The North Garden, Charterhouse


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A sketch in the North Garden of The Charterhouse.

This wall is very old. The letters “A” and “N” in the drawing are iron, embedded in the brickwork. The whole message is spelled out along the 100 feet or so of the wall and reads “ANNO 1571”.

The door is more like a tunnel in the thick brickwork. It has a grass path leading to it and looks functional. Nobody went in or out while I was drawing it.
I loved this part of the garden. It was very quiet, and, for winter, amazingly lush. There was even birdsong.
It was, however, very cold. So I only could do one drawing. My hands and legs were becoming stiff. Behind me, another painting waited to be done: bright orange seedpods of the plant I know as “Chinese Lanterns”, and a very dignified old tree, gnarled but upright.
But I had to get back into the warm.

As I drew this, the gardener passed and re-passed, going down into a basement nearby. He said I wasn’t in their way. “You’re alright,” he said.

About 1hr45, to 11:10am. Drawn and coloured on location.

Here is the pen and ink, before the watercolour went on.

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Thank you to the Preacher of Charterhouse, Rev Robin Isherwood, and the Brothers and workers at Charterhouse for their hospitality.
It’s a marvellous pleasure to visit.

Stormy Seas, Raft

“Found image”, after wiping an etching plate.
I’m pleased at how the shape of this plate is articulate of a horizontal rectangle, even with no other clues. The black ink round the plate looks to me like the sea. But perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.

Braithwaite House from Fortune Park

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Braithwaite House caught the sun at 3:30pm and I quickly drew it, then finished the drawing as everything got dark. About 1 hour, drawn and coloured on location.

On the path people were walking, often with children from the nearby school. “What is that lady doing?” asked a clear carrying voice. The adult answer was inaudible. “Yes but what is she drawing?” persisted the voice. That child will go far. This time I heard the adult answer, “I don’t know”.

Braithwaite House is on Bunhill Row, originally council flats built around 1963, now many are privately owned and advertised on Rightmove etc.

The tree on the left was crudely cut earlier this year. It’s good to see that twigs are growing from the amputated ends of the branches.

“Fortune Street and this small park are named after the Fortune Theatre, which was built for Edward Alleyn and Philip Henslowe in 1600 on Golden Lane, off which Fortune Street runs. The area was bombed during WWII and the site was laid out as Fortune Street Park in the early 1960s. In 2002 refurbishment works were undertaken, which included landscaping, provision of additional seating and re-siting of play equipment”
according to London Gardens Online.

South End Green, Hampstead

Quick sketch drawn sitting on a chair outside the “Garden Gate” pub.
I was on the way back from a New Year’s Day swim at the Ladies’ Pond.

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It started to rain, very heavily. I tried to keep the book both open and dry, and rushed to a bus shelter. There was a woman calmly reading a book in front of the map. So I had to stare past her to see what buses were available. She grinned and moved aside. I said “I’m looking to see what buses there are.”
An old man said, “There a number 46 coming, if that’s any good to you,” and he rushed for it. I just had time to notice it said “St Bartholomew’s Hospital”. But it went past, and the old man came back, muttering that it hadn’t stopped.

We all got on the next bus, which was a 24 to Pimlico. We went past other buildings worthy of drawing, including St Dominic’s Priory, Southampton Road. I got off at Warren Street, and walked in the pouring rain to Euston Square for the Circle Line.

In the picture is the Royal Free Hospital, NHS Trust. Construction: 1968 – 1974. Architect: Llewllyn-Davies, Weeks, Forestier-Walker and Bar.
On the right are two Heatherwick buses.

About half an hour to sketch, coloured at home.

Chapel, Woodvale, Brighton

I was in Woodvale Crematorium, Brighton for a funeral service for my aunt Jean. Of course I arrived hugely early. Woodvale Crematorium has large leafy grounds, with hills. I did this drawing standing on a grassy slope. The chapel was in brilliant sun.

Aunt Jean was Jeanette Elsie, I discovered from the announcement. I didn’t know that. She was born in 1924, and lived through the war years in Slough, working in a munitions factory and gardening allotments. That’s where she met Eric, my uncle and the only businessperson in my family until me. Everyone else was medics, or teachers or academics.

I thought about her and Eric as I drew this picture. I had to finish it rather hurriedly as I heard bagpipes, which was the previous ceremony finishing. Then I went cautiously down the wet slippery paths.

About half an hour, drawn and coloured on location. Bright sun, 6 degrees C.

Linale House N1

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A notice on the brick building to the right says:

“Linale House, the first block of flats to be erected on the Wenlock Barn Estate was opened by his worship the Mayor of Shoreditch Alderman RG Linale JP on the 10th September 1949. Chairman of the housing Committee Coun. J Samuels, Vice Chairman Coun. RJ Tallentire LCC.”

A more recent wooden notice says it’s managed by

“Hackney Homes in partnership with Hackney Council”.

Even more recently, Twitter says on April 1st 2016

Pinned Tweet

Hackney Homes ‏@HackneyHomes Apr 1
As of today, Hackney Homes does not exist as a separate organisation. Please contact @hackneycouncil if you have any housing queries

On the left, Holy Trinity Hoxton, 3 Bletchley Street, N1. “A Church of England Church” @HTHoxton.

Drawn and coloured on Murray Grove, with the book on a convenient gatepost. About one hour.
Before this, I had a cup of tea in the Wenlock Café, 90p.