Two art challenges coincide this week: The Month of Love‘s “hero” challenge, and Illustration Friday‘s “mystery”. I was reading “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” to my father this morning, and remembering (as I often do when I read instead of watching Sherlock Holmes), how human and eccentric and kind the great detective is. He is funny, polite, so rarely cruel (except to Lestrade), genuinely sympathetic to preserving honour and furthering young love, truthfully delighted to have Watson’s company, carrying sonnets in his pocket and, when weary, preferring to talk about novels than crime.
“The Boscombe Valley Mystery” (1891) has the additional charms of extensive Australian connections, the need for Holmes to say “coo-ee” more than once, and the slightly jarring experience of a proper (if impetuous) young Victorian woman referring to “my dad”.
I sketched the ornaments above after finishing the story and putting on an episode of Foyle’s War, then since I’d inadvertently brought a piece of scratchboard with me, I borrowed a utility knife from my mother and elaborated on one of the designs. If I go further with the idea, I’ll work with better tools and to a larger scale (this is about 11cm/4.5 inches high).