|Arthur and Charlotte
As she lay dying Charlotte Brontë Nicholls over heard her husband, Arthur, praying that she should live.
Charlotte's last words were"
" I'm not dying am I ?
He will not separate us.
We've been so happy "
On the surface it seemed sadly said in vane.
Charlotte indeed passed shortly there after
But as one learns the history of her husband, Rev Nicholls's life afterwards, one can say in actuality Charlotte spoke a prophecy .
They were still newlyweds when she passed and Arthur Bell Nicholls never really recovered from her loss.
He told a friend " My heart is buried with Charlotte in Haworth " In a sense they were not separated even for the 50 years Arthur lived beyond the little woman and famous author he adored .
As Arthur lay dying , his last words were
" Charlotte.... Charlotte "
This water color is meant to express this extraordinary bond that death could not break or time dim.
It is named : " He will not separate us."
I depicted Arthur as years older than he was when Charlotte's died . He went grey quite fast afterwards . Charlotte is meant to look the same as she did when she became ill .
Open it in a new window to see the full size
We know Arthur read Charlotte's books aloud to her father, Patrick , in the years after her passing. In my picture , I imagined she would draw even closer as Arthur read her words
Reading alone is powerful. Reading aloud is amazingly so. I wonder how he got though some of the passages, as they are so evocative of the woman. There was only one Charlotte Brontë ....as Arthur Bell Nicholls could have told us.
Of course I'm still painting the Tsar and Alexei , and enjoying it. The good news is after 7 months of just painting Tsar's tunic and sleeve, I have finished these item after two days of toe to toe painting ...it's a good feeling to finally win this round!
It's much like a mathematician who wrestles with a problem for a very long time. You don't get bored tackling the same thing day in and out, because it is not the same, one's work on it has altered the situation . But it's hard to explain...perhaps the thrill of the hunt is in there too
Meanwhile the father and son's faces are great and I look forward to finishing!
There are a number of reasons why each painting takes the time it does. For one thing I am not a trained painter, I just paint. One tends to go the long way in that case.
But the other is the emotions that come forth as these likenesses emerge . I gotta go slow or I 'll blow a fuse.
I have a number of other Bronte water color projections I'll be doing and of course I will be starting the Charlotte , Arthur and Patrick portrait trio once Nicholas and Alexis are completed
But Romanov fans never fear! I will return to painting the family!
My Bronte novel is roaring along so I can barely keep up. I have some scenes I should have typed into the computer already , I'm behind in my transcribing.
I write in long hand and then type the scenes in...Pad and pens are everywhere because I don't know when or where some of the novel will beam in . If I don't get it down right off, I can forget a good deal. ....and if I don't transcribe in a timely fashion , I find it hard to read my own writing !
I put a topic heading on each scene so I will know what it is about when I read it later....I seem to jump around time line wise... but the fact I'm doing a historical novel makes the writing a novel possible I think . Because I don't have to figure out a plot or what happens next...that's already been done by the real people I'm writing about .... The other thing that makes it possible is my librarian / writer husband will look it over and proof read it when it's finished lol
There's alot of crying and laughing as I write and there still is a ton to do when I weave these scenes together into their proper time sequence. Meticulous work
Charlotte's letters will be an essential aid. A big thank you to Margaret Smith, the letter's editor. Her foot notes are a joy and allow the reader to understand CB's great letters more
Also a must is Juliet Baker's " The Brontes " and so many other books, a Bronte novel should have a bibliography as much as a regular Bronte biography !
and let me just say writing this is soooo much FUN
Okay! Back to work!
See you next time!