I visited the Hôtel de France, Sainte-Croix in Vaud, Switzerland. Here is the hotel, from the street outside, just after I arrived.
I had to wait in Geneva train station, for the train which goes to Yverdon-les-Bains. The sun came through the windows and people walked through the lighted space.
The Hôtel de France is known for its absinthe.
I sketched the absinthe table. The bottles look like a group of people waiting for something to happen. Like people, the bottles have common basic characteristics, but each has their individual variations.
Glasses, too, have their characters.
I walked down the ancient salt road to the village of Vuitebœuf. Here is the Église de Vuitebœuf from the rue du Culaz, which I afterwards found out is also on the ‘Via Francigena’ pilgrims’ route Canterbury to Rome (1900km).
This church was constructed in 1904 to the design of Charles-François Bonjour.
I travelled back to London late Sunday night, on a crowded ‘plane from Geneva.
From gate B42
Boarding the aircraft
Here are links to previous drawings in Sainte-Croix.
Here is a view of the lighthouse at Southwold. While I was drawing it, standing on the path by the sea, a woman came up and told me I was very gifted. I said thank you. Her husband said he’d told her to say that, because she’d seen me on the way down, and not said anything. He said she should express her feelings.
He had a pit bull dog. Because his mother was pure Romany. I was not sure of the connection. He said this was Kensington-and-Chelsea-on-Sea. He said that people here told him “you don’t have a London accent”. That’s because he’s not from Kensington and Chelsea, but from a different part of London.
This is the picture:
Here’s a drawing from Southwold pier:
This is a sketch from a bird hide in Minsmere. The two ducks on the right are Shovellers.
This is the sunset at Walberswick:
It was misty. I drew the Church, St Andrews. There is a ruined part, from 1493, on the right. And a more modern 18th Century part on the left.
I drew the view up the river. Here it is in the mist.
Here it is in the dark.
We went home by train. I sketched the people waiting.
I continue to work on my “Towers Project”. The idea is to document the towers of Finsbury, Islington and Camden, or at least the ones I can see from my window.
I did a “Skyline” previously which you can see on this link.
Here are two smaller etchings, Towers East and Towers West, both 10.5cm by 15cm. I finished Towers West yesterday.
These two together form a panorama. I used Towers East in a Chine Collé course. See this link.
The two prominent towers at the front are part of a Peabody Estate, the “Roscoe Estate” on Roscoe Street. The one on the left is “Peabody Tower” and the one on the right is “St Mary’s Tower”. The low house at the very front on the left is Fortune House, on Fortune Street. I have drawn Peabody Tower in an urban sketch, see this link.
These etchings are aquatint on copper. Here is work in progress on “Towers West”.
Drawing “Towers West” on hard ground using an etching spike.
“Towers West” print: hard ground etching
I drew the picture in hard ground using an etching spike, then etched it in acid called “Edinburgh Etch” for 20minutes. The resulting print is shown above on the right.
Then I put resin dust, called Aquatint, on the plate, and set it with a gas burner. I paint varnish on top of the Aquatint, to make the shapes, then dip in acid, then paint more, then dip. Towers West is 6 dips. The sky is a technique called “spit bite”: I just paint the acid on, wait 20 seconds, and wash it off.
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.
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.
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.
Then, in a lock, I drew a quick picture of “Iris” who followed us in. This was much more successful.
We reached Scheveningen.
There was a long wait in the morning, while the storm of the previous night departed.
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.
The red tiled roofs are a characteristic of the area. The low roof of the Old Forge is rickety. Mme Sauté cultivates tomatoes in the plastic greenhouse on the left.
Here is Steve’s house. His Audi is parked conspicuously, because he is expecting a visitor, and he told them to look out for the car.
See all the overhead cables. There is a plan to put all these underground: both the electricity and the telephone cables.
On the Sunday I set out to draw a picture of the Old Forge from another angle. An elderly man trundled his walking frame all across the grass to come and talk to me. He described how Steve’s house had previously been the grocer, café and ballroom. There were dances there. The man had a long career. He was the son of the gardener in the château. He had installed electricity in the local town, Limoges. There was a whole narrative about the maquis, which word I couldn’t understand in context. I knew it was a description of the land in the South of France: the dried out grass and low bushes. Then, as he was talking, I remembered it was also the word for a fighting force. He had fought all the way up to La Rochelle. This was Resistance fighters in the Second World War.
I had managed only the pencil outline of my picture.
I finished it on the Monday. By then it was raining.