I can almost hear the Sirens…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s instruction is to collect as many of the tassels as you can in one hand, give them a really good shake, and plunge them into hot soapy water until they stiffen up and their gorgeous colours return.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA‘Ulysses and the Sirens’ (1990) after H. J. Draper (1909) Charcoal on paper. (H.J.D.)

‘Good morning David! I want hot buttered toast, and a large mug of tea!…’
‘Good morning Stella, do come in, you look as if…’
‘Here, you can put my umbrella in the sink to drip if you like.’
‘That’s very nice of you Stella my dear, I…’
‘Well?… Go and put the kettle on, and get that bread into the toaster, and be sharp about it!…’
‘What the hell’s up with you today?’
‘Nothing… What’s this here drawing?’
‘Ah, you’ve been reading that book on assertiveness haven’t you? I saw you buying it last week in…’
‘Been copying other people’s work again David?’
‘Well, I did this one a long time ago. Yes, go ahead, do take your shoes off… Oh, you are wearing odd socks, a red one and a…’
‘Big deal!… Looks like Victorian pornography to me! Where that tea?’
‘Well, Queen Victoria died in 1901… and the original painting was done…’
‘Dirty old male artists getting teenage girls in to strip off and pose as Sirens… dangerous, but beautiful creatures, Sirens… Porn masquerading as fine art here David!’
‘Yes Stella, you are absolutely right, but that’s the Victorians for you… do you like a lot of butter on your toast?’
‘Is it nice bread?’
‘Marks and Spencer seeded brown?’
‘That’ll do, yes lots of butter on it. So why did you make a copy of it then David?’
‘Because I like it! The original is in the Dulltown Gallery you know – anyway it’s not really a ‘copy’ is it?’
‘Oh, very good tea this! Hey, is this salted butter?’
‘I don’t know, and I don’t care…’
‘And ha!, back at you! There’s nothing wrong with a bit of eroticism… especially if it’s a hundred years old Stella.’
‘Does the original look so unnatural, and like a stage set?… Like yours, David?’
‘Yes, it does Stella… Isn’t it great? Lovely figure painting too!’
‘God, just look at those brawny seamen pulling on their wooden shafts!’
‘Oh, and the way that Siren, the one with the fishy tail, is casually resting her hand on that very serious chap’s oar, which goes through that oval opening in the ship’s… and I like Ulysses’s staring eye, that’s a nice touch!’
‘Thank you my dear, I thought the tea and toast might mellow your mood.’
‘Well, mellow me some more, I’ll have another mug of it, and I think perhaps a cigarette…’
‘Oh no, not Gitanes! That French smell lingers about the place for days…’



About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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