Saturday, 25 June 2011

Kew Gardens: 24 June 2011

I find it's always a mistake to have a preconceived idea about what you intend to draw and I fell into this trap yesterday.

I had planned to do an elaborate drawing inside the Palm House at Kew but they keep the temperature so hot in there, since it is full of tropical plants, I almost felt my life force drain out of me. It was fascinating exploring the place but I couldn't spend too long in there.

So I had to abandon that idea and mulled over what to do while sitting on a memorial bench outside this giant green house. I was surrounded by other limp looking visitors who seemed to be in need of recuperation as well as me which may explain why there are so many benches outside the Palm House.

So while sitting there I could see in the distance on top of a grassy hillock this temple which looked intriguing. So I wandered over to it via the Waterlilly House where a nice, elderly gent took some time to explain in clear detail the sex lives of waterlillies to us (which were in bloom and looking lovely). There are a few temples dotted around Kew Gardens and this one is called the Temple of Aeolus who was a mythical king of storms and winds.

When I got to a convenient position and began drawing away I was amused by a bunch of young school children who were behaving like the famous five and chasing up and down to the temple playing some game where they were rescuing people from slavery. I managed to draw part of one of these children but it may be difficult to spot.

The Railway Pub, Kew Gardens: 24 June 2011

I've reached Kew Gardens now and only have one more station left to visit which will mark the end of my journey. I'm pleased that I'm still enjoying the train ride and recalling the images I've drawn as we pass through each station.

I was very much looking forward to revisiting Kew Gardens. I finally arrived at the station around lunch time so decided to kill two birds with one stone by having lunch in the Railway Pub. When you look at the building from the outside it appears to have been built at the same time as the railway ticket office but I can't imagine what it was used for.

From where I was sitting I could see the station platform to my left with the trains arriving and departing and to my right the busy little cul de sac outside the station with its fancy restaurants, health food shop, book shop, banks and expensive children's clothes shop. I chose a complicated scene to draw and wasn't sure where to start, or to finish, for that matter. The tennis from Wimbledon was showing on the TV in the pub and the commentary was loud enough to be a welcome diversion from my internal dialogue that was grumbling away while I laboured on the drawing. I eventually decided to call it quits around 2.20pm since I also wanted to get into Kew Gardens and do a drawing there too. On reflection I quite like its unfinished look.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Chiswick roundabout: 10 June 2011

I turned left out of Gunnersbury station and found myself on Chiswick High Road. My only associations with Chiswick is remembering visiting my brother when he lived in a very cold, shared house in the area back in the '70s so this is uncharted territory for me.

I wandered along the road until I reached the Chiswick roundaboat and flyover. Now this I did recognise and decided to record the view because like it or not it is a famous west London landmark. It was tricky to work out how to portray noisy moving traffic that wasn't still long enough to draw. I decided to suggest it with the movement of the lines and one or two vehicles. I also observed that the trees and shrubs growing on the roundabout are really beautiful and that's not something you'd notice when you are just racing round it in a car.

Gunnersbury: 10 June 2011

The view when I got off the train was fairly dispiriting. It was raining as well so I sheltered in the waiting room and drew this view leaving out the window frame. I did wonder if I should have stayed at home. However I persevered for a bit and found I'd become quite fascinated by this view of damaged concrete that is supporting a road or car park or whatever it is.

When I decided that enough was enough I spotted a young man watching me work. We got into conversation and he came and sat next to me. He asked if he could look at the sketch book and as he flicked through the pages asked me for some tips for improving his own freehand drawing. So I gave him an impromptu lesson and he seemed quite pleased. I hope he goes for it and has the courage to persevere with his own drawing.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Just outside South Acton station: 3 June 2011

And then I turned left out of the station and was met with this view straight out of suburbia. There was so much greenery growing around this house I wondered if they got any natural daylight at all.

South Acton: 3 June 2011

This was my second drawing of a bridge in one day (a record for me). South Acton was not as picturesque as Acton Central but I found this view intriguing none-the-less.

Acton Park: 3 June 2011

This is Acton Park which is just outside Acton Central station. There was a fun fair behind this pavilion and I enjoyed listening to the fun while I made this drawing. I used pen and ink for this sketch and managed to get ink all over me.

Acton Central: 3 June 2011

This was the warmest day of the year so far and that made me feel as though I was on holiday.

Acton Central seems to be very green and leafy and delightfully old fashioned. It was like taking a step back in time.