Ulverston

“Morning” said the lady in the shop.

“Ah that’s why I feel so awful” I thought.  I must stop watching cartoons all night.  She directed me to the ground coffee, I chose Farrers – excellent coffee from the famous coffee plantation of Kendal.  I staggered back up to my den for a revolting cup of coffee.  It was 6 months out of date!  What do you do in a situation like that? I can’t make many friends by going back to the shop with an opened packet of coffee and telling the shopkeeper how to do her job.  It shouldn’t matter, but that coffee is important.  All I live off is coffee and high energy insect suet pellets.

I don’t know where I’ve left my cable to connect phone to computer so I can’t share the new paintings I’m so proud of.  So here is one taken by Simon Hathaway – visit his website at www.simonhathaway.com.

Last week I did two large paintings.  The one I am excited about and seemed to make people gasp and say things like “hey those windows are epic!” is of Coniston in the dark.  I wanted to do it for a while, but I didn’t know exactly where and how until a few hours before starting.  At first I wanted to paint the black bull and the river, but it is covered in scaffolding at the moment, but then I looked around and realised that by applying my rounded sense of perspective and the excersises in drawing I had been doing, I could fit the Bull, the village store, Harry’s Bar and Restaurant, the other shop I don’t know the name of, and The Crown, into the same canvas.  I’m on to the last coats of glaze now so it won’t be long before I can show it to you, providing I can find my cable.

The drawing excersises I was doing was to sit in a room (Angelika’s parents’ kitchen – a very inspiring place) and draw something, then take a new piece of paper and draw it again, but smaller and with more around it, then draw it again and fit more around, until you can get most of the room into the paper.  It sounds simple, but its tricky, its hard to go straight into because the proportions become difficult.  Earlier I had been turning my head to the left, drawing across the page from left to right and continuing onto the next page, which is also an interesting excercise.  I don’t think I have the picture anymore, (here is a link www.flickr.com ) but this started in the leaning tower in Toruń, which was a fancy bar, a very nice one, then the headquarters for the capital of culture, now a restaurant, which says alot about Toruń’s bid for capital of culture.

So back to the photo, which is me with a dumb smile on my face making bad jokes.  After this painting in Coniston and the painting at Lucy’s on a plate, I wanted to paint more windows and try to fit more things into a canvas than is comfortable.  Stupidly I found this in Ulverston, when I went to do some shopping and check my phone messages.  It’s 14 miles away that’s why I say stupidly.  I should find out the name of the street, but its the main street in Ulverston, it has some really lovely independant shops, the one that caught my attention was Gillam’s which is a fine food shop and cafe, I wanted to get the bakery in next door, but that would mean either loosing detail or the opposite side of the street.  The thing that is interesting though, is that along the row I am painting, every other shop is empty.  Even though Gillam’s is in the classic shop style, the street is the autumn of our economy- the shops are good, (I didn’t buy any coffee from them but I assume it’s in date) but just round the corner is a big shiny tesco.  Also there are no trees, or pavement, which makes things seem a bit weird.  There is still a lot more to do, so more trips to Ulverston.  I like Ulverston, people are very friendly, they keep saying “oh that’s really good” even when I know it isn’t, which is actually less encouraging than it’s supposed to be, how am I supposed to know if it is good if people say its good when it’s rubbish?

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One thought on “Ulverston

  1. This is really lovely Stephen. Ulverston is where The Husband and I first met, working with Welfare State. I think that the picture of Gillam’s is the top of the high street, where we lived at the bottom end. Great work.

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