A day out with Dave…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like the sound of a tomcat in the night.
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3 pm on Friday:
I am writing this sitting at a cafe table in the ancient city of York. Isn’t it funny how some days the world, and complete strangers, seem to conspire against you?
But first, why am I in York? Well, I’m here for art; the Dulltown gallery is, for various reasons, closed down for 18 months, and the nearby Leeds City Art Gallery is also closed for a year whilst they glue a new roof on it; so I thought a trip to York Art Gallery might assuage my aesthetic hunger pangs…
The train journey (only an hour) wasn’t too bad – well, until we pulled into Selby (there’s a nice abbey in Selby) where two separate groups of loud people got on and cheerfully dominated the carriage for the rest of the trip; thank god for headphones!
Anyway, as soon as I arrived in York and started walking to the town centre along a narrow busy pavement, I was brushed and nudged almost into the road by two oncoming middle class, middle-aged, smartly dressed, unyielding women, one of whom was carrying in her arms a prickly shrub encased in some sort of net; it was the damn shrub that tried to brush and nudge me into the path of the traffic. A couple of minutes later a young trendy looking woman lurched across my path forcing me to stop dead in my tracks; she was finishing some coffee in a paper cup, head tilted back, eyes closed, her full lips taking a final suck on the rim before she threw it aggressively into a rubbish bin at the side of the road.
Still, here I am safe and sound, with tea and cake, in the cafe and… Oh dear, a bunch of enthusiastically loud laughing Italian tourists have just set up camp at the table next to mine. I think I’ll put this piece of writing on pause and continue it later… Oh, and there’s another reason to get up and go – the cafe speakers have just started playing a slow and prissy cover version of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice it’s Alright by some confident, but bland, wishy-washy young person…
5.30 pm now – in another cafe:
Well, I went to the art gallery (by the way, it’s now £7 to get in, it used to be free); it was alright I suppose. Not much has changed in there over the years. There are plenty of old religious paintings if you like that sort of thing, a good slice of 19th c. and 20th c. stuff as well. The artists who made me pause and look were: William Etty, Henry Tonks, Cecil Collins, Paul Nash, David Hockney (a 1961 one, I like his early paintings), Alfred Woolmark, and Richard Jack.
A large proportion of the upstairs gallery space in the museum is now given over to ceramics. Now, some people like pots, but I’m not one of them – but I do try to not be rude about them… however…
However, the was a large work on show by someone called Clare Twomey. It is an installation consisting of a very high stack of black shelves upon which rest 10,000 white pot bowls made by communities of helpers in York and beyond – apparently each bowl takes an hour to make. All the bowls are remarkably similar in size, shape, and colour, and there are 10,000 of the them – need I say more?…
After a glance at that I quickly nipped back downstairs and looked through the postcards for sale. Now, still buzzing with caffeine and chocolate from the earlier cafe visit, I had cheered up a bit and was feeling more optimistic, and I had a bright idea concerning my art. As I am probably coming to the natural conclusion of my spatter painting period (I think I really have done enough of them for the time being); I decided, after seeing those old paintings, that I would return to doing one or two loose ‘copies’ of such things in charcoal and pencil. I have done a few of these over the years; they are fun to do, and it makes you, in a strange way, connect with the original artist.
How about this one? This is by Francis Cotes (1726 – 1770) and is called: The Honourable Lady Stanhope and the Countess of Effingham as Diana and Her Companion (1765).

DSCN4262What a jolly nice and productive day it turned out to be; and I also bought some Marks and Spencer tinned tuna and a bag of organic cashew nuts…

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...
This entry was posted in art, brain, cafe, conversation, drawing, Dulltown, existentialism, Grumpiness, Hull.UK., humour, information, observations, painting, people, photography, postcards, serendipity, surrealism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A day out with Dave…

  1. julie harms says:

    That seems like a nice day 🙂

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