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London Visit: Part 17: V &A

Last Thursday I met Katherine Tyrrell and several of the Society of Graphic Fine Art members for a sketch day at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I was delighted that they chose the Islamic Art Room - we saw it briefly when it reopened this Fall and I always meant to return to sketch some of the designs.  I spent the morning analyzing a Turkish tile design followed by a Turkish bottle.  We had canvas stools and I had my backpack with sketching tools, waterbrushes, and the Daler-Rowney cylinder of watercolor paints.  I was delighted to be so comfortable sketching/painting and zoned out.

I chose this Turkish tile design because it forced me to slow down and figure out the design which was symmetrical across the diagonal of the square.  In the past I photographed magnificent mosaic tiles from the floor of the old Paris Opera House and appliqued quilt squares from the designs. 


This 16th C Turkish bottle was the most beautiful shades of blue.  I loved the stylized flowers and also envisioned the design in fabric.


Katherine prepared a sheet of Arches Watercolor paper with a grid design before she came to the museum.  She then copied designs from a series of beautiful plates and was halfway done when I left.  Her work is wonderful and is now posted (Jan 5th entry) at:


My notes re: adding hot links in my blog are back in New York - so I'm just adding the link to Katherine's blog here because today's entry is from her visit to the Holbein exhibit, followed by the sketches from the V & A.  I love reading all of Katherine's blog entries, and not only enjoy her journal sketches, but learn something about art everyday because of the research she does for each entry.


Wow Shirley, sounds like an awesome sketchcrawl! These designs are just great. Now I need to go look at Katherines.

I really enjoyed seeing your work and Katherine's--very inspiring! It was wonderful seeing a photo of you too...you look quite lovely and elegant. I was also pleased to see and read about your sketching kit since I'm trying to plan what I'll be brining on my trip to Mexico next month.

This is a beautiful post - what a great idea to go and draw design elements like that. Thank you for the link as well.I really enjoyed Katheine's web site. I've fixed my email address by the way - it was my fault!

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