Friday, 19 July 2013

Sketchcrawling around Spitalfields

Christ Church Spitalfields, London

I met up with Urban Sketchers Pete Scully, Sue Pownall, Dave Black, Olha Pryymak and Evelyn Rowland – and many more – at Pete's sketchcrawl around Whitechapel and Spitalfields this week, some of them fresh from the USk symposium in Barcelona. London is still reeling from having a summer on its hands – a novel concept and the first in living memory for many – meaning that the conditions were in stark contrast to the sketchcrawl last winter at Tate Modern when temperatures were sub-zero and huskies were compulsory. 

Commercial Street, London

Pete's route took in a variety of places related to Jack the Ripper, the serial killer in 1880s London, ending up at the Ten Bells pub in on Commercial Street, where we compared drawings and supped restorative liquids, next to Hawksmoor's fantastic Christ Church Spitalfields. It's a part of town that is culturally rich, creative, graffiti-adorned, historic, poor and beautiful. It isn't perfect, but it's exactly what makes London such a great place. The East End has a lifetime of drawing in it – and that's why it was a great place for Pete to arrange a sketchcrawl.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Sketchbook show moves on in Victoria, Canada

The sketchbooks at Victoria's Central  Library
The exhibition of sketchbooks in Victoria, BC, Canada, has moved on from Oak Bay library to the city's Central Library, where it will be on show until the end of this month. Two of my sketchbooks are on display, along with those by Gabriel Campanario (Seattle), Virginia Hein (Los Angeles), Sigrid Albert (Vancouver), Luis Ruiz (Malaga), Kumi Matsukawa (Tokyo) and Matthew Cencich (Victoria), who curated the show.

Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch is at 735 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, Canada, and the display continues until the end of July 2013. Opening hours: Mon, Fri, Sat 9-6, Tues-Thurs 9-9.

There's more about the earlier show here

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Scene from a moving train

From a train

There is something stimulating about drawing from a moving train, as I did on recent trip from London to Devon. It is quiet time, perfect for getting out a sketchbook, but I can get tired of drawing the carriage scenery and fellow passengers. Drawings of the fleeting landscape can only take a few seconds: there is little that is constant or unchanging about the landscape on the Paddington to Exeter route, at least. The focus jumps to and fro, and you just have to sit and wait until an interesting view comes along for a few seconds or so, and make the most of it when it does.
I used a combination of sketchbook drawings to make this one, on a small canvas (about 12x15cm) with acrylic and marker pen, using a process of drawing and painting sections out until something emerged. It is the first time I've tried this. It won't be the last.