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November 14, 2006

George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston Texas


Immediately after arriving home from London, I unpacked, repacked, and flew off to Houston Texas for the International Quilt Festival.  I started quilting in 1980 and attended my first Houston Quilt Festival in 1983.  It was relatively small and held at the old, wonderful Shamrock Hilton Hotel.  Since then it has changed venues several times and continued to expand.  This was the 23rd year that I attended and it now fills the entire Houston Convention Center - all 5 parts.  I sketched this view of just one of the 5 parts from my 10th floor room at the Hilton Americas.  The building always reminds me of the Pompidou Museum in Paris. 

November 12, 2006

London Visit - Part 12: Miscellaneous Sketches


I love London public mailboxes and the old style public phone booths.  This mailbox was painted very quickly in the rain during a walk to the grocery store on King's Road Chelsea.  Click on each image for a larger size.


This is a statue on Pont Street in Belgravia - it is tucked into a small area with pretty trees and benches.  I was fascinated to see that it is the logo for the Jeeves Complex - a group of stores in the area.


We walked from Oxford Circus all the way back to Chelsea - browsing all the way.  My husband humored me by touring the fabric section at Liberty to price fabric for my latest quilt.  When we stopped at Caffe Nero, our favorite coffee shop in London, I sketched the tower of the St. James Church across the street.


We took care of our grandchildren our last weekend in London while my daughter and her husband explored the town of Bath.  By the time we finished a full day with them on Saturday, the only thing I could think of for my daily sketch was the bath tub toys that they just played with.  My 22 month old grand daughter loves Pooh and his friends.

November 9, 2006

London Visit - Part 11: Chelsea, London, UK


My daughter and her family are living in Chelsea, right off King's Road, so I have many opportunities to walk in the neighborhood with strollers and my grandchildren.   

The sketch on the left is the back of one of the terrace houses on Walpole Street.  As you look down the row of houses, it is interesting to see how each owner has added space in a variety of ways around their back entry.  This sunroom addition has a wonderful round table that is bathed in sunlight and surrounded by flowers.

The sketch on the right is the Library entrance to the Chelsea Town Hall.  The other end of the long building is identical and there are civil ceremony weddings occurring there almost everytime that I walk past.

Left:  John Sandoe Books - a wonderful, packed book store that is purported to have everything.  During my last two visits, I have lovingly looked at Cezanne's Basel Travel Sketchbook and Henry Moore's Sheep sketchbook in the store.  It is hard to buy anything in London, however, that is available in the US because the exchange rate is currently so bad. 

Right: A regular dinner spot for our family - The Big Easy on King's Road Chelsea.  They have an American menu which is perfect for our toddler grandchildren.  I loved the fisherman/fish sign the first time I saw it in July, and finally had time to arrive at the restaurant early and sketch it.

November 7, 2006

London Visit - Part 10: Museum Visits Oct 2006


We returned to the Imperial War Museum with our daughter and both of our grandchildren during this visit to London.  Our grandson loves the submarine simulation and spends much of his time at the controls.  My 22 month old grand daughter loved the puppy that was descending from the roof in a parachute.  After they left to return home for naps, my husband and I went through the "Children's War" and "Holocaust" exhibits.  Both were excellent and emotionally draining.


There is an amazing exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci notebook pages at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I loved seeing his figure drawings, but was especially intrigued by his exploration of the human body.  The sketch reproduced above presents his ideas about the brain.  He completely ignored the white and gray matter and hypothesized that all human functions were contained in the 3 fluid-filled ventricles: The first was the receptor of all senses, the second blended the senses into consciousness/soul, and the third was the memory.  It is unusual for him to be so wrong.


One of my treats this trip was meeting London artist Katherine Tyrrell  for an afternoon at the David Hockney Portrait Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.  I have never been attracted to Hockney's Southern California series, but was overwhelmed during this exhibit by his drawings.  It is a large exhibit, but there was still time for Katherine to take me to Tea in the Cafe at the top of the Museum.  There we spent time enjoying each other's sketchbooks and had time to talk more.  The view from the Cafe is magnificent - and the above quick sketch was taken from a photo that I hastily took before the cafe closed.


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