Saturday, November 05, 2022

Letter from home

When people ask me these days “Do you have any news?” I find it hard to answer. It’s been quiet at Hepworth Towers. 

It’s been a struggle to get up smiling some days, after reading the news in bed, but Dave’s grand remonstrance was cathartic.

So what's been going on?

I’ve been knitting for the new grandchild we're waiting to arrive.

I’ve been looking at the garden and thinking it needs a tidy up and then not doing it. But I’m still picking cosmos and nasturtiums and marigolds and loving them.

I’m still reading a novel about modern Chinese history: Do Not Say We Have Nothing 

It’s not the kind of thing I would normally read. It’s an education, and slow going, and I don’t understand a lot of the musical references, but it’s still managing to keep my frothy brain engaged. I'm not sure why.

I had a birthday in the last few weeks, and have been treated to two lovely lunches by two lovely friends. And two of my children also gave me lunch. I feel very blessed. 

Last Saturday an Indian friend brought two of her sisters to visit. They live in India and have very little spoken English and she said after the visit that it was nice to show them a ‘typically English home.’ 

I’m not sure typically English homes have stacks of yoghurt cartons in the corner of the kitchen, or mottoes carved in wood everywhere, or paintings jostling for space on every wall, or half the living room taken over with painting equipment 

or a man who makes stained glass in his study, 

but there you go.

The painting went well last week: I was very pleased with this. 

Actually, between you and me, I love it! Though now I’m thinking the daisies should be bigger. 

This week, however, has been bad  a learning experience. I wanted to paint this photo I took on a local bike ride:

I liked the delicate harebells set amongst the scrubby autumn grass, against the heavy wall, and behind the wonky wire fence But I was dubious about the dull colours. I don’t like dull colours. So my brother suggested I try painting it in a fauvist style (bright unrealistic colours). Hmmm…interesting, I thought. 

I gave it a go.

The start: pink grass and purple wall.

The next stage:

But yesterday when I was painting, I was not enjoying myself and realised it's because I hate these unrealistic colours. I loathe them. And I hated the painting. I washed my brushes and went for a walk to decide what to do about it. The point of painting is to bring me joy.  And this painting made me ashamed. Yes. That's how I felt. I hated it that much. So I painted a white wash all over it, and boy was it cathartic. 

I'm not sure where to go from here. I thought the white wash would cover it but it's just toned it down. 

I'm going to put it to one side and start something new. Would that we could do the same with this shameful government.


marmee said...

Hi sue ! I found the remonstrance very very moving. And it struck me that although written from the Uk for the Uk , in many ways the sentiments apply to all countries. Indeed the daisy painting is so beautiful, evoking such a sense of outside and a breeze and the smell of grass it made me happy! And wishing you a good year to come , many paintings, many joyful experiences !

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Marmee.I’m glad you like these things. And thanks for your good wishes!

Sue Hepworth said...

Oh dear, Rowantree!

I tried to publish your comment on the blog from my phone and my fat fingers touched the DELETE command by mistake.

This means I can’t publish your comment because I can’t retrieve it once it’s been deleted.

I am so sorry this has happened. Thank you very much for your comment. It’s always really nice to hear from you. It’s nice to hear from everybody who has something positive to say or something helpful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue, I am very impressed you have so many presentable flowers available to pick - in our garden we have one nasturtium still flowering, some ragged marigolds and colour in other forms which it hasn’t occurred to me (yet) to bring indoors. Im sorry I missed your birthday - belated greetings. I confess to deep gloom when contemplating the future of the planet, climate change, politics etc. It is so good when there are those, such as your remonstrator who can express it so well. Living with the duality of deep concern and living in the moment is so very difficult. I love your painting and glimpses into Hepworth Towers - thank you.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you for your com ent, Jenetta. I have addressed part of it in a new post. xx