Two sketches in Oxford

Here is the corner of Catte Street. On the left is the Kings Arms, a Youngs pub. The marvellous turret on the right is part of the Oxford Martin School. This building was originally the “Indian Institute”. It was designed by Basil Champneys in 1884. The weathercock is an elephant.

It now houses the Oxford Martin School.

“The School is a unique, interdisciplinary research initiative addressing key global future challenges….A key aim of the School is to mitigate the most pressing risks and realise exciting new opportunities of the 21st century. With interdisciplinary teams of researchers from across the university, the School is working on the frontiers of knowledge in four broad areas: health and medicine; energy and environment; technology and society; and ethics and governance. Aiming to have an impact beyond academia, the School also develops wide-ranging initiatives, intellectual programmes and public events to engage with national and international policymakers, business, students and the general public.”[LinkedIn]

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On the way back from the lecture I sketched this domed building.

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This is Rhodes House. It houses the Rhodes Trust, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, and the Atlantic Institute, according to the notice on the door.

Both pictures took about an hour. The first one was sketched from the steps of the Weston Library, about 50 mins. By the time I’d finished the pen sketch, the light had gone. So I finished the colouring in my room in LMH that evening. The light in the top right hand corner is not some amazing watercolour technique, but the light from the small and very bright desk light.

The one of Rhodes House I sketched standing up leaning on Inorganic Chemistry. I coloured it sitting down on the tiled pavement, on a copy of the Economist.

Chine Collé workshop

Here is a gallery of prints I made yesterday, experimenting with a technique called “Chine Collé” – thin paper glued. The idea is to introduce colour, by using a thin piece of paper which is sandwiched between the printing paper (white) and the inked copper plate.

This was a workshop led by Damien Grist at East London Printmakers. I used plates I’d made previously.

My favourite print is this one, based on my “Towers East” plate:

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“Edge of the City” – chine collé

Here are other examples. Each print is unique.

Here’s what I learned:

  • The glue that’s used to fasten the thin paper is wallpaper paste. This is wet, and allows the thin paper to shrink as the assembly dries. It also contains fungicides. Traditionally, Japanese printmakers use rice glue.
  • The thin paper doesn’t take the ink as well as the white print paper. So sometimes the image is disrupted.
  • This is a fast technique for adding colour. And it’s fun: the result is a bit of a surprise.
  • Japanese printmakers use “Gampi” paper for Chine Collé. Tissue paper is an alternative. Newsprint works quite well, and also takes the black ink well.

Lady of Avenel at Heybridge Basin

Here is Lady of Avenel, 102ft Brigantine.

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This was the third of three sketches. Here are the first two.

I have drawn Lady of Avenel previously: Outer Hebrides 2017

See also these pages for pictures of and from Lady of Avenel:
Outer Hebrides 2017
Outer Hebrides 2016
Sketch notes from maritime Holland

The Charterhouse, Pensioners’ Court, South West Corner

Here is a sketch from the first floor windows of manasian and co, a strategic brand consultancy with offices in Pensioners’ Court.

October 23rd 2017

I like the way the newer buildings are visible above the old ones, placing The Charterhouse in its 21st Century context. Behind me in the office, people worked on large screens, making pictures, and talking gently with each other across the desks. Outside, a gardener in a red raincoat clipped at the plants, dragging a large basket behind her, for the clippings.

Sketch notes from maritime Holland

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This is Noordermarkt, as seen from Café Hegeraad, in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam. It was a lovely autumn day, warm with a light breeze. I had the apple cake and a coffee. I had arrived from the overnight Stena Line ferry, then a sequence of trains from the Hook of Holland.

My destination was Surinamekade, to meet the boat “Lady of Avenel”. I walked through the renewed Central Station where I retrieved my bag from the luggage lockers. Here is a picture from the boat.

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The “Race of the Classics” had just taken place, and they were saying goodbye to the last of the participants. The captain and crew went off to an award ceremony. On my own on the boat I drew a picture of three of the other classic boats moored up behind us.

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In the morning, we set off along the “North Sea Canal”. I drew a complicated picture of “Lady of Avenel” from the quarterdeck, which took a long time.

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Then, in a lock, I drew a quick picture of “Iris” who followed us in. This was much more successful.

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We reached Scheveningen.

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There was a long wait in the morning, while the storm of the previous night departed.

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Then we left harbour, for the 36 hour trip across the North Sea.

We were taking ‘Lady of Avenel’ to her winter mooring at Heybridge, Maldon. See the blog post on this link, for pictures of her there.

A peregrination in De Beauvoir Town

I went for a long walk North.

De Beauvoir Town and De Beauvoir Estate are next to each other.

Here is a quick sketch of the very pretty houses on De Beauvoir Square, De Beauvoir Town. A tower block near Dalston Junction is just visible.

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Just around the corner is the lovely St Peter’s Church, designed by WC Lockner, 1830s. In the basement of the Church, they serve lunch every Friday.

Then I walked back South, along De Beauvoir Road.

Here is a view looking West. The houses in the foreground are on De Beauvoir Road. In the background is Portelet Court, part of the De Beauvoir Estate, 1960s, Hackney Homes.

I drew Portelet Court as reddish. When I went into the estate to find the name of the block, I saw that the cladding is a dark grey. It only looked red because the sun was setting.

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Portelet Court, over the rooves of houses on De Beauvoir Road.

I drew this picture sitting on the pavement on De Beauvoir Road. About an hour. As I was getting up a cyclist stopped. I must have looked a bit awkward. He asked if I was ok. I said yes, puzzled. “I thought you had fallen over” said the cyclist, “you don’t often see people sitting on the pavement.”

I guess you don’t.

Newcastle Sketchbook

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View looking North from Long Sands beach.

The Coastguard Station was completed in 1980 and closed in 2002. It is in the same enclosure as the very ancient Priory, which is managed by English Heritage. I asked in the English Heritage office about the Coastguard Station. She asked what did I want to know. “Who designed it, for example,” I said. She didn’t know.
“I’ve never been asked that question before,” she said.

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The Coastguard station on the land of Tynemouth Priory.
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We went across the Tyne on a ferry, I tried to do a few quick sketches on the move. 1st October 2017
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We stayed at “Tynemouth 61”. Here is the view from the Dickens Room.

In the Laing Gallery I drew some measuring vessels. Quart, pint, half-pint. The pots are painted with dark green and brown paint, very highly glazed. A black line and blue stripe at the top.

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From the Laing Gallery “Northern Spirit” collection, 2pm 30th Sept 2017
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