lived there, why is there no road, what happened to the wall, what did they leave...? very intiguing

Dave King said...

Kay
I thought so, yes.

Gwei
And after a while, I began to think the man looked sad and forlorn as well. Thanks for the compliment.

Kass
I like that idea v ery much - a Hopper-inspired movie would you think?

Titus
Probably could spin it into a short story.

Jim
We lived for a time on a new estate of about that size - it grew to that size whilst we were living there. I never thought about it being anything other than an estate.

Sally
M any questions indeed. The water was one of them for me, it had such an influence on the way the house and its surroundings looked.

Derrick said...

And why would you need a camera when you can capture the scene so effectively, Dave?! You'll probably find the house is up for sale, in need of slight upgrading!

TechnoBabe said...

That's a great story. Good thing you could draw it enough to get the scene down so you could paint it later. I like the painting. Watercolors, huh. What kind of watercolors do you use?

David Cranmer said...

Beautiful watercolor. How much you selling it for?

Raj said...

you drew it later. damn that requires heart.

Dave King said...

Derrick
Mmmm, I must pop back and check. Could be on to a good thing here!

TechnoBabe
Usually Winsor and Newton artists colors in tubes, but on this occasion I used pans - and mixed in some body colour, also unusual for me.

David
I thought half a grand, but to tell the truth the reproduction flatters it. It might do better as a book illustration, if only I could find the book it illustrates.

Raj
That's my usual way these days - a sketch, or sometimes a snap, at the time, and work it up later.

Kass said...

Would that be Edward or Dennis Hopper?

Dave King said...

Kass Edward.

Carl said...

My first comment got eaten by blogspot. Interesting poem and painting.

Dave King said...

Thanks Carl. I've been having like experiences recently!

Lucas said...

The painting without the story is itself aan intriguing image. The story makes it stranger, as it reads a bit like the transcript of a dream. The camera's battery being low led to a more complex treatment than the camera could have given.