After several weeks without painting this has been a good one. Starting with Tate Modern on Wednesday to see the Pop Art and Alexander Calder. The former more cerebral and informative covering the wider scope and history of Pop Art. More to PA than Liechtenstein, Oldenburg, Warhol, Blake or Paolozzi. A careful exposition of ‘pop political’. An eye opener.
Calder - uplifting and fun. I have always appreciated his work but once again plenty to learn of his early work especially the wire sculptures. Better than solid; get a real feel of the shape and volume through their transparency. ‘3D drawing with wire’. Hugely skilful.
I’m a regular visitor to the drop off/pick up side of St Pancras with its juxtaposition of Gothic, understated 21st Century and Victorian architecture. And have always intend to draw it. Had the time today but not the angle I wanted as a parking management person moved me. Got a little of the new against Giles Gilbert Scott. Must plan a trip with a bigger book/paper. It is a sketcher’s gold mine around there. Urban Sketchers have it planned but I think when I can’t.
Here’s what I got into my small book.
Urban Sketchers at Canary Wharf. A quick head count some 25/30+ of us…. some there for the first time. A mix of experience and styles. Useful to share techniques, materials and learn from each other. Norfolk is known for its ‘big skies’ Canary Wharf as well as its high rise buildings, water and if you look hard old docklands there are huge panoramic views over to east London one way and the City the other. I opted for these panoramic views. First to the east towards the Dome, distant new high rise works and in the distance the cable car crossing. I was caught by the contrast of ‘try and look old housing’ high rise, water and civil engineering - plus 3 retained original cranes. Lots of other cranes, diggers, huge mounds of spoil and planes from City Airport. Worked on two…
At the lunchtime break admired another’s 20 minute sketch of the city skyline so headed to that side. More excavations - I’m told for a 70 storey block which will be the tallest. Managed to get that dreadful Walkie Talkie ugliness on the join in my book.
Canary Wharf or Docklands achieved its intentions so is a success story. Not to everyone’s thinking and knowing several original residents from Poplar I can understand the hurt they feel at the decimation of their community. But as one of our party said it could not have survived as it was so change was inevitable. The planning regime was ‘enabling’ to the extent that the Corporation Planners could approve applications but if they wanted to refuse consent they had to take it to committee. In other words, let’s get on with it, no bureaucratic delays. It worked judging by our group’s reaction and the number of people in the shopping malls on a Saturday when the offices are empty.