In this post I shall ramble a bit about someone contacting me on Ancestry.com and discuss how that made me decideÂ to revitalise an old family photo. I shall also give you an update on the painting I started in April… I actually did a bit today.
OK – now for the genealogical ramblings you lucky people you.
So I have this really annoying ancestor called William Hanbury. In 1826 he’s recorded as a guitar makerÂ living at 20 Denmark St in Soho London. To get an idea how significant this is, go look at the Wikipedia entry for Denmark Street, Soho. It’s a music mecca… it’s Tin Pan Alley… it has so many famous musicians associated with it. And maybe my ancestor was the first musical instrument maker based there… maybe.
The reason I call William Hanbury annoying is because other than a couple of minor documents there is actually very little knowledge about his life. Even when I investigate guitar makers I find a Thomas Hanbury at the same place making guitars seven years after William’s death (is he a son?) but no actual evidence of William. And, anyway, when he died his family moved in with his brother John Hanbury who lived a few suburbs away. And it was this brother about whom that I received a message on Ancestry.com.
By the way, if anyone has any pull with the owners of the shops currently there – could you try and get them to investigate a bit and see if they can find any clues regarding Hanburys at 20 DenmarkÂ St Soho.
So what has this little story got to do with anything?
Well, after reading the message I wandered (figuratively) around Ancestry.com and saw my great grandfather William Clark Curling. It dawned on me that ages ago I received a scanned image of a photo of W C Curling. The photo was obviously in a poor condition and I had vowed one day to fix it up, but had never got around to it. Maybe now was the time. Here is the picture:
He was a Sergeant in the 5th Royal Irish Regiment of Lancers, dying in 1890 in India as a result of a parade ground accident.
So I have started wondering whether, because I am a bit of an artist, I could do something spectacular with this. So I started on it with Photoshop today and am about a third of the way done. Here is where I am at:
I still have heaps to go but its a beginning. The good thing is that I am receiving wonderful advice about the uniform’s colour from the National Army MuseumÂ in the UK. All I needed to do was email them and they were so responsive it blew me away. So a big cheers to them.
So this aside, today I stumbled down into my storm-torn studio and cleaned up a bit. Everything was blown around a bit, and there was some water damage, but not as bad as I had originally feared. I also picked up a brush for 20 minutes or so and dabbled a bit on the painting that I started last month. Here is a shot:
Still very early days but I am beginning to get a sense for it. I am pulling the cliffs closer together than in my photo reference with the goals of adding more dramatic interest. I am also aiming to add more haze around the distant cliffs.
Once again, thanks for reading :)