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February 23, 2007

London Visits: Part 21

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My husband and I went "gallery hopping" for several hours on Cork Street - primarily because the Helly Nahmad Gallery had 20 Picasso paintings from "La Californie" in an exhibit.  We found several other wonderful exhibits and then stopped at our favorite coffee bar - Caffe Nero on Piccadilly.   I thought that it was finally time to sketch the counter area for my travel sketchbook.

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Rachel and I took Callum for his first immunizations and when walking back along Sloane Street saw this interesting roof top (4 tops like this along the front of the building) and a cute little vacuum called Henry which was being used while changing a window display at Peter Jones Department Store on Sloane Square.  I'm glad that I took a photo because it was gone by the time we took our Henry to see it.

This is a photo of the building showing the elaborate fronts that are part of the otherwise plain rooflines on these beautiful Victorian buildings.

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We went early one morning this week to see the Hogarth exhibit at Tate Britain.  It was crowded, but later there were long lines and even bigger crowds.  I liked his engravings best and copied a few of the faces from one of my favorites - entitled "Characters and Caricatures."

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Yesterday was drizzly and we decided it was the perfect day to go to the National Gallery to see their exhibit "Manet to Picasso."  It is a nice small exhibit - with many impressionist paintings on loan from the Tate and private collections.  There is only one early Picasso.  Since I am constantly trying to improve my skills drawing figures, I sketched this painting of Carlo Pelligrini (labeled Carol Pelligrini on the postcard I bought) by Degas.

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February 22, 2007

London Visits: Part 20

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Our departure lounge at JFK in New York seemed crowded when we arrived for our early morning flight.  The East Coast was paralyzed the previous day by a snow-ice storm and these were travelers left behind when their flight was cancelled.  It gave me a unique opportunity, since I don't usually sketch people in these types of public spaces.   I had 5-10 minutes before he changed position - just enough time for a quick sketch.

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We took the children to Harrod's toy department on Saturday - where there are numerous employees demonstrating all of the toys - and mechanical toys moving around on the floor all by themselves.  Syd loved the plush mechanical pig that could found instantly by the helium balloon tied to her tail as she moved slowly between displays.  Henry really liked the remote-control vehicles including the helicopter that was always flying through the air, as if by magic, as the Harrod's employee controlled its flight remotely.  The elephant and giraffe were two of many near life-size stuffed animals and I used a photo I took of Syd to show their size.  The sketch is a generic child - not my younger and really, really cute Sydney. 

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Syd returned to this pig regularly during our visit.  They also had a rabbit and two types of dogs similarly "walking" around with helium balloons marking their position.

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It was raining Sunday and I spent the afternoon home with baby Callum while everyone else went to the gym - for swims and a workout.  While Callum slept, I sketched, but still haven't painted, the houses across the street.   

EDM Challenge #107: Where I Get the News

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We are currently back in London with our fantastic grandchildren.  That means less quiet time, more fun, and "news on the run."  Since I have my laptop with me to keep up with work, I read the quick headlines on Google News which is displayed everytime I open the internet.  We also see short segments of BBC news before or after Henry and Syd watch Dora or Diego.  I'm trying to remember how to work with photographed (i.e. not scanned) sketchbook pages.  I plan to upload my daily sketches from our trip soon.

January 19, 2007

EDM Challenge #100 : Draw a Landscape

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I sketched a photo of Sydney and Henry in Hyde Park - intending to do a "city park landscape" painting.  But I never got around to finishing it when we were in London, and today decided to add a watercolor wash to both of my grandchildren and then call it done.  I have a series of similar pictures of the two of them.  Sydney, who just turned 2, says to Henry "hand!" when we are walking with both of them and sweet boy that he is, he takes her hand and walks with her. 

January 12, 2007

London Visit Part 19: Miscellaneous

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We are now home from our Holiday visit to London and I have two more journal pages to upload - completing my second London Travel Journal.  This is a portion of a clock at Michael Hoppen Photography on Jubilee Place in Chelsea.  I visit the gallery each trip to see their new exhibits and always take more photos of the clock.  However, I never could really see the hands of the clock because they were overlapped at 3:15.   During this visit Michael Hoppen himself got a yardstick and leaned over the open stairwell to change the time so I could sketch the clock hands.

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On New Year's Day we wandered through the crowds assembling for the parade on Whitehall in Westminster and went to visit the War Cabinet Rooms and the new Churchill Museum.  I sketched this on the last page of my journal after we came back to New York from photos that I took of the entrance and of the sentry (mannequin) who is quarding the War Cabinet Room.  The scans could be better, but it was difficult getting the final 2 pages of the journal to stay flat.

I wasn't sure that I was going to enjoy the Cachet Linen Watercolor Journal, but I now have completed two.  I am able to paint on both sides of each page so I have approximately 50 pages in each book.  When my daughter told us they were moving to London for one year, I had no idea that I would be able to maintain a travel sketchbook and have so much fun doing it.  I love looking back through the pages and remembering each day of our visit.  Some of the pages reflect activities in the lives of my grandchildren and each of them spends time looking through the journal for their favorite page - Pooh bath toys for Sydney and 5 cars from the Disney movie CARS for Henry in this volume. 

We have 2 more visits planned before they come back to New York, so I think that I'm hoping to finish a 3rd journal.   I'm so glad that I ordered multiple copies because I haven't seen these in any art store and only on one website.

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