It has been a long while since this blog was updated, my mind has been dwelling on other things. The task of finding an appropriate fourth painting to base a short story around has also proved a bit too problematic for a woefully preoccupied mind. But now I have a seed of an idea based around an unhappy marriage and the painting that seems to encapsulate the ennui and boredom of such a domestic arrangement is Pierre Bonnard’s picture of a couple sitting at the dinner table. They are sitting together, and yet are obviously apart. Since this will be a “talkie” once more, in a way it allows me to shamelessly procrastinate as I ponder on what the woman might be thinking or saying. It is also my first story with a female protagonist. I need to practise more in drawing the female form, which has never come to me as naturally as the male form. I had grown up reading comic books or picture books where most of the interesting and likeable characters were male and I probably absorbed my sense of physical proportions from those early comic books.
I did think my sojourn in the far NW of Scotland might give me some ideas, but a dental mishap had put an end to that. I have however, been collecting a few more graphic novels, notably Peter Kuper’s (excellent!) graphic interpretation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis and R.Crumb’s illustrated biography of Kafka. I find myself quite attracted to Kuper’s dark and slightly nostalgic style. And I also finally purchased Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library No 18 and read it all in one sitting – a depressing rumination on the solitary life of the unwanted, disabled female version of his anti-hero, Jimmy Corrigan. I have been putting off buying Tatsumi’s huge A Drifting Life; there is something about it that just doesn’t attract me although the story itself may be interesting. Tatsumi’s short stories never really resonated with me. That is all to report on the graphic novel-reading front. I’m not awaiting any other graphic novel apart from Craig Thompson’s Habibi.
Anyhow, here is the Bonnard painting that I am thinking of weaving my next story around. Doesn’t she look so awfully bored, like she wants to be somewhere else? And it is somewhat interesting to me that all the paintings I’ve chosen so far tend to revolve around eating — apart from the card players, who were drinking. Clearly suggesting a fascination with all things gastronomical.