It's getting on for a month and doubtless the site is becoming clearer. As a (retired) architect I am aware how long site clearance can take - especially with all the recycling and dust etc restrictions. I needed however to get up high as the previous viewpoint could not show this. The helpful receptionist and building facilities manager of the Sega Building on The Great West Road came to the rescue. The view over the south west London to Crystal Palace was typically blue and the viewpoint emphasised the bank of trees to the south of the site with the railway bridge just in view. The site itself covered with activity separating different spoil for removal. To the west an area of 'fines', soil or fine waste in huge piles for reuse.
With a friend I'm coordinating the London Urban Sketchers' visit to Richmond in July. It involves some travel and eatery identification for the blog and most include a sketch or two. So a pleasant evening chatting and drawing The Roebuck and assorted houses - one Mick Jagger's another Jerry Hall's. Don't know which but they are pretty nice!
I was commissioned via London Urban Sketchers to paint a drawing for the cover of a Cambridge Undergraduate's Dissertation on the Memorial in Hyde Park to the victims of the 7/7 Bombings. There was a deadline. Fortunately the only day I could go was fine and sunny which generated strong shadows. It turned out to be a tough assignment taking several hours - however I watched the shadows move round which was fascinating - as was seeing how different persons interacted with it. Accuracy was obviously required but my lose/free style was liked/wanted so somehow it was necessary to get into it the solemnity as well as that life goes on....
We went to Simpson's-in-the-Strand for luncheon a week or so ago and learnt that this iconic wood panelled London beef eatery with a stunning ceiling is closing...but only for a few weeks for complete refurbishment. No one could say what was to be done design wise but that it will be very different. A challenge for an Urban Sketcher; USs like to record reality and that includes change. Simpson's kindly let me in towards the end of the luncheon sitting so along I went, sat at a corner table whilst remaining diners completed their chewing and conversation. A couple of hours before the evening sitting let me start 3 for onward work at home.
Brentford Football Club who I support have outgrown their current home at Griffin Park. After a lengthy planning negotiation and land acquisition have started on site just north of Kew Bridge. It will be a couple of seasons before we move over there. A great opportunity to sketch change as the site is first cleared, through groundworks and construction to completion. Here's the first.
I have been making irregular 'taxi' trips to the space between St Pancras - now International - and King's Cross Stations for ten years or more. It has been fascinating while waiting to enjoy/draw the urban redevelopment. Some successful some less so. New alongside refurbished original has been very well done - the modern high rise offices although variegated less so. There are now good spaces for people, some on roofs, but the structures dominate them. Good use of street furniture and sub-divided spaces does go some way to humanise the 'square'.
Again a huge number of us arrived for a day sketching - but one could spend days there as there's so much and a wide variety. A sound garden, small farm, Farmers Market and stunning views over the City not to mention the museum itself.
Many went for the London view - I was one - others, brave ones did the Victorian Conservatory and others the animals. Some of the work can be seen on Facebook here.
It was a cool, gusty but sunny day so I went for the view from the terrace and a quickie of the Market which was on the terrace...in the afternoon to get warm I studied people from above...the foreshortening effect is challenging. Again learnt more than I achieved.
A strange venue this Saturday morning,second floor crush bar at The Rose Theatre, Kingston. There was the opportunity for a study of the High Street from 10 meters up framed by the vertical windows but that needs several studies and some return visits to pull it of.
So instead I observed people who it seems mainly on a grey and blustery day prefer dull clothing. The exception a brave Asian lady, the gusts catching her long flowing multi coloured dress; and a few I picked in colours lest I have a few pages of dull. The wind caught longer hair, particularly a matching pair in red and green anoraks (correctly right and left for navigation lights). The steep angle foreshortening legs.
Ten of the local group I sketch with occasionally met here on Saturday morning, about half braving the chill off the river. Not me! A coffee and warmth looking out through the firm grid of the windows caught my imagination, making a striking image. I have been trying to get away from direct pictorial representation, getting more appreciation of the 'unseen' onto the page. In Paul Nash's exhibition just closing at Tate Britain the 'Unseen Landscapes' section quotes him thus: 'They are unseen merely because they are not perceived'. No change there in our modern high speed life. Despite taking time to measure the perspective its still way out in the middle...but hey, only a sketch and was fun.
Twenty five minutes left for a quickie looking the other way...
As the dodgers were meeting in a new venue and it was local I could get there and back in time for an early Rugby kick off.
An interesting and rather different church but with some well carved woodwork and later well decorated chancel with a splendid roof. The wider than usual nave made it an uncomfortable proportion. I find in churches I either do a few details, a selection of details if there are several together or a 'view'. Resting on the font I went for the latter deciding to have a bit of sketching fun and go bright to emphasise the gilt.
Having done that, with the rain stopped and a little sun went outside to sit in the lych gate and play with the perspective, buttresses and roofs/chimneys. It was still damp so slow drying got some interesting effects....worth returning for another go.