Frank is a lovely man of 92 years who has been coming to my studio for 5½ years, to improve his watercolours, also I believe and he’s admitted for the company.
In the beginning Frank cycled from Ludham village to the studio, 1½ miles, now in fine weather he comes on his buggy, in inclement weather I collect him and take him home.
I enjoy Franks company as much as he enjoys mine, the stories of working on his dad’s trawler out of Grimsby in his youth, service in the wartime Navy and life living in Spain, and northern Scotland. Frank has been on his own since Elm his wife died about 20 years ago.
For their generation they lived in many interesting places, Frank’s aboard life is reflected in the neatness of his house and the fact that he bakes his own bread and cooks his own meals from scratch, a man totally capable of looking after himself.
Elm worked for the English artist Edward Seago who lived in the Dutch House in Ludham, he painted at many of the locations I now go out to paint too. Frank can tell me first hand about an artist whose work I admire, what a privilege.
This Saturday Frank brought a photograph of Elm and one of his mother that he had produced pencil sketches from, he hadn’t worked in just pencil for a long time and needed some pointers.
So whilst he sat and watched I produced this sketch of Elm in her war time Civil Nursing Reserve Uniform, using a 2B pencil on NOT watercolour paper, a task I enjoyed along with the memories Frank was telling me.