An English artist indulging my passion for landscape and pattern and attempting to capture a sense of a particular place.
Currently immersed in this huge writers' houses project that has taken hold of me and which happily combines my love of collage (recycling magazines) with literature, architecture, gardens and history.
Main website: www.amandawhite-contemporarynaiveart.com
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Mary Shelley - in the Gulf of Melancholy
Mary in the Gulf of Melancholy
This little image had been kicking around in the back of my head for ages - it's a kind of follow-on from doing the sea storm in the picture of Shelley's Surrey birthplace last year. So I took a break between the houses of Dickens to do this imaginary portrait of Mary Shelley using magazine scraps, cuts from a photpcopy of pages from an old book about Byron and Claire Clairmont with nicely yellowed pages and an inked monoprint I pulled and then cut out
A widow aged just 26, she had experienced more life, joy and tragedy by that age than most of us in a lifetime. The rebellious daughter of a rebellious mother (feminist Mary Wolstonecraft), she had eloped with a married genius, buried three of their children and suffered several miscarriages. On the plus side, as you might say, she had written the definitive Gothic novel and an enduring masterpiece. Frankenstein has never been out of print since its publication.
Already plunged in a deep depression following a miscarriage, the death of Shelley in a sailing accident when his boat was engulfed by a storm, left her bereft and (more practically) rather less than penniless in a foreign land in what she described in her journal as "a gulph of melancholy".
So here she is in her gulph (I must say I prefer her spelling for some reason) and I can now turn my refreshed attention to Dickens's Doughty Street home.
Fiddly stuff which as you see requires lots of soothing cups of tea to aid the old concentration ...
Mary, meanwhile, is now in my online shop at www.etsy.com/shop/AmandaAWhite
(sorry the link defeats me!)