Ingrid Bergman – A Portrait

Ingrid Bergman, Actress, b: 29 August 1915 – d: 29 August 1982

I remember watching movies starring Ingrid Bergman from being a child. I recall seeing her afraid of her husband’s suspicious behaviour in one black-and-white movie and the suspense it created within me. In all of her movies she seemed to possess a striking complexion of an almost luminous quality. I think there were very few actresses that had ‘that look’.

I’ve seen Ingrid Bergman, mostly, in the film ‘Casablanca’ with Humphrey Bogart and her flawless features, along with the famous line…”Of all the gin joints, in all the towns…” is one of the most memorable aspects of the movie.

Ingrid Bergman for blog

Of course, I’ve seen many more of her movies, including ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), with Bing Crosby; ‘The Yellow Rolls Royce’ (1964), with its all-star cast and her very memorable characterisation of a children’s missionary worker in Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (1974).

This portrait of Ingrid Bergman, created by using very small dots, was done by-hand and took many hours of patient and careful work. It was one of a number of movie star portraits that were featured in a small, private exhibition in Liverpool. The feedback of the portraits was very good, at a time when I was just trying new techniques. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that I couldn’t quite bring myself to sell the majority of the pen-and-ink originals…

After I had typed all of the information, above, I looked up the name ‘Ingrid’ which is a Scandinavian name, derived from Old Norse. One of the interpretations of the name is ‘Beautiful and Fair’. With regard to Ingrid Bergman, it really couldn’t be more accurate…

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Please Mr. Postman – Bear-a-thought Illustration

I lived and worked in Carlisle, Cumbria from November 1990 to September 1998. In those nearly eight-years, I made some wonderful friends and gained a great love of this historic city, which is located near England’s Lake District.
Please Mr. Postman for Blog (low-res)
When I was working on the 2010 Bear-a-thought Calendar, entitled ‘Song Bears’ I chose to illustrate a very well-known hit song ‘Please Mr. Postman’. This tune was first released fifty-three years ago to this day*.

Carlisle was the first place to gain a pillar-box in mainland Britain (making it the ideal choice for my illustration) and now boasts a handsome, scarlet hexagonal Penfold pillar-box in front of the city’s Town Hall. I gained permission to sketch the pillar-box (which was difficult at the time, as it was surrounded by scaffolding) and incorporated Dylan, the bear, into the picture.  The bear, was named after my friend Jennifer A. Stephenson’s grandson, Dylan. The majority of the outfits that my bears wore in the illustrations from 2005 to 2014 were designed and created by Jennifer. She was an invaluable help and an enthusiastic supporter of my work. I’m not always delighted with the final results or outcomes of my artwork, but, thankfully, this one managed to capture everything I had imagined.  I’m a person who loves to get personal letters in the mail; so I didn’t have any choice but to include a song featuring a postman…  Now did I?

The ‘Please Mr. Postman’ song was first released on 21 August 1961, by The Marvelettes and later released by The Beatles on 22 November 1963 and later again by The Carpenters on 8 November 1974.

*Note: The song ‘Please Mr. Postman’ was released on 21 August 1961, by The Marvelettes (which consisted of: Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman and Wanda Young).

Thoughts On – Starting College

I remember this time of year back in 1985 when I was thinking of moving from my family home and little village to start my Higher National Diploma (HND) studies at Cumbria Institute of the Arts, in the city of Carlisle.

Cumbria Institute of the Arts logo

I had massive amounts of nervous energy, as I am not the most confident or outgoing person, and was worried about my studies and my digs (mostly worried about anything there was to worry about). Luckily, after my friend, Sandi, and I had struggled to find ‘digs’, we moved into Wigton Road and found ourselves in good company with two great lads from Yorkshire, Paul and Richard. Looking back at our student life gives me a laugh or two now. It was like living an episode of the ‘The Young Ones’ in reality, with exploding ovens, bonfires burning in the back garden and large slugs in the bathroom that would leave you speechless. Add two escaped pet white mice and you’ve got the recipes for a good comedy series!

After a year at Wigton Road, we all moved to Howard Place, which was much nicer digs, although I have mixed feelings about living there too. What with a resident ghost that stalked the staircase, and food that ‘disappeared’ out of cupboards at night, it was enough to send a chill down the spine. These were not nearly as scary as the amount of dirty crockery and cutlery that was amassed in the sink when you arrived home, tired and hungry, after a hard day studying.

I made some other good friends during those years, including: Linda, Cathy, Fiona, Rachel, Joy, Andy, Penny and Adrian, to name a few, most of which are still in my life via Facebook, alongside my original housemates, Paul, Richard and Sandi.

It all seems like a long time ago now, but my worrying nature is still with me (a leopard can’t change its spots) and I empathise with all of those that will be starting their studies next month. Nothing is quite as bad as you would imagine (and I have got a good imagination!). Just remember, some research at the University of Cincinnati found that eighty-five percent of what we worry about NEVER happens. It also discovered that 79% of us handle the remaining 15% that does happen in ways that surprise us with our ability to turn the situation around.

 Perhaps this quote from the author Mark Twain, sums it up most effectively:

 I have been through some terrible things in my life,
some of which actually happened. Mark Twain (1835-1910).