Sunday, 14 February 2010
The kindly owners of 'Pharmacie Le Gouedic' in St Brieuc have said I'm welcome to come inside and sketch one day while Mr. Price does their window paintings.
I sit in the quiet Orthopaedic Department of the shop with its surgical supports, hoists and bits of strange furniture which I hope I'll never need. Monsieur has thoughtfully supplied me with a chair and one of those little adjustable tables on wheels for the bed-ridden, which is great for working at and I'm almost tempted to buy one!
I've forgotten my ink and walk into the centre of town to buy a tiny bottle at great expense from a stationer's. It's freezing and the cold air rasps in the lungs. Seagulls wheel and cry overhead... from here you could be unaware of the closeness of the sea, the nearby port and the lovely Bay of St. Brieuc..
At lunchtime pizzas are delivered, there's a bottle of rosé and we sit in the cramped kitchen with some of the workforce, surrounded by Childrens' Cough Mixtures and inhalers, drinking out of measuring glasses.
Two drawings done by mid-afternoon and I've exhausted the views from the windows, so I turn my artistic eye to the shop interior. I try, and fail, to draw the male mannequin with his neck-brace and corset, so I stick a bit of green paper over the offending scrawl and this does very nicely for a sketch with a Listerine display in the foreground. Never say die!!
Mr. Price finishes his painting just before closing time- he's done a charming parade of poultry along the length of the windows, with a few daffodils thrown in to give some hope of Spring to come... we pack up, walk the cold stone streets to the wind-blasted car park, and head for home.