Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leadenhall Market

The next exhibition of the Drawing London Group will be at the Brokers Wine Bar in Leadenhall Market opening the end of March 2010.

I visited it last week to check out the venue last week prior to collecting my pictures from our exhibition at the Barbican. It's on the first floor with lots of windows overlooking the market buildings and is the sort of place where people meet up all day long!

A view of Leadenhall Market
pen and sepia ink in a Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Leadenhall Market itself is a splendid example of traditional market archtecture with enormous pillars, a wrought iron and glass roof and enormous lights hanging down from the roof. It used to be a food market but sadly has experienced a "Covent Garden" makeover and is now full of restaurants, pubs and wine bars for brokers and expensive dress shops for the female of the species!

I've been meaning to sketch in Leadenhall Market for years - without managing to do so. I'm really sad I didn't do so while it was still a proper market. However since it occurs to me that sketches of the City and Leadenhall Market might be appropriate for this exhibition - and since the market is under cover I'm thinking I might go back and do some more sketching this next month prior to the exhibition. After all the architecture is very splendid and there's an awful lot of people around to bring some life to a drawing!

You can see my first effort above right - the colours aren't right as I was working with my minimalist set of colours. However it's given me an idea for one view for a drawing.

Below you can find out a bit more about the market.

Leadenhall Market

The Romans built Londinium on the north bank of the Thames - just north of London Bridge. In about 140AD, the city is thought to have been home to about 45,000- 60,000 people. The site of Leadenhall Market used to be where the basilica and forum were. Apparently the forum was bigger than Trafalgar Square and is reputed to be the biggest Roman forum north of the Alps.
In the middle of the Roman town, the Forum was the largest marketplace building north of the Alps, measuring an almost perfect square 168 x 167 m. Two main building phases have been distinguished. The early forum, built after the time of the rebellion of Boudicca, had an open courtyard and several shops around it. The identification of this building as a forum has been disputed, and it has been argued that these were merely large warehouses. At the beginning of the second century the complex was significantly enlarged. The forum still had an open courtyard with shops around, but also a large Basilica. The forum was in use till around AD 300
Wikipedia - Roman London
The name of Leadenhall comes from a mansion which used to stand nearby.

The interior of Leadenhall Market in London
from the Illustrated London News, 1881.

This is what the City of London website has to say about Leadenhall Market - Dick Whittington was given the first leasehold on the Manor of Leadenhall! In Victorian times it had the reputation of being the best poutry market in London.

A meat and fish market occupied a series of courts behind the grand lead-roofed mansion of Leadenhall on Leadenhall street in the 14th century. It was an established meeting place of the Poulterers as early as 1321, whilst the Cheesemongers from the countryside were bound in 1397 to take their produce into the market of Leadenhall.

In 1408 the occupational leasehold title of the Manor of Leadenhall was assigned to Richard Whittington (the Lord Mayor of the time) and citizens of London, and the freehold was conveyed in 1411 to the City of London. The market continued to be used for the sale of fish, meat, poultry and corn, although in 1666 portions of the market were destroyed by the Great Fire. In 1881 the City's architect, Horace Jones, designed the present wrought iron and glass-roofed buildings.

Corporation of London - Leadenhall Market

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sketching the past: Salle la Sources

I've been a tad perplexed by the weather this winter which has meant fewer trips out and much less sketching than I'd hoped to do.

However I've just had a revelation. I've got very many sketches in lots of sketchbooks which have never appeared in this blog - because they predate it.

So from now on, I am going to post sketches of places I've visited in the past from time to time.

This first one is of an old building in Salle la Source on the edge of the Causse de Comtal in the Aveyron department of France

Salles la Source
(19th July 1994)
8" x 11", pen and sepia ink
in black Daler Rowney Sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I was staying in Cougousse at the time on a country house painting holiday with Stan Woolston. Salles la Source was a quick trip down to road towards Rodez.

This particular sketch was a bit of an exercise in trying to represent the different textures of this old building and the values in a way which did not confuse the two. I think it's worked reasonably well. I know I love those tiled roofs in that part of the world!

On the opposite page I've also got all the annotations I made at the time of the colours of the buildings and foliage. I might scan this and have a go at producing a coloured version.

Note how I know precisely when I was there - because I almost always date my sketches!

I very much enjoyed visiting the Aveyron - it's a very untouristy part of France. Or maybe I mean it tends to attract French tourists rather than people from other countries? At any rate it's very peaceful.

Links to sites about the Aveyron:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cold weather and small quick sketches

When the weather gets cold I do much less sketching outside. Mainly as a risk management strategy for the problem I have with tearing ligaments and muscles my feet. If I stay too still and get too cold, muscles contract and seize up which then means balance is difficult and can make walking very risky for me if the surface is not dry and safe.

One possible answer is a smaller sketchbook - one that fits in the pocket of my very robust anorak - and quicker sketching!

Lake People #5
5.5" x 7", pencil in small Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I find it works well for my sketches of people having a cup of tea or bite to eat at the Pavilion Cafe in Victoria Park (when I'm sat inside the Cafe looking out). The one above was done just after the snow fell just before Christmas when I discovered that the walk along the canal is very risky in poor weather conditions (ie slush and ice). I concluded that it is only safe for me to go out when the snow is dry and powdery - and this wasn't! The only bit I enjoyed on that walk was tramping across the snow on the grass in Victoria Park which was still dry.

The small sketchbook works less well at present for my sketches of the Ecology Park Pond. Maybe because I'm still wanting to do larger sketches and the time I allot for a sketch while sat outside in the cold is minimal?

Willows around Willow Pond
5.5" x 7", pencil in small Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I need to keep reminding myself that Turner and Constable both made an awful lot of sketches in very small sketchbooks. I think I'm going to have to study them to identify their techniques for sketching small landscapes.

You can see all of Turner's 300+ sketchbook here on the Turner part of the Tate Gallery website - Tate Collection | Turner Collection | Sketchbooks

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