November Storm

I know it’s only October but here I’m referring to the November storm in Chapter 27 of Lawn House Blues, hoping some of you might by now have got round to reading the book. This is no spoiler alert as even the back cover tells you of a destructive storm which damages the house. I enjoyed writing about the storm and describing its effects. I tried to visualise  it and imagine the Suffolk countryside. I re-wrote the chapter several times to try to make it feel real.

Then quite by chance I visited Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury with friends and came upon the exhibition of Harry Hambling’s work, called The Suffolk Eye. (The book of the same name was on sale in the gift shop). In one corner of the exhibition I saw this painting which is called ‘December sunset’. There were no signs to say no photography so I discretely snapped it with my phone. Here was a picture of how my November storm might begin.

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Once home from the exhibition I was delighted to see the picture again on the Instagram site harry_hambling. I knew that he had lived in Suffolk all his life (1902-1998) and painted the landscape and people of his native Suffolk. He was of course the father of Maggi Hambling, the painter and sculptor, and it was she who encouraged him to paint on his retirement by giving him a set of oil paints.

I loved the colour and atmosphere of this painting and could just imagine Max driving Jenny and Jacob home and seeing these dark, threatening clouds in his rear view mirror before the storm broke.

Thank you Harry Hambling for painting such a wonderful picture for me.

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