Friday, 8 September 2017

Let’s Draw Spitalfields Market - Saturday 14th October 2017

Drawing by Cathryn Worrell

In October, we will meet to sketch in and around Spitalfields Market.

Spitalfields has a long history as a Roman cemetery, a priory, and later as a hub for the weaving and silk making trade. There's been a market on the site for over 350 years. In 1991 the wholesale fruit and vegetable market was redeveloped into shops, cafes and restaurants. Read more about what's on in the market here:

The day is free of charge and there’s no need to book, just turn up with your own art kit.
Goat sculpture, Bishops Square
Key times and meeting points for the day:

· 11am - Meet by the Goat Sculpture in Bishops Square/ Brushfield Street

· 1pm - meet again in the same place

· 3:30pm - meet again in the same place

(If there's heavy rain we'll meet just inside the entrance to the market on Bishops Square next to Patisserie Valerie.)

· Afterwards at about 4pm we'll go to Patisserie Valerie for anyone who wants a coffee and a chat or to continue drawing.

Drawing possibilities include:
The market building
· The market building (inside and out).
Christ Church
· Christ Church on Commercial Street, designed by the architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor.

· Brick Lane – around the corner from the church.

· Weavers houses in Norton Folgate (north of the market behind Carluccio's) and in and around Fournier Street (next to the Church).

· Elder Gardens on the north side of the market – a small gated garden with benches, which offers some respite from the busy market.

· This is a very busy area at weekends so there'll also be plenty of opportunities to sketch (lots of) people.

If it's raining, indoor sketching options include inside the market and sketching from inside one of the nearby cafes. There’s also a parade of shops on Bishopsgate that is under cover. Unfortunately, the church is closed on Saturdays but the cafe next door should be open.

Practical Information:

Lunch: There are lots of cafes, restaurants and food trucks in and around the market, as well as a big selection of curry houses on nearby Brick Lane.

Toilets: There are some public toilets near the eastern entrance to the market, inside Liverpool Street Station (you’ll need 30p in coins to enter) and lots of nearby cafes have toilets but you might need to be a customer to use them so please check.

Getting here: The nearest station is Liverpool Street, for mainline trains and underground, or Shoreditch High Street for overground. Lots of buses stop on Bishopsgate, including 42, 149, 242, 344 and 388. The 67 bus stops on Commercial Street. You can find more information about how to get to the market and a map here:

The day is organised by Cathryn Worrell and Daniel Lloyd-Morgan.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

We drew Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

[By Nicky Browne in London] Hyde Park had a nip of autumn in the air, but the welcome from the Urban Sketchers was friendly and warming -- and it might have been a record attendance! (Anyone want to count heads?)

Every year the Serpentine Gallery commissions a leading architect to design a new temporary summer pavilion. This year's structure was designed by Francis Kéré, the award-winning architect from Burkina Faso. They've even tucked a coffee bar inside -- what better way to start the day?

There was a wealth of material to hand. We met at the Serpentine Gallery next to the summer pavilion designed by Francis Kéré. Then off to work!

 The Italian Gardens' fountains played against the backdrop of golden grass and dark, late summer trees. The Serpentine Lake bridge, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery designed by Zaha Hadid and the Serpentine Gallery itself appeared in many drawings and paintings.

Several people challenged themselves successfully with the Royal Albert Hall and the famous Albert Memorial. Someone even stood at the traffic lights and drew the Royal Geographical Society (the view was regularly blocked by buses waiting at the lights!). 

There were several renderings of the aptly named equestrian statue Physical Energy by the Victorian painter and sculptor George Fredric Watts. (The original plaster model is located at the very drawable Watts Gallery in the Surrey village of Compton, near Guildford).

There were also sketches of the contemporary bronze sculpture Serenity by Simon Gudgeon, and one or two drawings of The Arch by Henry Moore, a stone sculpture the artist gave to the nation in 1980.

Chickens as wildlife!
Then there was interesting wild life: swans, geese, ducks and people. Someone sat too near a Great Tit's nest and was attacked several times --  and there were some lovely paintings of some rather splendid chickens! 

The day was organised by Jo Dungey with Nicky Browne


Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Pavilion, but not in a cricket sort of way.

The August Sketchcrawl with Jo and Nicky was in a brilliant location. I stayed close to base, found a fence to lean against, and spent the time before lunch studying Francis Kéré's addition to Kensington Gardens.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Let’s draw Highgate - Saturday 9 September 2017

This month we visit Highgate, in north London. Options for sketching include Waterlow Park, the world-famous Highgate Cemetery, and the old houses, shops and pubs of Highgate Village.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points for the day:

11am: Meet at the café at Lauderdale House in Waterlow Park (see photograph above). We will then walk across the park to the entrance to Highgate Cemetery East on Swain’s Lane. Earlybirds please note: the cemetery does not open until 11am on Saturdays.

1pm: Meet near the entrance and ticket office of Highgate Cemetery East to look at drawings done so far. If the weather is wet, meet inside the ticket office or the mausoleum nearby and we will decide where to look at the work.

3.30pm: Meet at the café at Lauderdale House in Waterlow Park (as above) to look at drawings done, and take group photographs. If the weather is bad in the afternoon, we may decide to change this to a location in Highgate village – we will decide this at the earlier meet-ups.

The locations for this day don’t offer much shelter if the weather is wet, so dress suitably.

Options for drawing include:

Waterlow Park: this has a mix of formal gardens, fountains, wooded areas, a lake and children’s play areas. There are plenty of seats.

Highgate Cemetery: this is one of the ‘big seven’ Victorian cemeteries in London, and the most famous. It is in two parts, and we will visit Highgate Cemetery East. This has an admission charge of £4. Highgate Cemetery West can only be visited on a pre-booked tour. The east cemetery has a wide range of old and new graves, and their leaflet will help you find the most famous ones. The tomb of Karl Marx is probably the most well-known, but modern ones include artist Patrick Caulfield (photo below). Parts of the cemetery are overgrown and have become a refuge for wildlife.

Highgate Village: there are many pretty old houses and shops in the area around Pond Square and Highgate High Street. Highgate developed around the main coaching route from the north into London, so there are pubs which were old coaching inns – the Angel, for example has been a pub for over five hundred years. Many of the buildings in the High Street date from the 18th or 19th century or earlier.

Practical information

The nearest underground station is Archway, Zone 2 on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line. Exit the underground station following the signs to Highgate Hill and the Whittington Hospital. Walk up Highgate Hill past the hospital (or to avoid an uphill walk, take a bus from Archway to Waterlow Park, routes 143, 210 or 271). When you reach a large Catholic church, St Joseph’s, turn left down Dartmouth Park Hill and you will see an entrance to Waterlow Park almost immediately. A map of the park is displayed just inside. We will meet at 11am at the park café, but if you arrive later and want to go directly to Highgate Cemetery, walk across the park to the Swain’s Lane entrance, which is next to the cemetery gates.

Highgate Cemetery East has an admission charge of £4. This funds the conservation of the cemetery. The ticket office will give you a map showing the location of graves of famous people of the past. A portable stool could be useful here.

From the cemetery gates, you can walk directly up Swain’s Lane into Highgate Village.

Waterlow Park has a café with food and drink at Lauderdale House, which opens at 8.30 am (see photograph above). The park also has toilets. Highgate Cemetery has toilets, but no food or drink, so it could be a good idea to bring a
packed lunch. There are plenty of cafes and pubs in Highgate Village on Highgate High Street.

The day is run by Dougie Simpson and Jo Dungey

Richmond Green

Saturday morning on Richmond Green. A return visit with another group. It's Crown Land leased to Richmond Council. Twelve acres surrounded by trees and an elegant mix of buildings. Hugely popular and charming.  It has been the venue for informal and formal games for hundreds of years, including archery tournaments in the 16th century, and now cricket, which began in the 18th century [John Webb]. 


Monday, 17 July 2017

We drew Richmond-upon-Thames

Lots of us arrived in the Terrace Gardens last Saturday from Southampton, Coventry, Basingstoke, Spain.....and London...

...and strode forth up the hill to the famous Terrace View, settling in at the conveniently provided information board and hedge easels...

...or in one case the gutter to draw a Morgan. A passerby commenting he was ignoring the finest view in London. It was a pretty good motor.

 ...or one of the many benches.

Heavy persistent drizzly rain curtailed work, but brought out a resilient spirit and some excellent work. Although our half time share was constrained...

...we saw the rain off over lunch in time to resume -- some in The Jubilant, a replica of an 19th century barge --

and others around and about. Huge variety as ever of materials and techniques. And for one sketcher who had forgotten her brushes, ink and her eyeliner brush! Neither weather nor equipment shortfall can daunt Urban Sketchers!

We finished by Richmond Green, thence to a bar for a prolonged relaxed drink and mutual sketchbook sharing session.


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Let’s draw Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens - Saturday 19 August 2017

Join us to draw in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We will meet near the Serpentine Gallery, whose summer pavilion provides an experiment in contemporary architecture, which we could draw. Other sketching options are park views, the boating lake, the Italian Gardens, summer visitors, and sculptures old and new. The Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall are nearby.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points for the day:

11am: Meet at the Serpentine Gallery (see photograph) near the new pavilion (or just inside the gallery if wet).

1pm: Meet at the same place to look at drawings done so far.

3.30pm: Meet again between the Serpentine Gallery and the new pavilion to look at drawings done, and take group photographs.

Options for drawing include:

The park provides many views of its gardens, trees, fountains, buildings and sculptures, from the work of Henry Moore to the Peter Pan statue.

Each year the Serpentine Galleries commission a summer pavilion by a contemporary architect – this year the architect is Frances Kere, from Burkina Faso. The pavilion will be in the park until 8 October 2017.

The nearby Serpentine Gallery is free of charge and is currently hosting an exhibition by Grayson Perry – The most popular art exhibition ever.

A second gallery, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is on the other side of the Serpentine Bridge. It has an extension by Zaha Hadid Architects, and hosts free contemporary art exhibitions (and an expensive restaurant).

The Serpentine Bridge marks the boundary between Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, and between the Serpentine Lake and the Long Water.

Sketch the activities in the parks: people strolling, jogging, roller skating, riding, boating. The area near the Serpentine boat houses is good for this.

There is plenty of bird life, particularly near the water.

The Italian Gardens on the north side of the park provide a contrast to the informal landscaping of the park.

The Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall are nearby.

There are many other scenes and activities in the parks and maps are displayed at the entrances to help you find them.

Practical information

The nearest underground station to our meeting point is High Street Kensington. There are shops and cafes around here, plus a café near the Serpentine (often crowded in summer) and refreshment kiosks in the park.

If the weather is wet, we could draw inside the Serpentine Galleries. The big trees in the park offer some shelter.

This day is run by Jo Dungey with Nicky Browne