White Cliffs was drawn with Biro and Colour-Pencils in 1979, at a late night sketching session.
Dawn was just breaking through the picture window of my lounge and in the early hazy sunlight, I could see the bright colours of the Roses outside against the misty emerald green spread of the lawn.
I didn’t know what I’d just created or even why – just that I’d enjoyed a therapeutic sketching session.
What I particularly liked was the feeling of looking down and out to sea from the highest point around for miles and miles, knowing that I was utterly, unquestionably safe should even the most titanic tsunami come rolling in, far, far above the high white cliffs of an absolutely impregnable, imaginary English coastal wilderness.
I seem to have modelled the * ukulele player on a superficial likeness of Adam Faith in the 1960s. The image was also similar to that of my brother Peter’s at the time – although the figure represented actually took shape quite randomly rather than by any predetermined course. But once I recognized the potential of what was emerging, I encouraged the course of the outcome.
To my mind, the theme of the subject is all about freewheeling, timelessness, discovery and reflection – and technical flaws, deliberate or not – it suits me just fine!
How you view it, is entirely up to you. But I hope you gain something of benefit from the experience.
Dave Draper, March 2014
Updated November 2015
In this illustration the normal proportions of human legs have been reversed, making the thighs shorter than the shins, thus imparting a crural index [the length between ankle and knee] twice that of the average human.
In the worlds of fantasy and escape, only the art matters, no matter how strangely it’s represented, technicalities conflicting with preconceived realities within the work don’t have any valid bearing on the subject and you just have to suspend all disbelief to appreciate it.
Dave Draper 2015
What I’ve drawn strapped to the featured character’s back is really a sort of ukulele-sized guitar or guitar-styled ukulele, since as revealed from the wikipedia extract below, a ukulele has four-strings and my portrayal clearly shows a six-stringed instrument. .
The ukulele [ew-kə-lay-lee], from Hawaiian: oo-koo-le-le; sometimes abbreviated to uke, is a member of the guitar family of instruments. It generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.
The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, timple, braguinha and the rajão, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, many from the Macaronesian Islands [Azores, Madeira and cape Verde]. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.
The tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku [gift or reward] and lele [to come].
Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin.
Dave Draper 2014