Today we are at the blog of Sue Vincent.
Belique Drane is a natural artist. As a child she’d used a burnt stick to draw on the white painted walls of the parlour. Her mother, Taffetia, had been entirely unimpressed. Still as Belique grew older she allowed her artistic energies to be channelled to media which didn’t have to be scrubbed down afterwards.
In her early teens she started earning a little money from her painting. Admittedly she was selling pictures of quaint rural cottages, kittens and similar. She even sold some portraits; the purchasers enthusiastically commenting that the painting actually looked like somebody they knew.
A family council was held when Belique reached eighteen. She was almost the baby of the family and a lot of her siblings were now at the stage where they had incomes of a sort. They decided that between them they could raise the funds to put Belique through the University of Port Naain where she could study art properly.
Whilst I confess that it’s nice so see a family hanging together and supporting those members who need support, I would merely point out that I’d have been more impressed had they shown the same enthusiasm for supporting other, more distant family members, including the offspring of Taffetia’s younger sister, (purely by way of example.) When looked at dispassionately I think we can say that the siblings regarded the money they contributed as an investment. Admittedly it was a little risky, nothing was guaranteed, but there was an unstated assumption that should Belique make good as an artist, the money they had invested would be returned several fold.
At university Belique very much had her eyes opened. Out went the kittens and the cottages; in came strong colours, harsh lines and unsubtle political statement. At the end of her first year she was widely remarked to be one of Port Naain’s ‘up and coming’ artists. At the end of her second year she was asked to exhibit in the University’s annual exhibition. Her picture, ‘The lonely hangman homeward plods’ was described as a masterpiece in subtle blacks and greys. In her final year she submitted three pieces for her final marks. These were ‘Portrait of the artist as a decayed corpse,’ ‘Broken on the wheel’, and ‘Carrion birds and the gibbet.’ She passed with top marks. Indeed her final rating has not been exceeded since.
She took up the University’s offer of a studio, (funded by donor who gave an annual sum of money for the young artist most likely to enhance the reputation of the University arts department.) Here she continued to produce works of searing authenticity. Her portrait, ‘Beggar woman with pustules’ was purchased by the University and still hangs in the Great Hall.
To read more of the activities of this fascinating young woman, click on the link below