88 Golden Lane

Today was a glorious sunny day. I walked out into the sun and everywhere was worthy of a sketch.

Here is 88 Golden Lane, a strange thin building. It is an architects’ practice: Blair Architecture.

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I sketched this standing on the side of the road in the sun, then retreated to sit on my case by a nearby wall to add the colour.

It must have looked as though I was sitting on the pavement. An elderly woman, pushing a shopping basket on wheels, stopped and asked me if I was alright. I said I was, and explained that I was drawing a picture. “Oh,” she said, “because I was going to say that if you needed a sit down, there a bench just around the corner here.”

I gestured to the building I was drawing. “Ah yes, you wouldn’t be able to see that if you went round the corner.” She told me she had wanted to be an artist. She always got the art prize at school. But then the schools closed. “We were blocked,” she said. I didn’t know what she meant. “I’m old,” she said, smiling at my blank expression, “the war.”

Because the school closed, she left at 14. “I wanted to go to the art school, St Martins, but that was closed because of the war.” So, she said she’d be a typist. Then the firm she worked for closed down because of the war. “So I went on War Work,” she declared. “Oh, I’ve had a good life. I’m 93. Although people say I don’t look it.” She certainly didn’t look it.

I suggested she take up art now.

“I can’t,” she said, “it’s the hands.” She held up her arms. Her hands were balls, in gloves. “Arthritis,” she said. “But I’m alright. I was ill. And I recovered. So now I think, well, I’ve got a new life. Get on with it.”

She waved her balled hands cheerfully and pushed her trolley on. She turned round. “I hope to see you again,” she said.

 

 

5 thoughts on “88 Golden Lane”

    1. Thank you Michael! I appreciate the encouragement. Drawing in the street seems to enable people to chat. Theres something reverent about it, I think, which draws people in. I liked talking with the elderly woman. She gladdened my day. I’m delighted that she gladdened yours also.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad. Thank you for the comment Art-Chap-Enjoin. Yes it does. And isn’t it interesting how people seem to welcome a sketcher onto their estate or park. You can stand there staring at their block, drawing, and they’ll invite you in for a cup of tea, whereas if you had pointed a camera at their windows they would probably take offence. Sketching is a gentle, slow, respectful way to observe. And people seem to appreciate that.

      Liked by 1 person

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