Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nice Wings

"Sonk you."

There was a guy in England named Geoffrey Raymond who painted Spads and Sopwith Camels back in the 50s.  Maybe a Hawker Hurricane or two.

I'd love to have this painting.

If you have a reputation for painting certain things -- I, for example, am rightly regarded as a portraitist -- you sometimes get the urge to branch out.  Me?  I think it would be cool to paint sailboats on stormy seas.  Or Spitfires flying over the English Channel.

There is a scene in an episode of Foyle's War (outstanding, absolutely recommended without reservation) in which Foyle's son, who flies for the RAF, is shown taking off in his Spit, cresting the chalk palisades of Dover and winging straight towards France and, like every RAF flyer of his day, a fairly high probability of death or injury.  I found the scene very moving.

Beautiful plane, the Spitfire.  Especially the wings, which were shaped unlike every other plane of its time.  Although this photo looks like it might be a model, or photoshopped in some way.

I'm reminded of that scene from Young Frankenstein where Gene Wilder comments on the size of the knockers on the door of the castle and Terri Garr says something like, "Oooof, sonk you Doctor."

You're a sick man.
Sonk you.

If you talk to any Brit of a certain age there's a fair likelihood that the Spitfire is the salient iconic image in that person's mind.  Which is why the fact that Christie's is auctioning off one of the few perfectly restored Spitfires is kind of exciting.  Check it out here, and be sure to click on the "interactive documentary" link in the second paragraph.


If you're too lazy, here's a little promo to get you fired up ...

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