Another collage postcard. I posted this one in London 18th May.
It looks a bit crinkled because the cardboard was damp with PVA glue, and then dried. The white shape on the bottom right is a flake of white paint I found on the ground. It must have been polyurethane paint, because it was flexible and easy to cut. I left the edge ragged, as found. Top left is a map of Crete from the packet of olives. The fence is made of palm leaf. The leaves didn’t want to go flat.
Here is work in progress.
Those chimneys are hard to draw. They are not simple rectangles, but a complicated geometric shape, a square put at an angle to another square, difficult to see in the light and shadow.
The crest of the roof is not straight. It goes downwards at quite an alarming angle, as drawn. The windows are not in a straight line with each other, which makes me wonder exactly where the floor is, inside.
I drew this from under the shade of the new building, the “Admiral Ashmore Building”. While I was drawing, the gardeners were making the window boxes, and crushed the geranium leaves. The place smelt of geranium, and earth and water.
I like it that you can see the Barbican towers beyond. I made this observation to a Brother who paused to chat. He told me that these brutalist towers are not popular with certain of the Brothers. They have identified a place in the garden where you can sit, so that the towers are obscured by a tree.
About 2 hours (those chimneys!!), drawn and coloured on location.
Here is what it looked like before the colour went on:
Corner of Galway St and Bath Street, EC1. Willen House is on the right, then in the background is Galway House in the Pleydell Estate. The LSO St Luke’s monument is just visible.
An old man said, “Ah. You are drawing. All little houses, there used to be. I’ve lived here all my life. You know what that [Willen House] used to be? The Income Tax. That primary school? Used to be a pub. Round the corner here, we got bombed out during the war. I’m giving away my age now! And that place – down there – Argos? – you look across the road and what do you see? A bus stop. And that building behind it? Used to be a school. I went there. The man there, conducted during the Cup Final. “Abide With Me”. All dressed in white he was.”
Mostly I did this drawing standing up, leaning on the wall of the “Institute of Ophthalmology, 11-43 Bath Street”. While I was doing the colouring I had to sit down. Two women approached. “You’re drawing,” she told me. Then, “I’m a Community Police Officer”. One of them showed me her badge, in a little case: a metal low-relief sculpture on a blue cloth background. They both admired my drawing, and looked at the view. I said “It’s OK to sit here?” She said, “Oh yes. It’s just, you’ve got your things all round you. Want to be careful you don’t get them swiped. You aren’t in a position to run after them.”. Which was a good point. I moved my bag until I was leaning on it, squeezing it onto the wall behind me.
Willen House is now Student residence, and also home of NTS Fashion Ltd, on the ground floor. I could see their racks of clothes through the window.
About an hour, drawn and coloured on location. The car moved.
Here is a collage made for friends in Switzerland.
I posted it at the Post Office in Kalami on 8th May. The official there did not seem to be concentrating very hard. He looked dubiously at the word “Switzerland” on the address. I think I need to find out what “Switzerland” is in Greek.
The card is made from seeds and bits found on the walk.
Here is the construction in progress. Clothes pegs are an important tool.
At the gate at Chania airport, we eat cheese pies, and I do sketches of the other people.
We visited the monastery again, before going to the airport. Two large coaches were in the car park.
As I drew the chapel, fragments of dialogue in French and German floated by. A French-speaker was relieved at last to have a call from Yves. He described in detail where the car was, naming the Greek village. He must insist it be ready by Thursday.
A woman with a German American accent told me my drawing was beautiful. I told her I was glad she liked it.
By and large people were respectful and did not stand in front of me while I sketched. But, according to John, a guy with a big heavy camera photographed the drawing, over my shoulder, without my knowing.
After an hour and a half John came to alert me that we should leave in 5 minutes.
Pen and ink. 1 hour 40.
Here’s what it looked like before adding the tones:
A warm evening, an experiment in watercolour-only – no pen and ink!
Eventually the night came, and the light faded.
About 30 mins, watercolour only.