A handy shelf for pencils etc…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe… Doh! – My hands still want to type ‘Europe’ in here… Let’s try again…

Dulltown UK: Today’s colours are: rabid red, yawning yellow, gorgeous green, pork pink, moribund mauve, blithering beige, and orangutan orange.

About six months ago on a day trip to York, about fifty miles to the north-west of Dulltown, I visited the art gallery there and bought two or three postcards of old paintings from their collection with the idea of doing ‘copies’ of them in charcoal and pencil. I’m not sure why I do ‘copies’ of old paintings, but I do find it quite enjoyable. Also it makes me look more closely at them, and appreciate the skill of the original artist – these people could actually draw and paint really well – even the ones you have never heard of…
Of course, I’m nowhere near as good as they were, especially in the area of figure drawing, but I do like to have a go at it even though mine tend to veer towards looking like cartoon characters.
One of these postcards has been stuck to my big old drawing table right next to a large tempting white sheet of paper since January, for me to walk past every day, to perhaps encourage me to begin something. The card shows a painting, by Francis Cotes (1726 – 1771), which has the wonderful title, The Honourable Lady Stanhope and the Countess of Effingham as Diana and her Companion, and was painted in 1765. Anyway, two days ago something, almost like enthusiasm, suddenly came over me and I made a tentative start on the great work.
This post isn’t really about the drawing though, I will probably let you have a look at that when it is done, but it is about a thing I knocked up to assist me in my work. It almost looks like something from The 1954 Gadgets Annual that I sometime feature on these pages. As I was standing drawing yesterday afternoon I realised that I was trying to hold in my hands: a pencil, an eraser, a piece of charcoal, and also the rag I do smudges with. I do have a surface to put things on to the right, but it means stepping to one side from the drawing to use it. What I needed was a small shelf for these items, which somehow attaches to the drawing board, but is not permanently screwed to it. Hm... I thought, Perhaps I’ll just nip into my little workshop, get a bit of plywood, and bit of three-by-one, and a few nails and some glue, and one of those handy spring clip things from Wilkos…

DSCN4580There we go! That’s a really handy shelf, isn’t it?
By using that clip thingy the shelf can be placed at any height on the side of the drawing board – I even glued bits of quadrant on the edges of the shelf so round things like pencils don’t roll off it. Oh, and there’s the postcard with the girls and their hound; and to the left, you can just glimpse part of the work in progress… I think I enjoyed making the shelf more than doing the actual drawing…

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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6 Responses to A handy shelf for pencils etc…

  1. Oh Albert would be so proud of you! And your drawing looks really good actually. I did laugh at the “Countess of Effingham” bit – it makes it sound like swearing a bit. “Oh that bloody countess of effingham whatsit, round to borrow sugar again!”

    • Dave Whatt says:

      I’m sure ‘Effingham’ has been used in a ‘Carry On’ film.
      And yes, I felt just like Albert as I was banging the nails in – ‘Hm… I wonder if Madge is making a pot of tea and some buttered toasted teacakes?…’

  2. Claudia says:

    We all need a place for our creative “stuff”..amazing you can get by with such a small space!

  3. I applaud your ingenuity!

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