"Pretty Polly", "The Gosport Tragedy" or "The Cruel Ship's Carpenter" is a traditional folk song found both in the British Isles and in the Appalachian region of North America.
The song is a murder ballad, telling of a young woman lured into the forest where she is killed and buried in a shallow grave. Many variants of the story have the villain as a ship's carpenter who promises to marry Polly but murders her when she becomes pregnant. When he goes back to sea, he is haunted by her ghost, confesses to the murder, goes mad and dies.
Mr. Hilliard Smith Aug. 10, 1910 Kentucky "O Polly, O Polly, we have no time for to stand. He drew his revolver all out in his hand. He shot her through the heart which caused the blood to flow, And into her grave her fair body he did throw. He threw her in the grave, straightway he did run, Left no one to weep but some small birds to mourn."
fiedlerAugust 19, 2009
Victor JuhaszAugust 19, 2009
Stunning. Just a joy to look at. And that is a great traditional song.
Scott BakalAugust 19, 2009
Gorgeous piece of art and seemingly a lot tighter than your others in this technique. Beautiful.
David FlahertyAugust 19, 2009
Cathleen ToelkeAugust 19, 2009
Gorgeous turn to your recent animal subjects, Richard! It's my favorite to date. Strange and sad and beautiful. I have read other literary references to birds signaling death, and they have always captured me.
MarcAugust 20, 2009
I love this piece!
Tim OBrienAugust 20, 2009
Love this one Richard. I've been sketching a giraffe in a similar pose for a while now. Forgive me if someday you see that.
Richard DownsAugust 21, 2009
Thank you, everybody for the nice comments.This piece was a nice break from some fun but conservative assignments that I have been working on. Tim, I look forward to seeing your giraffe piece!
ZinaAugust 21, 2009
Alan WitschonkeAugust 21, 2009
Richard DownsAugust 21, 2009
Thank you, Zina and Alan. I really appreciate that you like my work. This piece came about very fast, I had a little break between servicing clients and I needed to blow it out a bit. Either, I pull weeds or ride my bicycle and I decided to create this print. What I find interesting in the final that I would like to share are the marks at the top, those are my fingertips as I grabbed the bridge over and over and what I did not realize was, I was hitting the plate with my fingers. The piece took 3 hours of straight and continuous drawing to create.
Alan WitschonkeAugust 23, 2009
If there are fingerprints there, you've covered them up nicely because I don't see them. Thanks for the insight into your technique. So is it a soft-ground etching? What type of bite? Hand-colored?
Richard DownsAugust 24, 2009
The finger marks are at the top center, those black round marks. This is a transfer monotype technique. I am drawing on the back side of the paper to transfer the ink to the paper. I have bridge over the surface of the paper so I don't apply any pressure while drawing. The marks were created from grabbing the bridge and moving it as I continued the drawing. This is what I love about printmaking, spontaneous accidents that are magical and out of the control of the artist. thanks for the comment!
Jillian DAugust 26, 2009
I love this. I feel I can really pertain to the emotions of the pretty Polly.
Don BarnettAugust 29, 2009
Appropriately twisted and serpentine
is our avian witness.