Thursday, 19 April 2012

We went down to Bournemouth for the weekend and were lucky with the weather as it was a lovely sunny day on Sunday. We decided to go to Studland and walk along the cliffs to Old Harry's Rocks where I did a couple of quick sketches which I finished at home. Although it was nice and sunny it was quite cold in the wind so the drawings were completed rather quickly. I have a mind to work them up into a pair of paintings when I get home. The portrait of Alexander Dryburgh is proving to be rather elusive so I am going to leave it for a while to consider how it is going. I might start a new painting from scratch.

Friday, 6 April 2012

This is a sketch from an old photograph of Alexander Dryburgh. He was born in 1887 and died in 1916 during the infamous battle of Fromelles in the first World War. This battle was to be fought as a diversion to the battle of the Somme which was taking place elsewhere. During the battle over 5000 soldiers were killed, mostly Australians, and up until recently the resting place of several hundred of the dead was not known. Two years ago 8 burial pits containing 300 bodies that had been buried by the germans had been found and a lengthy process of identification began. At the end of this process a 100 of these bodies were identified, unfortunately they were not able to identify my uncle. We were able to attend the ceremony at the new cementery at Fromelles. This sketch and the old photograph will help me to paint a portrait of another of my ancestors.