Lincoln Cathedral

Here is a sketch of Lincoln Cathedral tower, drawn from the cloisters.

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Lincoln Cathedral was originally built in 1072, as part of William the Conqueror’s programme of cathedral-building in England after his 1066 invasion.

It was partly destroyed in an earthquake in 1185. It might be more accurate to say that parts of the cathedral fell down at the time of the earthquake. The cathedral had construction faults, and the earthquake may well have triggered a collapse that was in any case imminent. The earthquake was something like 4 or 5 on the Richter scale. It’s interesting to note that such (natural) earthquakes are quite common in the UK and seem to happen every two years or so.

Then it was rebuilt in the current ornate style in around 1200.

We went on a tour. Here are some of my very quick sketches as our guide, Paul, took us around the cathedral.

After the tour I went to the cloisters and finished my picture of the tower. Here is work in progress.

We went to Lincoln by train. It was pouring with rain but we still enjoyed the cathedral. We shall go back when we can see the sun pouring through the stained glass windows.

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See also my post on Durham Cathedral.

 

St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen

St Machar’s is in Old Aberdeen, North of the University.

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I went to look for a medieval carving, a “Green Man”. According to my instructions it was in the “North East Crossing” on the “west side”. I had a good look around. This is a very plain church, solid granite columns, no carving. I could see no “North East Crossing”. The church is rectangular, not cross-shaped like most churches. The enthusiastic guardians welcomed me, and told me about the church. It is very ancient, and many different peoples have worshipped there, including the Celts, whose 7th century stone cross stands at the west end.

After I had listened and chatted, I showed them my instructions: “North East Crossing, west side”. Ah, they said, but there is no longer any “North East Crossing”, it’s been demolished, for centuries, since the Reformation.

I felt a shiver as though someone was telling me a ghost story. My instructions came from a printed book, much later than the Reformation, clearly. But the guardian was still talking. “You can see the ruins,” she was telling me, “Outside”.

Outside it was raining, a heavy wet Aberdeen rain. I stomped about in wet grass, between gravestones. I was looking up, which made me more wet. And there he was, the Green Man, staring down. I risked taking my iPhone out of my pocket for an instant, to get a photo.

I couldn’t draw outside, so I went back inside. The picture I drew shows the position of the Green Man, but the inside wall. He is on the outside.

9th August 2019, St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen, now Church of Scotland, formerly Celtic, Roman Catholic, Episcopal.

Durham Cathedral

Here is Durham Cathedral, drawn from the shelter of the cloisters.

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It was raining, on and off, in between periods of bright sunshine. This took about 1½ hours, in the Jackson’s watercolour sketchbook.

Durham Cathedral was built in 1093AD, and is a shrine to St Cuthbert. The extraordinary stonework is all original. Even more impressive is the roof.  There is a stone roof which is up there and has been up there for nearly 1000 years. The engineering! The artistry! The courage! The organisation!

The place is active. Evensong is sung. Flowers are arranged. The shrine is venerated. Around the simple tomb of St Cuthbert, people sit, in awe, at the age of the place, at the stillness, at the soaring architecture, at the thought of the simple monk whose remains lie here.

I too sat on the polished wood seat. Flowers stems were scattered on the floor, a pick-a-stick of blossoming stalks, in the process of being placed into the vase, one by one, by a careful woman. The snapped flower stems smelt of woodland. Or perhaps that was the furniture polish.  A loudspeaker announced….something, the sound echoing and incomprehensible. And because it’s Durham, suddenly I was in conversation with the woman arranging the flowers. The modern stained glass window, just visible from the shrine, is in memory of a student. It looks towards the university, which is to the North. Even though it’s North facing, the glass gleams.

Here is work in progress on the outdoor picture:

Here’s where I was:

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The indoor pictures are in my new “Traveler’s Company” watercolour sketchbook.

The Durham University website has an article on the window dedicated to Sara Pilkington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Albans Cathedral

Helen went off to take a conference call, and I drew the Cathedral.

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This was a quick sketch, pen and wash, about 40 minutes.

While I drew this, a brass band was practising in the nearby boys’ school. They were playing “Annie Laurie”.

This cathedral is impressively enormous. The Tower is Norman: built 1077 – 1093. The nave is hugely long, but inside it is divided by screens, so you can’t see all the way along, which is what I wanted to do.

St Paul’s from Old Fish Street Hill EC4

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I was keen to draw this view of St Paul’s before it vanished behind the new building on 2-4 Cannon Street.

“PLP’s scheme, for global property firm Pembroke Real Estate, will replace a 1959 modernist office building by Theo Birks called Scandinavian House. The north facade, facing the cathedral, is the most orthogonally formal, with red sandstone cladding and a 3m window grid with anodised aluminium frames.
The south-western elevation tapers to create a public garden which will provide a new home for Michael Ayrton’s sculpture of Icarus.”
From Building Design Online  22 September 2014 | By Elizabeth Hopkirk

While I was drawing this, the traffic marshall of the building site came by, looked up at St Paul’s, and remarked that it was a “fine building”.

img_9519It was extremely cold, about 2degreesC, and I was wrapped up in my Loden coat and furry boots. You’ll notice I invented a new watercolour technique. It’s called “greasy fingers marbling effect”. See the extreme right of the picture. Before I went out, I put a LOT of hand cream on my hands, because this cold weather makes my skin crack. But then after I had been gripping the sketchbook, I found the paint didn’t stick. But it’s quite a good effect, I think.

I managed to complete the pen and ink drawing, and do most of the watercolour before the cold got to me. Then I retreated to the warmth of the Wren café in St Nicholas Cole Abbey Church.

There I met Amy Marsh @harshmissmarsh who posted my work-in-progress on her Instagram. In the café I painted the red cranes.

Coffee and a small and delicious Marmalade Cake, £6. They were just bringing out some delicious-looking lunchtime food. But I had places to go and work to do, so I exerted willpower and moved on.