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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. 

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

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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:

http://makingamark.blogspot.com/

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

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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:

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January 1, 2007

Holbein Drawing: Anne Cresacres

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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

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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.

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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.

December 29, 2006

London Visit: Part 14 - Week Two

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Baby Callum is now 10 days old.  The National Health Service provides at-home, mid-wife, after-birth care so he was weighed at 1 week and was almost back to his birthweight.  He eats, sleeps, and spends a little time between each feeding with his eyes open.  Henry and Syd check in on him periodically but have been busy with a belated birthday party and Christmas. 

I continue to do a daily sketch, but most have been items or scenes from around the house or neighborhood.

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Sydney had her belated birthday party on December 23rd (instead of 12/20 when Mom and Callum were still in the hospital).  My daughter made a Pooh cake for her and had Happy Feet penguin plates and cups.  She and Callum will have birthdays one day apart in the future!

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Partidge's, in Duke of York Square, is the specialty food shop in the area - a place where we stop for fresh baked bread on our way home at lunch or dinnertime.  This is the first time that I sketched individual bricks - and it made me realize that I get no joy from these kinds of details! 

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My daughter, son-in-law, and baby Callum joined the rest of us for Christmas Eve dinner at Oriel, a brasserie on Sloane Square.  There are almost no restaurants open in the area on Christmas and our son and daughter-in-law arrived from Washington DC to see their new nephew and celebrate the holiday.  The restaurant was very gracious and set up an area next to the table for Callum's pram.  He was bundled and slept peacefully during dinner. 

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We bought Christmas presents for Henry and Sydney when we were here in October - and they really seemed to enjoy them.  She now takes the big bouncing Tigger to bed with her - along with monkey, books, a special pillow, quilt etc.  Henry learned where New York, London, and Washington DC are on the globe and then had fun telling us about the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  He wanted to find out where Africa was before we put it on the shelf.

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The neighborhood was very quiet on Boxing Day.  While Henry and Syd went to Battersea Park with the guys to ride scooters, Rachel and I took Callum for fresh air and a stroll along King's Road.  We have no idea what Boxing Day commemorates and saw many possible explanations on Wikipedia.  Osborne and Little (that previously had ice cream cones and fish in their 4 windows), now has gigantic Christmas stockings outlined with little white lights.  I also sketched the clock on the Chelsea Town Hall, something I wanted to do since July.  

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There was a special, old-model London double-decker bus parked along Duke of York Square the other day.  I previously sketched one for my grandson from a photo on Morgue file - but now saw one myself on the street.   I never found out the significance of a free ride in the Art Bus.  We take buses all over the city and love to take Henry and Sydney to the top deck!

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Yesterday my husband and I went to the Rodin exhibit at the Royal Academy and I did a 2 minute sketch of "The Thinker."  I hate uploading this because it is really out of proportion and barely representational.  But it is my daily sketch and part of my learning process.  Today we are off to the Imperial War Museum again with Henry and Syd.  They LOVE the interactive submarine and ask us to return during our visits.

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