Today I arrived at my last destination of this (big) trip – London – and have gone a little crazy with some solo sketching and lots of walking! But first let’s quickly catch up on the last few days in Manchester.
I had a wonderful Sunday with some new friends from a local church and then on Monday and Tuesday did a little sketching with some of the remaining sketchers – mostly Marc Holmes and Suhita but various other sketchers joined us as well. This year we were all exhausted and I didn’t push myself as I needed to rest (a little) in order to have the energy for London. However I started Monday feeling inspired, doing my last sketch with Eza at Castlefields under the railway bridges.
I wrote at the time:
My 30 minute sketch of castlefield under the railway bridge with a tiny thumbnail of the intersection of the four railway lines and Gerard Michel’s 6 hour masterpiece that he did the day before. Ah! Always so inspiring to catch up with Gerard – no one can match his experience and precision but there is so much to learn from looking at his work. Hope next year to sketch alongside him somewhere somehow – it was just hugs and laughs this year. See you soon Gerard!
I next headed to the northern quarter with Marc and Laurel Holmes and it started raining again. I did a half heartened sketch while having a ‘full on’ conversation with Marc and the right sketch was a quick one on my walk back to the hotel.
It was time to admit defeat (from pushing through my tiredness) and return to my hotel room (and spend three hours doing the last two blog posts!)
On the final day we meet up with local sketcher Liz Ackerley (correspondent for the symposium) who showed us her exhibition of sketches of wall murals in the northern quarter – part of an event called cities of hope. It was great – thanks Liz!
It started raining again so we headed to the Museum of Science and Industry and I enjoyed sketching the mill equipment – humming (softly) to myself the soundtrack from the BBC adaption of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. BTW the wrist brace is for support and not because I have an injury!
I really enjoyed getting to know and sketch Manchester… but the time had come to head south!
I don’t find sketching tiring, but walking around with my bags over my shoulders (just like any other traveller) is the exhausting part. When I am on my own and I start to think ‘this is sketchable’ I immediately act and open up the sketchbook.
It is this decisiveness that makes all the difference. It is easy to think that it will be too hard, that there isn’t a comfortable spot to stop, but to get a sketchbook filled you need to take risks all the time. The risks are not just in the drawing part – the biggest risk of all is just starting and overcoming your fear of being a spectacle sketching on the streets. But it’s worth it!
Now what shall I do tomorrow?
To read other reports from the trip click here