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London Visits: Part 32 - Our Year Visiting London


A view of The City from a riverside cafe at Hay's Galleria on the Southbank of the Thames.   

We are nearing the end of a wonderful year during which we really got to know London so much better.  It was a unique opportunity for us - being able to live in a terrace and shop in the local markets and stores in Chelsea.  We were also, ever so briefly, part of a family that was working and going to school, going to doctor's visits, having a baby, and taking soccer and swimming lessons.  But we also had time to ourselves to explore the streets, museums, theaters, famous national buildings, and restaurants.  

Since July 2006 we have visited 6 times - each time for 2 weeks except for a 3 week visit over Christmas when our grandson decided to arrive 6 weeks early.   Tomorrow we return to New York, leaving a house that feels sadly empty since our daughter and her family moved back to New York several days ago. 

I'm surprised and delighted that I was able to complete this art project - finishing sketchbook #3 on this trip.  Maintaining a daily sketchbook is new for me and my goal always was to develop enough skills to have many photos and a travel sketchbook from our travels.  For London I used spiral Cachet Linen Watercolor Journals (9 " x 7" cold press paper) and was able to use both sides of every page without any problem.  That means that I have approximately 150 pages of sketches - and all except a few have watercolor washes.  I also will have a Liberty of London scrap quilt which I worked on while here to remember this year.

I am naturally drawn to all sketchbooks using pen with watercolor and I used Pigma micron pens in the beginning and Zig Millenium pens more recently.  I have a small Daler Rowney travel watercolor set for days out and a palette with 12 W-N watercolor paints dried in the wells for home.  I carry only my sketchbook, pen case, Niji waterbrushes, and paints in a small backpack when I leave the house.    

Many of the sketchbook pages were uploaded and can be revisited by clicking through the London tag on the right side. 


You did a wonderful job on the gherkin Shirley!

Shirley I will miss your wonderful London sketchbooks, and i guess you will miss doing them, what a wonderful record and so lucky to actually be living there over a period of time. Most of us only have a few days.
Looking foreward to your home ones though as well.

Shirley, I've really enjoyed checking in to see your London sketches every few days. I admire your ability to simplify the scenes in front of you to create the lovely vignettes. (And what an experience being there during the car bombs...) I look forward to seeing more of your art work!

My hat is off to you, Shirley. You set an amazing goal for yourself and achieved it beautifully. No you have a wonderful memento of your travels in your lovely sketches.

Oh Shirley this is so sweeping and dramatic - I love it and will miss your London entries although I know you will keep busy in NY and elsewhere - It was so much fun to see your sketchbooks in person - Just amazing travel journals - I am so imspired by all you do!

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