Tatiana and Olga 2010

Tatiana and Olga  2010

Thursday, September 5, 2013

He will not separate us.

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. 

                                        Romanov painting  

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!

                                               Bronte Novel   

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!


  1. Thanks for the update and I'm happy to hear things have been coming along so well, all in all, for you Anne!

    Out of curiosity, about what percent of the first draft of the Bronte novel would you say you are finished? And are you writing in some type of chronological order, or just piecing together the chapters of their lives as they come to you?

    Best of luck and I can't wait to see the finished Nicky and Alexei paiting!

  2. Thank you my friend! The comment section was looking lonely !lol

    That's a good question about the draft and I have no idea. It seems to be growing! A friend says there will b 2 volumes! lol

    I'm writing it in a very organic fashion...scenes appear in my head and I write them up... However they are now starting to met up which is nice...but I jump all around time wise as I write .

    However I know the history so well, I can put them in their proper place regardless. I have different folders for different stages and pop the given scene in the proper folder and so it's building

    However one of my biggest problems is I have different scenes showing the same event...how to choose which I'll use? Most likely I'll blend the best from each together .

    But pacing and placement will have to be carefully done, like a jeweler setting stones.

    Thanks again for stopping by!

  3. The drawing is beautiful and sad.
    If she only lived..if only.

  4. How 'bout a work in progress pic of the painting, Anne?! :)

    1. Diane, its so close to being done, that I'll wait...however I have said it is nearly finished for 6 months now! lol

      It keeps getting better so I keep painting!

      Thanks for stopping by !

  5. Hi Anne,
    I just " re-read "a couple of your latest blog entries.
    Sounds like you've been really busy on your Romanov and Bronte projects lately! Looking forward to seeing the completed painting of Alexis and Nicholas.
    Best wishes....Helen.

    1. Thank you for stopping by dear! Indeed I'm working hard on both and loving it

      I'll let you know when the boys are done :)