Aqueous Interruptus

“Aqueous Interruptus”

I was late down to the lake the other day, which can be unwise because certain members of our little swimming group, if unhindered, are wont to arrive and simply get in the water and go swimming. Hilary and I have always held that such efficiency in response to water that is not tidal, is unseemly. So I was delighted to find this little tableaux before me when I arrived and I have tried to recreate the “action” of the moment in a drawing.

It was clear that Andy and Chris had arrived and had been about to swim, but had been intercepted at the last moment by Hilary, who has raised mere interruption to a high art form. With a subtle, well-chosen and baited question she can stop someone in their tracks, and even cause them to be delighted to be delayed. They had been there for some time I think, engrossed in conversation, Andy’s feet slowly cooling. Hilary could probably stop an invading army with a well-placed enquiry regarding their tanks.

We are not here to just swim, we are here to talk, drink coffee, tea, pass the time of day… Though brief immersion in water is of course necessary it should not happen with undue haste. Rescued from efficiency, Andy said he was suffering from Aqueous Interruptus, but that is because he is a professor of medicine and cannot help but give the diagnosis in Latin.

About this composition:

I was faced with a compositional problem in this picture: The trio of Hilary, Chris and Andy are the subject, but if I had simply drawn them, they would look like three people just talking. They need the of activity of swimmers around them to give their inaction its proper context, and if I simply surrounded them with people, they would become background figures and they would be lost as the picture’s subject. This was my solution, I hope it conveys something of the story.

Chris, Andy and Hilary, at Clevedon Marine Lake, not swimming….

Below are a few stages of this drawing, drawn on a Samsung tablet, in Sketchbook


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