Stella plumps for bourbons…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like the sound of a mouse scurrying across dusty joists in the night.

Aphrodite at the Waterhole No. 1. (1991) Charcoal and pencil on paper, probably about 24″ x 18″.

‘Yes? Who is that?…’
‘It’s me.’
‘Who’s “me”?’
‘Open the door David! You idiot!…’
‘Have you come to fit my new electricity meter?’
‘No, you buffoon! Stop it!… Let me in! – I need a good strong cup of tea and some sustenance.’
‘Hm… Good morning Stella my dear. Oh dear, that’s a very funny hat you are wearing.’
‘No, it isn’t “funny”… It’s a very stylish and interesting hat.’
‘You’re sure you haven’t come to install my ‘smart meter’ then?’
‘Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire tea is what I require, hot, brown, in a big mug – you mug!’
‘Me mug?’
‘Yes, what confectionery do you have in for my state visit?’
‘Here, let me hang your hat up for you my dear, it’s un-nerving me somewhat.’
‘No, I’ll keep it on thank you! Get making some tea this minute. What the hell is this supposed to be? Is it charcoal or what?’
‘Possibly… I have custard creams, a few bourbons, or you could have a wedge of Caffe Nero soft chocolate cake, it’s a bit squashed in a plastic bag, someone gave me it last week – it’s still alright, you could eat it by squeezing it out…’
‘As if!… Is it binoculars?’
‘The drawing… binoculars…’
‘Possibly, here’s you tea, and mind you don’t poke your eye out with the spoon.’
‘Pass me that packet of bourbons, they dunk well do bourbons! Why is it called Aphrodite at the Waterhole David?’
‘It’s a title I give to works that I can’t think of, a title for.’
‘And this was the first one then?’
‘Yes… I took it from a piece of work in an old film about art.’
‘Oh? Was it a comedy?’
‘Of course, how are the bourbons?’
‘Ah, I see what you were doing here David.’
‘Do you?’
‘Yes, you are reflecting and mirroring the viewer, the very eyes….
‘Of the viewer?’
‘Yes, a fleeting blinked glimpse of the clear unpolluted sky, a few wisps of innocent cloud above the rotting clamoring metallic rust encrusted urban infrastructure of our vicious and relentlessly manipulative industrial world…’
“A fleeting blinked glimpse”? You know I really don’t get on with people wearing hats indoors Stella – please take it off…’
‘You really hate my hat don’t you? Have you any more bourbons David?’
‘No… Custard creams? But only if you take that thing off your head, I’m never very keen on ear flaps anyway, and those ill-matching colours!’
‘It was a present from Simon Doom, poet from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League – he stole it from a posh shop especially for me…’
‘Ha!… I should have known! He’s an idiot, and he has no aesthetic sense whatsoever.’
‘If it is a sky, it is nicely understated… Those spheres, could this be a pale eclipse, at the end of the world perhaps, a very last viewing? Doom, doom, see how they brush and bump together…’
‘No, definitely not… Eclipse indeed!…’
‘More tea please…’


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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9 Responses to Stella plumps for bourbons…

  1. Gosh that Stella is a bustling bunny, isn’t she? So bossy!….Anyway, your picture is lovely – something about it says it ought to be called “Societal Views” (given that it does indeed look like binoculars perhaps looking in on some urban landscape AND the fact that its not quite “proper” to wear a hat indoors)

  2. Dana Doran says:

    You know how sometimes when you see art….I take that back….when one really looks at art, a feeling or a memory floats in to your thoughts? Despite the clues from Stella, my first inclination was this was a musical piece, because I thought I saw a couple of guitars and an accordion (ha) and then I got the distinct impression you had been watching this: I watched this short clip, taking note that Chaplin predicted video surveillance….which, of course, related to the binocular “watching” effect of your “sky” in this piece…love the title, by the way.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Gosh Dana! I’m amazed at your connecting my drawing with the Chaplin clip. (and thank you for that, I’ve never seen it before)
      A musical piece too… Me? I see no instruments…
      By the way, I have always thought it very odd that the film industry perpetuates the idea that when you look through binoculars you see two separate round images – you don’t of course, you see one round image, but they haven’t got the confidence to portray it on film as we actually see it… Hm… a puzzle…

      • Dana Doran says:

        Well, you drew the piece…so if you say there are no musical instruments, well, I’ll just have to take your word for it…but in the lower left hand corner I see a guitar, with a mandolin peaking from behind it…and then there’s that accordion above the left binocular thingy (that’s an academic term, by the way). Now I’m a little concerned that I’m seeing things that just aren’t there……flashbacks to that summer of ’69 in San Francisco?

      • Dave Whatt says:

        I reckon they must be phantom ethereal instruments…
        An accordion now! Goodness me!… Whatever next!…

  3. Dana Doran says:

    Sometimes I make mistakes….I meant the right hand lower corner …guitar.

  4. The title of that drawing is perfect because it is Gorgeous!

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