Sharp axe flies across room in log cabin…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s joke is the one about the Prime Minister and the two greasy fried eggs in the Chancellor’s bowler hat – oh, how we chortled below stairs back at No.10!… (PM)

It’s Christmas Day 1955…
No, it isn’t!
But imagine if it was, and imagine young Billy kneeling under the flickering tree pulling the bright shiny wrapping paper and the bits of Sellotape from a flat weighty rectangular parcel – to reveal the rich colours and imagery on the front and back of a brand new, next year’s, copy of Lion Annual!

Gosh! Look at those spacemen floating about! Look at their stylish rocket parked there behind them too! Gosh!…
Anyway, this is another of my cheap junk shop books. It’s looking rather raggy now, and someone has been at some of the pages with a ballpoint pen, probably Billy’s sister Shirley, little minx that she is! So, this book is not really a valuable ‘collector’s item’.

Let’s open this volume up and have a glance at the top of page 37:

Well, I’m afraid Shirley has really ruined this nice illustration, but then again I do quite like what she’s done – you could almost imagine this nicely framed in a trendy white-walled art gallery – a new piece by an up-and-coming hot young artist fresh out of college with no skills other than those of PR and marketing.
Yes, I have carefully selected this piece of found ephemera and enhanced it in a particular way in order to point up and comment on the social mores of Britain post WWII, and to move it on, to transport it, into the realm of my intimate, sharply remembered responses to my own problematic childhood, and those lingering feelings of…

No, but really, what is going on in this picture?
The drawing is a bit, er, stiff, isn’t it? A bit ‘frozen in time’, but not in a convincing way. Still, I don’t think I could do any better.
So, two chaps in a log cabin, a sharpening wheel that runs in a water bath, an anvil lurking at the back that looks like it is made of wood, two loud check shirts, an axe flying through the air (it’s probably just been sharpened on that wheel), and a pleasant-looking Native American chap coming running up to see what the hell these two idiots are up to now!…
But who wrecked the flume?
Well, I don’t know, in fact I don’t know what a ‘flume’ is…
I see from the text that one of these fellows might be called ‘Top’.
Top?… This is getting stranger by the minute!
Also, I don’t think I can think of anything further to say about it, apart from how much I like the shade of blue that Shirley has used.

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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4 Responses to Sharp axe flies across room in log cabin…

  1. Dana Doran says:

    First, it’s not what you know (PR and marketing)…’s WHO you know AND what famous art school you went to – – I am referring, of course, to the Famous Artists School of Westport, Conn. – – featured advertisement in print next to the ad for the exotic “sea monkey” pets in comic books like Archie and Jughead (I don’t know why Famous Artists School targeted readers of comic books to recruit for their school!) – which was always just out of my reach financially speaking. ….probably still is….because circular logic tells me that if I wanted to be a Famous Artist (and actually sell art), I should have attended the Famous Artists School.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Yes indeed!
      Someone reported to me that they’d heard a curator or a London gallery owner say, when considering the prospects of a particular new artist, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter at all what the work is like, who do they know?…’
      How thoroughly depressing…

      • Dana Doran says:

        ah….yeah. But then, I’ve convinced certain impressionable family members that when I’m dead people may appreciate my work….I was able to deliver 5 pieces to my son – of course, the road-trip was 2800 miles…the things I don’t do to avoid renting a storage space….never mind trying to sell anything, it would take away from my painting time.

      • Dave Whatt says:

        If people wanted to buy my work, I’m sure I’d start thinking about money and success and the quality would just plummet!…

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