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December 18, 2006

Arrival in London

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My daughter and I both must have known subconsciously that our schedule would be changing completely this Christmas.  She set up the baby's room one day before being hospitalized and wrapped all of the presents.  I finished all of the gift sewing before going to Orlando on a 6 day business trip.  That made our change in plans possible - but still not ideal. 

Things are still stably unstable - and she is so disappointed and bored to be in the hospital instead of enjoying the wonderful decorations and festive activities of London.  Meanwhile we're having a great time with Henry and Sydney.  I loved arriving to her Christmas tree and Poinsettia plants and sketched them for my daily sketch on Saturday (12/16).  I'm testing a photo of the sketchbook page, instead of a scan to see if this will be a temporary solution to my lack of a scanner.  The colors seem grayed out. 

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,

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                      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.

 

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