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November 27, 2018

Visit to London: Part 4

I still have ephemera and a few photos to add to my London Travel Sketchbook.  But I decided to end my blog entries from our trip with two other types of pages that I usually include.  

Two X Two inch Grid:  I regularly set up one or two pages to create a set of very quick paintings of something that I liked for each day.  Several of these are from restaurants during dinner, others are from locations we visited, and two are from purchases I made.  The terrace house door was from the place we stayed with our daughter and her family in 2006-7, and we enjoyed walking down the street past the house  to relive those wonderful memories with our family.


Some Daily Notes:  I added a chart to write some notes for each day of our trip, and also added icons for the weather.  This is one of the three pages as an example.



Inspiration: I collaged this illustration from Gourmet magazine to the last page of the sketchbook.   It is from many years ago, and I decided to add it as an example of a wonderful painting of a place.  My husband and I went to Europe for the first time in January 1970, spending a full 2 weeks exploring the City and the theater scene.  Piccadilly Circus was so memorable to me that I saved this for almost 20 years until I refound it and made it part of our visit this year.


The artist's signature says John Lawrence 1995, and I just learned that he is an English Illustrator born in 1933. 

November 15, 2018

Visit to London: Part 3

We rented a wonderful apartment in South Kensington, a charming section of London.  This is the door of the house, one in a row of identical houses, most probably containing multiple apartments.



It was a beautiful day when we went across the Thames to see the Royal Watercolor Society Exhibit at Bankside Gallery.  I loved taking a few minutes to draw/paint the roof of St. Paul's Cathedral.  We then walked back across the Millenium Bridge.



Gloucester Station was our local Tube Station and it was wonderful because the Circle, District, and Piccadilly lines all stopped there.  That meant that we could take the Underground from Heathrow Airport directly to our neighborhood.  There were many restaurants, coffee shops, food stores, and bakeries right around the station - a great convenience. 


October 30, 2018

Visit to London: Part 2

I'm slowly finishing more of the sketchbook pages in my London Sketchbook   All of the pages were drawn quickly in pencil, then inked with a Sakura Pigma Micron pen.  I was then able to paint them later, using a photograph taken when I was drawing if I needed more information.  Occasionally I can find a place to sit, draw, and paint at one time. 

Oxford Day:  We took the train from London for a visit to University Oxford and visited Blackwell's AMAZING Book Shop when we arrived, to avoid the rain and winds.  But the sun peaked through the clouds just as our University tour began and we finally saw the gorgeous campus and learned more about the history of their 38 colleges.


Evensong at Westminster Abbey with the Westminster Choir:  It is a beautiful way to see the Abbey during a wonderful choral program.  This was a small area of the choir that I could see from our seats. 


St.Martins of the Fields Church:  It was a beautiful London Day and fun to sketch the spire from Trafalgar Square after a walk over from Westminster Abbey.  It brought back memories of Christmas Carols in front of the Church on Christmas Eve with our family many years ago.


Elgin Marble at the British Museum:  This horse sculpture is wonderful, and I just realized that I already painted it in 2006!  I am frequently attracted to the same subjects again....


October 19, 2018

Visit to London: Part 1

My husband and I just returned from our 10 day London vacation.  We rented a lovely one bedroom flat in South Kensington and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  I sketched at least one page per day, sometimes two.  But I just concentrated on our activities for the day and sketched on site, took a photo, and painted later. 

After we landed at Heathrow we were able to take the Piccadilly Underground to Gloucester St. Station, and then waited at Starbucks for the owner to email us when she arrived.    


The National Gallery has the Courtauld Impressionist Paintings on exhibit while the Courtauld is being renovated.   It was wonderful wandering around Trafalgar Square area, and seeing the exhibit, before taking a long walk all the way back past Harrods to our flat. Cezanne did 5 card player paintings, one with 5, one with 4, and three with 2 players.  I painted the Met's Cezanne painting of the 4 Card Players several times, and then painted some of the individual players from Cezanne's preparatory paintings.  And here is another one from the Courtauld.


After lunch in Shoreditch we returned to Sloan Square by Underground and walked the whole area in Chelsea where our daughter and her family lived a decade ago.  At the end of the afternoon we stopped on Fulham Road for a glass of wine across from the gym where our family went and our little grandchildren took swimming lessons.  


We had never been to Shoreditch, but wanted to try a new restaurant that was described in the New York Times.  The area had lots of graffitti and murals painted on walls.  This Rooster was painted directly across the street from the restaurant.  Fun adventure and lunch at BRAT was delicious. 


We spent one day in Oxford, one hour by train out of London.  We made all the arrangements for the train and a University Tour weeks ago, and it was the worst weather we had in 10 days.  However, Blackwells Book Shop, which began in Oxford, was a wonderful place to stop, browse, and have coffee and lunch in Caffe Nero in the bookstore.  The sun came out just as our tour was beginning, and the rain began again almost as soon as we stopped for dinner before our train ride back to London. 


October 16, 2018

Art Tools for London

Art Tools for Travel to London:  I wanted to use gouache on a sketchbook page, and decided to draw representative art tools that I am taking to London.  The blue green color is from my Pelikan Gouache set, and it didn't go on as flat I hoped. 


Pen Pocket for London Travel Sketchbook - made from Laminated NYC Subway Fabric:  Several years ago I started to make pen pockets for my sketchbooks, and then I just carry my waterbrushes,  a few special pens and pencils in a pencil case, and my very light plastic palette with my regular watercolor paints in a separate bag.  My pen pocket has a pencil, eraser and a few Pigma Micron pens.


We have several more days in London, and the sketchbook with pen pocket travel with me easily during the day.  We take long walks between our destinations and events, and I have managed to draw on at least one page per day, plus a note and a 2 X 2" highlight drawing on a grid I made before we left NYC.  When drawing a full page, I do the drawing, take a photo, and paint each page later.  My goal is to capture some aspect of our experiences each day, not look for iconic London scenes.  Although my husband supports my drawing and painting, I try to limit the time spent by making it part of each day, not the focus of the day. 

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