Friday, 27 July 2012

London's Olympic Stadium

The Olympic stadium in Stratford is a few miles away from where we live in north London, close enough, like most of London probably, for us to see its lights beaming into the night air on the evening of the opening ceremony's rehearsal. Tonight is the real thing.

Are Londoners cynical and moaning about the Olympics? Many are, but many of these moaning cynics were among the millions that went to see the Olympic torch as it passed around the country. I know: I was among them...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The finished Shard: Europe's tallest (for now)

James Hobbs, The Shard from Southwark Street
Having posted drawings of London's newest tallest building as a promising stump in 2010 and as an unfinished, unfurling skyscraper in 2011, I thought I'd mark its recent opening with another of the finished thing.

The 310-metre building launched with a light display at the beginning of July 2012. We live a few miles to the north and went up on to the roof of the house to watch the lasers beaming around the city. Perhaps our expectations were, like the Shard, too high: it wasn't so exciting.

Is the building any better? The angles of its sides means it invariably reflects the colour of the sky, which I like, even though this particular summer that colour has, until now, been that of rainclouds.

The Shard is distinctive, certainly, but dwarfing and isolated. And how do the £50 million penthouses, luxury hotel and £24.95 adult ticket prices to the as-yet-unopened viewing tower relate to what's happening in the streets it has risen from? How many people from Southwark are working in its offices? I have the feeling it is probably better to be on the inside looking out, than on the outside looking in.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Urban Sketchers London show opens at Foyles bookshop

James Hobbs, Foyles bookshop
The exhibition The Art of Urban Sketching, which is linked to the book of the same name by USk founder Gabriel Campanario, has now opened at Foyles bookshop, London. It features five monochrome drawings by me straight from the sketchbook, including one that was reproduced in the book. (So not the one on the right here, which I drew on Charing Cross Road last week.)

There are five other London-based artists showing in the exhibition: Nathan Brenville, Barry Jackson, Olha Pryymak, Katherine Tyrrell and Zhenia Vasiliev. You can follow the evolving introductions to each artist at the Urban Sketchers London blog, which is being updated each day of the show.

Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB
Monday 16 July to Sunday 22 July 2012
More about the show here.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Coming soon at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, and much more

Seventh Avenue cafe
I'm going to be exhibiting work, along with other London-based Urban Sketchers, from the hugely successful The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario at Foyles Gallery, on the third floor of the bookshop's Charing Cross Road store, from 16 to 22 July. The book features work by urban artists around the world who contribute to the Urban Sketchers blog. The show is part of the Foyles's Sketching the City season, which continues until 4 August. I've written an article about Urban Sketchers for the summer issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine, out now.

More? My work continues at the Fat Cat cafe, along with that of fellow N16 Pop-up artist Deborah Sandersley, at 119 Stoke Newington Church Street until Tuesday 17 July.

And, of course, my work, is also on sale at IKEA stores worldwide and always on display at Skylark 2, in the Oxo Tower Wharf, on London's South Bank...