Released From Classroom

Today we made a start on rehanging those of our pictures we have room for.

We began with drawings of and by family members spanning some 40 years.

Jackie photographed the long and short views of the wall above the white sofa. Each of these images carries a story.

Let us start with the 1965 pencil portrait the sixteen year old Jackie made of her mother. When my new girlfriend showed me this in 1966 I asked her why she had not told me she could draw.

Chronologically the next is this now very foxed pencil portrait I made of Jackie in 1966. The story of its presumed loss and recovery is told in

I made this quick charcoal sketch of Michael reading to Matthew at 76 Amity Grove in October 1973. It appears to contain a few spatters of white paint.

I completed this pastel portrait of my father in the early hours of 25th December 1988, a year to the day after he died. It had been a present for my mother who kept it on her bedroom wall until she died on 15th September 2021. The story of its creation is featured in

Florence was eight when she produced this drawing in 2004 in response to a school prompt to draw something that made her feel warm and cozy, or words to that effect. It stayed on her school hall wall until the end of the year, when it was presented to me.

We collected the Modus from the garage just in time to nip down to Barton on Sea to catch

the sunset with its peach and indigo cloudscapes.

Suddenly, joyfully tripping, frolicking, gambolling; gleefully, excitedly, shrieking, like schoolchildren released from the classroom, came three exuberant young men toting mobiles and bottles to dance along the cliff edge where they

focussed on the splendid scenery as they lapped it up. We were soon in pleasant conversation. A team of roofers from Sheffield, they were carrying out a job locally which required them to stay in a local caravan site during the week with weekends at home. They were taking in as much of these unfamiliar pleasant sights as they could as soon as they had finished work. I was happy to give them pointers to places of interest and nourishment.

This evening we dined on chicken Kiev, chips, and baked beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Fleurie.


  1. I do love that portrait of your dad. When I saw the first photo in the sunset series, my immediate thought for a caption was “You can’t keep a good sunset down.”

  2. How lovely to have those family portraits and memories. The drawing that Jackie did of her mother and the painting you did of your father are wonderful. Jackie was able to capture so much in a few lines. Does she still draw? And what a treasure to have from Florence!

    The sunsets are spectacular, and the young men seem to be enjoying themselves.

      1. Sherwood Forest is close to Sheffield of course but not with the abundance of wildlife.
        Many years ago (maybe about 1970) I went camping in New Forest, I woke with a start as I was certain someone was knifing his way through the canvas, I shot out of the tent to find a pony licking the dew from the flysheet, It was the rasping of his tongue!

  3. There is so much talent under your roof. Maybe the next time it rains and you can’t get out to take photos, you and Jackie can sit down and sketch one another.?Beautiful sunset shots!

  4. You are lucky to have such an artistically gifted family to enjoy. I like Jackie’s drawing of her mother and your painting of your father. Thanks for including the links to some of the postings about the drawings. You’ve been doing this for a while. 😉

  5. You and Jackie are both very talented, Derrick! I am glad you were able to recover that drawing of her. I love Florence’s drawing, too.

    The late afternoon photos of the sky over the sea are beautiful. Dark and mysterious storm light is a favorite theme.

  6. All of the artwork is grand! Such talent! Love the drawing Jackie did of her mom. It has such emotion in it.
    I remember the pastel you did of your father. I think it is sublime! I know it had to mean the world to your Mum!
    Florence’s drawing is one of the bestest! And so sweet!
    Beautiful sunset photos! And the first photo of the roofers photographing is fabulous! Their dark figures against that fabulous backdrop! Wowza!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  7. Oh Derrick … what a wonderful coincidence … this morning I was rehunging some of Carole’s paintings/craftwork, after they were given an overdue dusting … and then I wrote this Haihu.. I’ll post the article later tonight .

    My Gallery (a Haiku)

    Her craftwork shines on
    Overseeing our dreamtimes
    In my world of rhyme

  8. The room looks so cozy with the sketches. The charcoal sketch of Michael reading to Matthew is my favorite. The peach and indigo sky gives a cozy feel, too.

  9. I’m glad you have the group of drawings back up. They look so nice together. I have a few of my father’s landscape drawings framed and hanging in our living room, along with a sketch by my mum. You, Jackie, and other members of your family have captured some terrific portraits. I’m glad they’ve been grouped together for all to see and enjoy.

      1. Ah yes, a life well lived. Perhaps you can take high-resolution photos of some of them, and make yourself a beautiful coffee table styled book. Then you can pick it up and enjoy it and also share with others. Just a thought.

  10. I have read some of those stories behind the drawings and vividly remember the one about the pastel portrait of your father. Jackie’s portrait is an excellent piece of artistry, it has captured the young girl in all her innocence and youth.I am so glad it was found again.

    The peach and indigo evening skies have been captured true to the elements. The description of revelling roofers took me by surprise for its powerful depiction.

    1. Thank you very much, Laurie. What impresses me most about Flo’s drawing is the perspective of her placement in the composition. She is the most talented of us all.

  11. My children laugh at me keeping some of their drawings – now I know why I do! You have sent me scurrying off to explore the behind-the-scenes stories too. I love your ending with the exuberance of the young men.

  12. That’s interesting about the roofers, having come upon tradespeople who have travelled to other places for work, all they seem to do after their shifts are come back to the hostels – make a load of food, and watch the box with drinks in hand. I asked some I met in New Plymouth if they had been looking at the sights and they looked at me as if I’d lost me marbles!

  13. Very good drawings and paintings. So much experssion captured. (Compliments. Makes me feel like the amateur that I am at sketching… LOL)
    Take care

  14. Such a lot of drawing talent in your family. And whatever that pain color in your living room is, it shows so lovely and peachy in the light. Beautiful.

  15. You know I’m a declutter nut, but those drawings are definite keepers, and look so nice on the freshly plastered walls. So the colour was actually in the plaster, huh? Live and learn.
    How uplifting to see the roofers losing themselves in the moment.

    1. Thank you very much, Gwen This wall was actually painted. The coloured plaster is on the more recent refurbishment and will be painted over when the rooms are decorated.

  16. The family artwork… what a treasure.
    I love the images of the roofers from Sheffield, I can imagine them sending those selfies they for their families to view

  17. What an interesting collage of drawings on that living room wall. Captivating! My favorite is the “charcoal sketch of Michael reading to Matthew.” You’re so talented, Derrick!

  18. It’s a great idea to have a wall of the family’s drawings! Florence’s portrait is just wonderful. I am sure you love it and the compliment. The young men enjoying the sea after work is also heartwarming.

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