Sunday, January 3, 2010
Oh! Oh! How one suffers for one's Art... you may remember a sketching trip some weeks ago at Emmarentia Dam, where I and my sketchbook were enthusiastically bounced upon by a muddy-pawed Staffie... well today was a way more shocking encounter in the dog park.... I had sat myself down on a cushion in an idyllic little spot under a tree, fields of wild flowers, a rushing stream nearby... laid out my paints, my water, palette and sketchbook, when once again a kerfuffle of canines, an owner's anguished cry..."Noooo!"... and then a warm, wet, creeping feeling down my back! I turned to see the offending leg descending and the awful truth dawned on me - I had been peed on. By a large, delirious young Ridgeback. On my back. Me!! The owner and I looked at each other in utter horror, he mumbled apologies and took off, head down, while I spluttered and swore and tossed my painting water down my back. Thank heavens its summer.
I almost packed up and left, but having spent days trying to get out to sketch, decided it was all part of plein air and I must tough it out like Vivien does on her expeditions. I gathered up my stuff and went to find a seat above dog leg level, passing the owner on the way to a park bench. He came across and apologised again most profusely, and I forgave him and his stupid mutt, who was happily chasing hadedas behind us and not the slightest bit repentant.
I eventually did this sketch - over two pages which I've posted separately as they come out so small in doublespread - and it was quite lovely out. The grasses and reeds are sprinkled and shaded with flowers. Drums were beating in the background hills - some African churches meet there in the Melville Koppies on Sundays and dance and sing.
Finally I went home and showered and washed and scrubbed but I'm still sniffing strains of eau de dog - I think some got on my sketchbook.