What to do when it rains!

Now you see it now you don’t. Its there one minute and gone the next – but its still there. Derelict houses – residues of lives – mist.

It rained heavily all night. At 5am it was light but the view from the window was grey white mist – not an island in sight. They appeared later in the morning but then disappeared again as heavier rain fell again. I met my new neighbour briefly, Nicole, a painter from New York. It is getting dark now at 11am and the lights in the main area downstairs don’t work.

Finally around 4pm the sky brightened a bit and the rain appeared to stop. I had been drawing pretty well non-stop all day so I felt in need of a break. I set off up the lane to Bolus Head. Our resident orphan lamb was outside the cottage bleating and the mackerel artist was trying to feed it with an improvised teat made out of a plastic bag!

The wind was warm but the mist very dense. I couldn’t even see the sea although I could hear its constant even murmur in the background. I walked up, it climbs steeply and there were more derelict buildings on the Cliffside. Poignantly, one was just the end wall facing the sea, tiny now, with a gaping hole that was once a window. This was all that remained of someone’s home, someone’s life.

I walked until I could hardly see twenty metres ahead before I turned back. A high pitched call, a few words, a girls voice perhaps emerging out of the mist, but no, just a lamb or a gull. Foxgloves and fuchsias glowing wild, sheep’s’ wool, I heard the shearers this morning, like spume dancing in the wind. As I walked down again the wind suddenly dropped and the mist began to clear. I could see the line of the cliffs below with waves breaking against them.

The drawings I have been doing since last night have suddenly moved up a gear. They have moved away from recording the jaggedness of the cliffs to marks left on empty buildings. Those unthought-of residual marks that people make, paint splashes, torn wallpaper, the recording of children’s heights as they grow. Things written on walls, lives watched, generations of individuals observed by the unseeing walls of a house. Those are the secrets contained within the walls and when the house breaks apart the secrets are blow away like ‘rain on the wind’. (Walter Macken).


4 Responses to “What to do when it rains!”

  1. annabelwilson Says:

    Oh you do write beautifully!!
    Recording the marks on the buildings is a new departure, it is obviously very grey there as your images of the work are not too clear. I will just have to wait to see them when you return.
    Annabel x

  2. perrypatetic Says:

    What wonderful images; so sympathetic to the landscape and the environmental conditions. I love that quality you bring to your writing, that the messages hidden in the mist and the murk are more potent for being just beyond reach. Your ideas about residues are so stimulating. Do you enjoy lingering/loitering in graveyards? Michael xx

  3. forkhandles Says:

    Yes F – you do write beautifully! That last para….interesting what happens when the edges blur on the landscape…things seem to sharpen on the inside. All so wonderful!
    I think you like the rain!

  4. fiona Says:

    No I don’t enjoy lingering in graveyards! I don’t like the idea of walking over graves – and here – too many dead babies.

    I’m not sure I like the rain, especially when it stops me going out. However it does make me stay in the studio and draw and I like what is happening in the drawings. They seem to be becoming more staccato which is interesting.

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