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September 25, 2006

London Visit- Part 8: Museum Visits


My husband and I enjoyed more and different museums on this second visit of 2006. 

British Library: I wanted to read an 1857 copy of a 1764 manuscript that described a prisoner exchange with the Ohio territory Indians during the French-Indian War.  My ancestor was one of the kidnapped colonists who was returned to her family during this exchange.  Only pencils are allowed in the Manuscript Reading Room, so while I was waiting to receive the manuscript, I sketched the book pillow on which all such "elderly" books must rest.  We now have British Library reader cards!

Imperial War Museum:  Our last visit was in 1970!  This time we took our 3 year old grandson who loved the interactive submarine.  We will return soon to see the Children at War (WWII) exhibit that we couldn't see easily when he was with us.

National Gallery: We visited parts of the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery and I decided I would like to try a copy of a simple Van Gogh painting to commemorate the visit.  I bought a postcard of this painting from the exhibit and sketched/painted it later in the day.

Somerset House-Courtauld Art Instutite:  The Raoul Dufy painting seemed like an appropriate painting to copy since the EDM challenge was to draw water and because I wanted to see how well I could mix and match paint colors. 

Somerset House-Gilbert Collection:  A medallion from the outside of the building on the River Terrace and one of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry in the current Tiffany exhibit.  I wasn't sure what the rules were about sketching the jewelry, so I sketched this image from the brochure while we had lunch in the River Terrace cafe.

September 24, 2006

London Visit - Part 7: More Buildings

Each of these sketches was done during approximately 30 minutes and then the watercolor wash was added later.  We saw Antony and Cleopatra at the Globe Theatre Bankside and had 30 minutes to wait along the embankment - with a wonderful view of St. Paul's Cathedral across the Thames. 

The second sketch is the roofline of houses along King's Road in Chelsea - directly across from Caffe Nero where we were having coffee.

The last sketch is a row of interesting shops across from another small cafe with outdoor tables in Pimlico.  My husband can be encouraged to stop for coffee while I sketch and he does a NY Times crossword puzzle.

London Visit- Part 6 Covent Garden


When we visited London for the first time in January 1970, we were intrigued by the market at Covent Garden and loved eating lunch in the area restaurants.  We attended a performance of the Royal Ballet - one of our favorite ballet companies- and the entrance seemed to be right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the market.  In July we returned to Covent Garden on a very hot Sunday afternoon and were so disappointed.  The market was gone, it was jammed with tourists, and globalization had replaced the very English establishments with the equivalent of an American mall food court.  In September we decided to return yet again on a cool weekday afternoon for lunch and spent a very pleasant hour at Le Petit Chez Girard's court level outdoor cafe.    This was one of the views from where I sat and sketched.

September 21, 2006

London Visit - Part 5: More Sketches


More Sketches from our recent London visit. 

Sketch 1:  Parliament and Big Ben as seen across the Waterloo Bridge from Somerset House.  They were both so far away that only a guess could be made re: the actual structure.  We visited the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Gilbert Collection Tiffany Exhibit at Somerset House - both were terrific.

Sketch 2:  Royal Hospital - designed with Royal Avenue by Christopher Wren as a home for elderly soldiers.  It is fun to see many of them walking along the streets of Chelsea in their old uniforms.

Sketch 3: A pub near Queen's Square in Bloomsbury.  We had a quick lunch at the adjacent outdoor restaurant, but the pub was much more interesting to sketch.

September 19, 2006

EDM Challenge #84: Draw Bread


When the EDM bread challenge was posted last week, I took this photo in Baker and Spice, a wonderful bakery and gourmet food shop in Chelsea, London, UK.  It would have been wonderful to spend time in the bakery, sketching and painting because the smells were wonderful, but it was hard enough even getting a photo due to the size of the space in front of the bread counter.  I love bread and the most wonderful part of moving back to New York from Texas is the incredible variety of bread that is available fresh every day within walking distance of our apartment.  I was very uncertain about painting it, but tried to stay loose and just see what happened!  The walls were actually painted the brick red color that I tried to match. 

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