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January 8, 2007

London Visit: Part 18 - British Museum


I'm about to enter the British Museum to see the exhibit "The Past From Above" - 100 aerial photos of the major archeologic sites of the world.  In addition to the photos they had artifacts from the British Museum to supplement some of the images.  This photo of me shows my brown leather backpack with sketchbook and map in the back and small digital camera in a black leather pouch on the front.  This has been a successful way for me to be a grandmother and tourist while sketching quickly and taking lots of reference photos.

Moche Pottery.size.jpg

I was very attracted to these 3 pieces of Moche pottery that were together in a case next to an aerial photo from Peru.  I sent my husband off for 30 minutes to work on a New York Times crossword puzzle from his pocket and sketched as quickly as I could.  I was in such a hurry that I actually sketched it upside down in the journal.  The watercolor was added at home using a reference photo that I took in front of the case.  We returned from London yesterday so this journal page was scanned, not photographed.  It was another great visit and I brought home many reference photos that I hope to use for sketches in my recycled Elizabeth I book.

January 6, 2007

London Visit: Part 17: V &A

Last Thursday I met Katherine Tyrrell and several of the Society of Graphic Fine Art members for a sketch day at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I was delighted that they chose the Islamic Art Room - we saw it briefly when it reopened this Fall and I always meant to return to sketch some of the designs.  I spent the morning analyzing a Turkish tile design followed by a Turkish bottle.  We had canvas stools and I had my backpack with sketching tools, waterbrushes, and the Daler-Rowney cylinder of watercolor paints.  I was delighted to be so comfortable sketching/painting and zoned out.

I chose this Turkish tile design because it forced me to slow down and figure out the design which was symmetrical across the diagonal of the square.  In the past I photographed magnificent mosaic tiles from the floor of the old Paris Opera House and appliqued quilt squares from the designs. 


This 16th C Turkish bottle was the most beautiful shades of blue.  I loved the stylized flowers and also envisioned the design in fabric.


Katherine prepared a sheet of Arches Watercolor paper with a grid design before she came to the museum.  She then copied designs from a series of beautiful plates and was halfway done when I left.  Her work is wonderful and is now posted (Jan 5th entry) at:

My notes re: adding hot links in my blog are back in New York - so I'm just adding the link to Katherine's blog here because today's entry is from her visit to the Holbein exhibit, followed by the sketches from the V & A.  I love reading all of Katherine's blog entries, and not only enjoy her journal sketches, but learn something about art everyday because of the research she does for each entry.

January 4, 2007

London Visit: Part 16 - Tower Bridge


We played tourist in London this week and visited the exhibit at Tower Bridge followed by a delicious Italian lunch in the Butler's Wharf building.  This morning there was a question about the Daler-Rowney travel watercolor set on the EDM message board, and I remembered that I had this rare photo of me - sketching a piece of Tower Bridge from the warm restaurant.  Since I carry the camera, there are full vacations without any documentation that I traveled with my husband!

I take a small leather pencil case with mechanical pencil, 2 Zig millenium ink pens, a Bic Clik eraser, a folded paper towel, the watercolor set, two size Niji waterbrushes, my travel journal (not very small), wallet, comb, kleenex, Moleskine cahier with map and bus route - all in a very small (ladie's purse size) leather backpack.  Here is the journal page that I was creating:


January 1, 2007

Holbein Drawing: Anne Cresacres


I downloaded the Holbein drawing on the left from the on-line exhibit catalogue and sketched the drawing on the right in #2B pencil.  How can I prevent it from smudging?

December 30, 2006

London Visit: Part 15


We  returned to the Imperial War Museum with our grandchildren.  Henry loves the interactive submarine and asks us to take them back each time we visit.  For the holidays there was a small display in the middle of the ground floor from the "Children at War" exhibit.  The mannequins drew me in instantly and I had to sketch them during our short visit.  While I was standing there sketching, an older man, his son, and grandson came to look at the display and the grandfather told his family how he was sent to the countryside in 1939 - an only child sent to live with strangers in a small country village.  He told me that the two beige shoulder boxes were the gas masks.  He was returned to his parents in London once during the 4 years, but immediately sent back as the blitz worsened.


HARROD'S Food Halls have always been one of my favorite places in London.  I always feel an enormous urge to buys lots of ingredients and go home to cook a big dinner.  We managed to visit the store several times in the last few weeks and each visit ended in the food halls where I bought a few things and took photos of others.  Yesterday we bought fresh crab, tiger prawns, and fresh artichokes for New Year's Eve dinner, but I was attracted to the huge charcuterie (Pig) sculpture (silver) and my photo of the poor little pigs from last week (pink) for my daily sketch.  I can't imagine how many people buy suckling pigs to make for dinner to have them as a regular item!  Today we are going to see the Holbein exhibit at Tate Britain.  Can't wait to see his drawings.

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