It was raining this afternoon and so I took refuge in the museum. I hadn’t been in there for months, but I’d been meaning to; I’ve been using my sketchbook as a way to record everyday things and I’d been idly musing about what everyday life meant for the Butterfield family who owned Cliffe Castle in, say, 1880.

The Butterfields, it would seem, were surrounded by a great deal of highly ornate clutter. There are some delightful things in these rooms, when taken individually – but overall this kind of ostentation is not my cup of tea. I have to concentrate on one thing at a time or else I have the urge to turn and run, so I let my eyes settle on the carved gilded mirror frame above the Carrara marble fireplace, and there I stayed, sketching, in the half hour that was left before closing time.

A passing museum attendant new to the job (I overheard him tell a visitor he’d only been there for four days) came over to look at my drawing and said in astonishment ‘did you do that yourself?’ – at which we both laughed. I said ‘no, actually the artist just left the room’ and we laughed some more.
After all, it’s not a very good drawing. Henry Butterfield would not have been impressed.

Weekly Photo Challenge: ornate

9 thoughts on “Ornate

    1. Well I’m glad you like it! But it’s the form of those leaves – they look all flat. And they should gleam and shine and sparkle. It doesn’t do them justice at all! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    1. That’s very kind Susan, thanks. Goodness me. Actually I wasn’t being disingenuous – I do own what I do in that I belong to the Urban Sketchers movement and post sketches online under my name. Thank you for all your encouragement – your positive writing about all things creative is a wonderful support!

  1. What I like is the draughtsmanship of the sketch.

    The silvering in the mirror shines a bit. Is it possible to add a bit highlighting to the leaves to bring out the gleam?

    Watercolour is so fragile (at least when I have tried it) that I have no real idea of what is possible beyond that it is easy to make a muddy mess…

    1. Ha! Yes, the problem of mud. All too easy to achieve! I generally find that once you get to a certain point there’s no going any further and if I do, I end up making things worse and worse. I think maybe I’ll go back and gave another go!

  2. It’s a lovely sketch. I so admire your ability to see the world and capture it in artful images. Your description of the museum full of too much reminds me of how I feel when I enter one of those huge discount stores. So many things crammed together that you can’t see anymore or, in my case, can’t remember what you actually went there to buy!

    1. I know what you mean about huge stores! They throw me into a horrible confusion too. At least the museum has lots of things that are lovely in isolation. I just wonder sometimes about our ancestors and why they seemingly liked such clutter – maybe in other ways they lived less cluttered lives? (I’m happy you like my drawings!)

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