Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Worthington's New Year Sortie

Drowsy. Slightly sore head.  New Year's Day.  I stagger to the phone and realise that it is already 9.20am.  Michael Worthington sounds bright and breezy.  I ask Management what to do and she says 'paint' so at 1030 we are in his car speeding towards the Oxford Canal at Enslow.

We walk along the tow path for ages, turn round and walk back to a spot we identified earlier.  We are 'with the light' so pin up our coats on the thorn bushes behind us to keep the sun off.  He opens his pochade box: I open the champagne.  Neither of us feels that a masterpiece is necessarily on the way but at least we are out there and the champagne is chilled.

After blocking in my 8x10 I pour Worthington a glass and we wish the passers by a Happy New Year.  He looks rather sheepish:

Ninety minutes later and slightly light-headed we decide that the god of plein air has received due obeisance and retreat to the car.  I thank Mr W for getting me out on the very first day of the year.  'We return to our places' (apologies to TS Eliot).  The plein air rat has been fed; the chicken has been sacrificed and the entrails examined; the omens (albeit seen through all those champagne bubbles) are possibly good but my sketch is not.  I am comforted by a quote from David Curtis that old paintings make good fire-lighters. And there is also tomorrow.

  Oxford Canal at Enslow


  1. Love the little story and really like the painting! Great start for 2013!

    1. Thanks Valerie! Great idea of yours about the show - we must follow it through.