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Painting Up A Storm

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
I have quite a few art works up around the walls of the house on the strand: psychedelic San Francisco concert posters from the 1960s, Soviet Russian screen-prints, contemporary lithographs, Blackpool FC memorabilia and some framed LP sleeves among them. I also have a few original paintings by relatively modern British artists and the watercolour reproduced below is probably my favorite. It hangs in my bedroom and is a stormy seaside view of Nairn in Scotland (home of the healthy, humble oatcake).
It's quite typical of the work of Donald Bosher (1912-1977); his paintings turn up occasionally on online auction pages, mostly rural depictions or seascapes. I don't know a lot about the artist and the internet is remarkably under-informed about him, but from memory he taught at Leicester College of Art in the post-World War II years and he used to spend his summers painting watercolours to supplement his income in his preferred haunts of Norfolk and Scotland. Unfortunately this photograph, taken with my iPhone, doesn't do the color and depth of the painting justice, but you get the idea...
Painting Up A Storm
Watercolour is particularly effective at painting up a storm, in my opinion, and appropriately so. Look at the effect Bosher has achieved here with his aqueous washes in the sky. Oil or gouache would never have rendered the elements so perfectly wetly.
The 'boys', that is to say my brothers (both in their sixties) are in town for the week-end to visit, catch up, see the illuminations and other delights of my adopted Blackpool home. They encountered torrential rain on the way up north and will almost certainly experience the same on the homeward journey, but today promises to be fine on the Fylde coast, despite the blog theme!
All things considered though, I thought this would be the fitting week for a poem inspired by the dependable deluge that is a regular feature of our weather-patterns on the Fylde coast as they roll off the Atlantic and Irish Sea. When it's hot and sunny (which it is much of the time in spring and summer) Blackpool is brilliant, the best seaside resort in the land. However, even when it's wet and/or stormy I have to say it's equally scintillating up in the glistening jewel of the north. I find that there is something exhilarating and strangely romantic about northern rain.
Northern Rain
Call me Wetbeard!
Sturdy falling northern rain
may beat a tattoo on my skull
and cross bones,
needle sharp and icy cold
to the point of numbing
soaking limbs and pirate brain.
Yet how to explain that,
despite the toll in sodden clothes
and squelching boots
(for once you're wet, you're wet),
there's something in the soul
responds to terraced streets
of glistering grey-slate roofs
asheet with torrents, bubbling gutters
struggling to channel all this deluge,
oily rivulets amok among the cobbles
and that roiling yellow sky
so full of thunderment
it sets my timbers shivering.
Eventually there will be
a pot of scalding coffee
with maybe a tot of rum,
but now I am both barque and bo'sun,
ballast, mast and mainsail
driving hard a homeward route
upon the mighty Blackpool main
and loving it for the insane fun
of swashbuckling through
the elements of yet another
most unordinary day.
After all that furious wet, I'll finish with a funny factlet about one of the driest places on the planet:
"A year's worth of rain fell on Aoulef, Algeria in just a single day last week - same as it does pretty much every year!" (Well, it made me smile...about half an inch.)
Stay storm-proof, and thanks for reading, S ;-) Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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