This scene, strongly reminiscent of a Spanish village, could well have been drawn by Plath during the summer of 1956, when she and Ted Hughes "sought the heart of sunlight" in Spain, "for a summer of studying and sketching".
They spent most of their time in Benidorm, where she gained increasing confidence in her own style of drawing:
...went about with Ted doing detailed pen-and-ink sketches while he sat at my side and read, wrote, or just meditated. He loves to go with me while I sketch and is very pleased with my drawings and sudden return to sketching...I feel I'm developing a kind of primitive style of my own which I am very fond of...Ted wants me to do more and more...[Letters Home, pp.267-8].
...Every drawing has in my mind and heart a beautiful association of our sitting together in the hot sun, Ted reading, writing poems, or just talking with me...[Letters Home, p.280]
...Drawing calmed you. Your poker infernal pen
Was like a branding iron. Objects
Suffered into their new presence tortured
Into final position. As you drew
I felt released, calm. Time opened
When you drew the market at Benidorm.
I sat near you, scribbling something
Hours burned away...
('Drawing' in Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters, 1998)
Plath's article 'Sketchbook of a Spanish Summer' was published with four of her drawings in the Christian Science Monitor (5 and 6 November 1956).
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