After lunch today I scanned the next five of Charles Keeping’s idiosyncratic illustrations to Charles Dickens’s ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’, displaying the artist’s liquid line in expressive portraiture.
‘Martin and his friend followed them to the door below’
‘On his livid face was one word – Death’
‘Whole troops of married ladies came flocking round the steps’
‘ ‘Pinch him for me, Cherry, pray,’ said Mercy’
‘The agent was swinging backwards and forwards in a rocking-chair’
Soon afterwards we set out on a short forest drive.
Pearly blackthorn still drapes the hedgerows. We noticed a meringue version at East End; a cascade behind a cock pheasant on Sowley Lane; and scoops of cream alongside St. Leonard’s Road.
Also at East End the pale blue lightly-clouded sky provided a backdrop for bare birches, skeletal oaks, and a yachting weather vane.
Oaks along Sowley Lane have bowed to years of prevailing winds from the Solent, beyond which is the Isle of Wight, creating the third layer in the rape field image. Screeching gulls, excited by the soil-churning of a distant tractor, advanced inland – silhouetted dark against the sky, and light against a line of birches.
While I photographed bright purple aubretia and gold and cream lichen decorating the old stone wall of St Leonard’s Grange,
a passing car flattened a hen pheasant, roughly in the centre of the picture, upon which a ravenous crow immediately alighted. Disturbed by the cyclist, it did not stay for its close-up.
This evening we reprised Jackie’s lemon chicken and egg fried rice meal, with which she drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank Recital Languedoc Montpeyroux 2018.