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September 3, 2007

Big Ben Studies

I recycled an old book on Elizabeth I, encorporating many kinds of watercolor paper for experimentation.  Since we returned from our last visit to London, I periodically play with the image of Big Ben from countless photos I took during our visits and use this recycled book.

Big Ben, even just a silhouette, is as much an iconic symbol for London as the Empire State Building is for New York.  I posted Big Ben #1 on May 24th.  Here are Big Ben monthly entries #2-5 from my Elizabeth  I book.  I'm curious how far I can take this - since I'm not someone who has even been able to work in a series.









August 26, 2007

London Terrace House

                           25 Royal Ave.size.jpg

I finally painted our "2006-2007 London Home"  at 25 Royal Ave, Chelsea.  We were so fortunate to have 6 wonderful trips to visit our daughter, her husband, and 2 children and even were there when their 3rd baby was born prematurely in December.  We spent a total of 3 months visiting - approximately 2 weeks every 2 months - except when we rushed over one week early in December for the baby for a total of 3 weeks.  They have moved back to New York and we don't know who is living in this lovely home now.  We will always have wonderful memories from the time we spent there.

This was painted on Fabriano 9 X 12" 140 lb extra white HP paper.  It was the first time that I used it and I love it!

July 20, 2007

London Visits: Last Pages in Sketchbook #3

There were several empty pages at the end of my 3rd London sketchbook so I decided to work from photos to fill the journal. 


Horseguard:  We finally walked by the Horseguards on Whitehall one of our last days in London and I was able to take a quick photo amid the crowds all having their pictures taken standing next to the horse.   


Duke of York Square Sculpture:  There are actually two pupils as separate sculptures.  I loved the boy leaping over the bollard and didn't especially like the girl sitting on a bench watching him, so I only sketched him.  This piece by Allister Bowtell was commisioned in 2003 for the bicentennial of the Royal Military Asylum.  We walked by it every time we walked to Sloane Square, making it an important memory of our year-long visit in Chelsea. 


I loved this drawing of Geurcino's at the Courtauld exhibit and copied it to create a two page spread at the very end of Journal #3 - the drawing on the left page and  Callum's birth announcement on the right page.  His birth in London in December was one of the highlights of the year for everyone.

July 15, 2007

EDM Challenge # 127 : Draw a Skyscape


We were riding up WhiteHall in the front seat on the top deck of a #11 bus when I took this photo of storm clouds gathered over Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.  During most of our recent visit, black clouds alternated with sunshine and there were periodic drenching rains.   

July 3, 2007

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. 

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