15 - Easter Island People
The black-headed gulls were in stroppy mood, a vintage aircraft droned lazily and endlessly up above. This was a very quiet Easter Sunday morning on the harbour wall. Nothing much to see. Nothing going on. I had walked down here to work up an appetite before having lunch with my ‘support bubble’ friend. I looked around to find something to draw. A particular rock caught my eye, squaring up against the sea along with its companions, a protective scrum surrounding our island town and its harbour. This rock was etched by fossils and grooved by the forks of whatever machinery had dumped it there. It was beige like the beach; "natural", as the builders' merchant catalogues would describe it. The rock offered itself as my life model and I took out my pen and recorded its curves and crevices in my sketchbook before turning up, as invited, for lunch. My kind friend had cooked us an Easter roast, and afterwards offered her easel and a big piece of paper for me to draw on with the oil bars I just happened to have brought with me. My friend began her own drawing of people and I took out my rock sketch of the morning, and traced its shape with an oil bar, then next to it the outline of a crouching figure from the page of a life-drawing book left open by the easel. The two shapes multiplied into a clutch of brightly-coloured figures, with spikes of pink and yellow, strident perhaps like the sharp nagging voices of the harbour gulls or the wrinkled foil from a chocolate egg. A quiet Easter, with not much to see and not much going on, but one that I will not forget.
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