Trip 2011: Off to London... out of control 1st afternoon!

September 13, 2011 | 3 Comments

St Stephens Wallbrook by Christopher Wren – my favourite place in London and my first stop!

Wow! I was so excited to be going to London again…which was a good thing as I was somewhat upset about leaving my friends in Cardiff. It was my third year in a row of being able to visit them and I just can’t see how I will get there again next year….or when. But I had so many things to plan and people to catch up with could I fit it all in… no way! But still nice to write the list!

As per sketch above – I went straight to the interior of a church that I love. It is also special as (one of) my favourite author(s), Thomas Watson (most of my friends think he is No. 1) was a minister in the church on this site before the great ejection….so, he is NOT a contemporary author!!!

It is a very nice space to be in and draw. Two men practicing the organ didn’t disturb me so I sneaked out my waterbrush and added paint. Later they asked me if I was drawing so I showed them.

Next I went another church – this time a Hawksmoor design. I am a Hawksmoor nutter…in fact, am rather partial to any English Baroque architecture…but Hawskmoor (and Vanburgh) hold a special place. Interior is not as stunning but still interesting design.

It was when I was outside on the pavement sketching the exterior (in between having the view totally blocked by queuing buses…those double deckers!) After this I was TOTALLY buzzing!!! I am so seriously addicted to on location sketching!!! I think it is the combination of having a real connection with the object, and discovering even more wonderful things about it, being outside on a lovely warm day PLUS the daring factors of sitting on a stool on a busy pavement in London (what a crazy bold thing to do)… all add to it… let alone the sheer joy I experience in letting my hand do its thing with my lamy pen and then splashing some paint around. Sigh… I just love it!!!

I then decided to track down an art store (with a sale) that Paul had told me about… I had rather liked the look of his square Schmincke set at Lisbon. Well I got more than just that (see below) and then found myself wandering through Soho and Regents St…something I have not done before. Walking through the streets of London was so great- lovely warm day – and I was able to piece together the many tourist spots that I had visited in an isolated way on previous stops….and then somehow without realising it I found myself NEAR Fortmun & Mason. Time for a cup of tea… well that wasn’t on the menu…only afternoon tea…so I decided to go for it.

A second sketch to try very ‘rushedly’ to capture the tearoom. I felt very out of place with my dirty paint tin on the white table cloth and was worried that they would throw me out! Lovely chat to an urban sketcher at the end!!! Small world when you start sketching!

More walking through the streets (including visiting a bookstore and buying an architecture book) and then a lovely evening to sketch a classic space in London. To add to the ‘excitement’ I was interrupted twice by real characters who wanted to talk and talk and I did miss the wonderful sunlight and had to paint from memory.


Then back to my room and record all my purchases (AND freebies – both art supplies and tea!)

Here is the summary page which I actually fully completed that day! Wow… I was so much in hyper-drive mode! What a day…in fact it was only an AFTERNOON!!!!
Amazingly, scanning and posting these pages has brought that buzz back!!!


  • Parka says:

    It's a good addiction. I love seeing your sketches.

    Love the way you've recorded EVERYTHING! Included costs – something I always forget to do.
    Amazing captures of buildings!!
    WOW and I was dithering about going to London next trip – what was I thinking?

  • Your work is nothing short of amazing. As a former interior designer who did lots of perspective drawing andbdrafting of floor plans, I am astounded at how beautifully you render such complex subjects. I know you're an architect, but not all architects have that skill. I adore visiting your blog…

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