I’ve long been a fan of painting of the story of St jerome or Hieronymos as he’s called on the continent. I like the out crops and the sheepish lions. He seemed to hand out in the desert before becoming the patron of archivists and translators – as long as no one minds the books getting grubby.
Recently my Climbing club had a day out at Harrision’s Rocks: a short sandstone outcrop near Tunbridge Wells. It’s not my favourite crag as it’s too steep and sandy for my liking, so I dragged a pile of paper and paints down there with my sandwiches – and managed two and a half pencil sketches.
beech growing on on the rock out crop
the outcrop is crisscrossed with breaks and cracks
the way leads into the dark
It’s a rather attractive dingily dell. T he climbers keep the rock walls clean. Which looks natural it for the most part, until you examine the bits that arn’t climbed and are covered in moss and ferns and green stuff.
It’s the perfect place for an early Christian Scholar to bimble around in; much less dusty than a renaissance quarry. When you got stuck on translating the Vulgate Bible and can’t keep your mind off Cicero you can always nip up Wailing Wall in your bare feet. Where do you keep your lion though?
There’s lots of light and shade to work with as well as the distracting detail of the rock itself.
brush strokes make good strata
But properly prepared papers can do half the work for you.