After a weeks holiday in Crantock on the North Corwall coast and visiting many quaint seaside harbours and villages I noticed a strange phenonemon – the ‘Cornish Wonk’. Most of the houses and shops on the edge of the harbours are exceedinglly wonky. Similar to Cornwall’s greatest export, the Cornish pasty – lumpy, bumpy, off kilter, spicy, very nicey and always original, never the same.
Why is this? To find the answer you have to jump in a time machine a century or two when these little gems were first built. It was in the days of terrible water supplies, when water, that we take for granted, was not always safe to drink. A swift swig of water could see you being measured up by the local undertaker before you could say listeria.
Builders in those days would pack a Cornish pastie in their grub tin and wash it down with beer, not water. Beer was safe to drink. Even kids back in the days of yore were knocking it back like it was going out of fashion.
The cane was not generally used in schools to whack the living daylights out of schoolchildren but were there for one purpose – to keep teachers upright as most of them were half cut!!!
Back to the harbours! I love the cornish coast especially those tiny fishing villages with their exceedingly wonky houses and shops.
It suits my style of drawing and painting. I make myself sound like an alcoholic artist – but that isn’t the case. Straight lines and edges are just a bit boring to me so the wonkier the better!
I see many artists doing seaside paintings and I generally love them all apart from the ones that are far too serious. Give me a crooked building, a skewiff harbour filled with bendy fish, any day.
If everything were perfectly angled and ‘just so’ life would be as dull as dishwater.
The upshot is that I am going to do a series of exceedingly wonky harbour themed illustrations in pen ink and watercolour which I hope you will like!