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December 16, 2006

Holiday in London

Our Christmas holiday in London began 1 week earlier than expected.  My daughter was hospitalized with possible premature delivery and we came as soon as we could to help with Henry (age 3 1/2) and Sydney (who will turn 2 on Wed).  We barely had time to finish the Christmas cards and pack the night we received the call.  It is the first time that I didn't do the weekly EDM challenge in months. 

London looks beautiful with all of the Christmas decorations and holiday shoppers.  It is wonderful being with grandchildren and I hope to post some London photos instead of sketches over the next 3 weeks because I don't have access to a scanner.  Here is the first photo of the group,


                      Sydney who will be 2 on 12/20                  Henry who is 3 !/2



November 12, 2006

London Visit - Part 12: Miscellaneous Sketches


I love London public mailboxes and the old style public phone booths.  This mailbox was painted very quickly in the rain during a walk to the grocery store on King's Road Chelsea.  Click on each image for a larger size.


This is a statue on Pont Street in Belgravia - it is tucked into a small area with pretty trees and benches.  I was fascinated to see that it is the logo for the Jeeves Complex - a group of stores in the area.


We walked from Oxford Circus all the way back to Chelsea - browsing all the way.  My husband humored me by touring the fabric section at Liberty to price fabric for my latest quilt.  When we stopped at Caffe Nero, our favorite coffee shop in London, I sketched the tower of the St. James Church across the street.


We took care of our grandchildren our last weekend in London while my daughter and her husband explored the town of Bath.  By the time we finished a full day with them on Saturday, the only thing I could think of for my daily sketch was the bath tub toys that they just played with.  My 22 month old grand daughter loves Pooh and his friends.

November 9, 2006

London Visit - Part 11: Chelsea, London, UK


My daughter and her family are living in Chelsea, right off King's Road, so I have many opportunities to walk in the neighborhood with strollers and my grandchildren.   

The sketch on the left is the back of one of the terrace houses on Walpole Street.  As you look down the row of houses, it is interesting to see how each owner has added space in a variety of ways around their back entry.  This sunroom addition has a wonderful round table that is bathed in sunlight and surrounded by flowers.

The sketch on the right is the Library entrance to the Chelsea Town Hall.  The other end of the long building is identical and there are civil ceremony weddings occurring there almost everytime that I walk past.

Left:  John Sandoe Books - a wonderful, packed book store that is purported to have everything.  During my last two visits, I have lovingly looked at Cezanne's Basel Travel Sketchbook and Henry Moore's Sheep sketchbook in the store.  It is hard to buy anything in London, however, that is available in the US because the exchange rate is currently so bad. 

Right: A regular dinner spot for our family - The Big Easy on King's Road Chelsea.  They have an American menu which is perfect for our toddler grandchildren.  I loved the fisherman/fish sign the first time I saw it in July, and finally had time to arrive at the restaurant early and sketch it.

November 7, 2006

London Visit - Part 10: Museum Visits Oct 2006


We returned to the Imperial War Museum with our daughter and both of our grandchildren during this visit to London.  Our grandson loves the submarine simulation and spends much of his time at the controls.  My 22 month old grand daughter loved the puppy that was descending from the roof in a parachute.  After they left to return home for naps, my husband and I went through the "Children's War" and "Holocaust" exhibits.  Both were excellent and emotionally draining.


There is an amazing exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci notebook pages at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I loved seeing his figure drawings, but was especially intrigued by his exploration of the human body.  The sketch reproduced above presents his ideas about the brain.  He completely ignored the white and gray matter and hypothesized that all human functions were contained in the 3 fluid-filled ventricles: The first was the receptor of all senses, the second blended the senses into consciousness/soul, and the third was the memory.  It is unusual for him to be so wrong.


One of my treats this trip was meeting London artist Katherine Tyrrell  for an afternoon at the David Hockney Portrait Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.  I have never been attracted to Hockney's Southern California series, but was overwhelmed during this exhibit by his drawings.  It is a large exhibit, but there was still time for Katherine to take me to Tea in the Cafe at the top of the Museum.  There we spent time enjoying each other's sketchbooks and had time to talk more.  The view from the Cafe is magnificent - and the above quick sketch was taken from a photo that I hastily took before the cafe closed.


September 29, 2006

London Visit - Part 9: Miscellaneous Sketches


These are the last London sketches that I wanted to post from our September trip.  All of the other pages of my sketchbook that I haven't scanned have drawings from our daily life with our grandchildren in my daughter's house.

Lion:  One of the recently refurbished and now uncovered lions from the center of Trafalgar square.  The tourists are still climbing all over them for photos.

Flower Cart:  A charming cart that is permanently set up along King's Road, Chelsea.  The red and blue wheels, which add charm, are just propped up against the actual cart.  While I was sitting on a small step at the corner, the only person who stopped to talk was an 8-10 year old boy who then had to catch up with his mother and brother.  He spent more time with me again on his return trip down the sidewalk - but Mom didn't seem really interested in letting him take time to ask all of his questions.

London Taxi:  I Love all of the gaily-colored London taxis, many with very interesting exteriors that are part of a total car advertisement.  This sketch was done from a photo while the taxi stopped for an instant to let off passengers.  It was only when I was drawing it that I noticed there was no light on top.

St. James Palace Guard:  We were walking by the Palace with my 3 year old grandson Henry when the guards changed shift.  I took a photo of the new guard when he got into position and then did this drawing from the photo.

Fish:  When we visited London in July, Osborne and Little Decorating Shop on King's Road had ice cream cones in their windows.  This time it was fish.  Each of the colored pieces in these drawings are separate fabric-wrapped pieces of cardboard or wood.  There were 4 types of fish as pictured here and each window had multiple fish of a single design.  I can't wait to see what their Holiday display is going to be.  I went into the store to ask permission to take a photo when I was done sketching and learned when the windows will change again.

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