Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A Beautiful View of Haworth
After reading last week's "An Introduction to Wuthering Heights," my wife remembered a beautiful print we purchased during our visit to Haworth in 2012. It was just one artifact of our travels that had remained packed away, waiting to be rediscovered. So she found it, and we set out for Michaels, our local art supply shop, to get it framed.
Anywhere you travel, you encounter differences that seem negligible, but later realize are huge. Such was the case with this little art print, which had been presented in a beige matte suitable for framing. Unfortunately, American paper--and therefore frames--are sized differently from their English counterparts. We were prepared for this, as we had purchased two larger matted prints during our trip to England in 2011, only to return home and discover that Michaels wanted over $70 to custom frame each one (and that was using their 50% off coupon). So this time, we prepared to purchase precut frame sections, and then cut down a piece of glass to fit. What we learned this time was that these precut sections started at 8 inches, and the matte for our Haworth print measured 9 1/2" x 7 3/8".
For every problem, there is a solution. In this case, we went to the custom framing counter, stripped off the shrink-wrap, and separated the matte from the cardboard backing. The print was only taped to the back of the matte, so it was a simple matter to measure it. The woman working in the framing office came out during this, and using her tape measure, we learned that the print was larger than the opening in the matte, and would accommodate a 5" x 7" matte. We purchased a similar precut matte and an off-the-shelf frame for less than $10, and didn't even have to cut a piece of glass!
If I hadn't wanted to read Wuthering Heights, we wouldn't have visited Haworth. If I hadn't written a post about reading the novel, my wife might not have remembered the print we purchased that day in the village for two English pounds (or quid). It could have remained packed away for years, never framed, just another memento that never saw the light of day. Instead, while I read, I'll think of Gimmerton, the fictional village referenced in the novel. The print may even inspire me when I sit down to write a scene for one of my own stories.
The print may also lead me to spend more time sketching. Pat Bell (who created our beautiful view of Haworth) and partner Sue Firth at Gate House Prints do excellent work. I paged through the Yorkshire section of their website, and their depictions of Aysgarth Falls, Hawes, Ribblehead, Askrigg, and Haworth took me back once again to those beautiful places. I'm inspired to create scenes equally evocative, or at least to try. Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson, whose artistic sensibilities were formed in part by the Bronte sisters' stories, offers just such encouragement on his Facebook page. Really, what have I got to lose, except the insignificant cost of my pencils and paper, and a little of my time? As with my writing and blogging, all I need to do is try.
Related Dragon Cache Links
An Introduction to Wuthering Heights
Wealth, Poverty & Happiness in Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte & the Will to Live
Related Internet Links
Take an artist's tour of England with Pat Bell and Sue Firth at http://www.gatehouseprints.com.