Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Earn lots of money or get lots of grief?

Very lazy people should take some time out to note that every time you take my short feed - including the bit which says 'copyright Katherine Tyrrell' and decorate it every which way with Google AdSense adverts on a spam blog you are reported to Google AdSense for abusing my copyright which infringes your agreement with Google. If you took the time to read rather than steal my blog posts then you'd note that my detailed copyright notice says that all spam bloggers will be reported. Keep at it and I'll also start writing to your domain host and domain name registrar.

Next could Google AdSense please note that every time I have to go through this exercise I also notify some of the people who are using Google AdSense adverts - which are being used for fraudulent purposes.

I'm being defrauded, the advertisers are being defrauded and Google AdSense, the website hosts and the domain name registrars get a lot of e-mail and reports of abuses.

And for all the normal readers of this blog.........I'm now waiting to see whether this particular posts starts to decorate the particular spam blog which is currently systematically ripping off all this blog's posts - and which has been repeatedly reported to Google AdSense who seem to be 'treating' the problem on a post by post basis at the moment as opposed to withdrawing all Google AdSense adverts from what it is a very blatent spam blog. Shame on you Google!

I am also alerting people to any theft I see of their posts - as I did yesterday. If it happens to you do let me know and I'll tell you what to do and also tell you how to find out if it is happening to you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Drawing, tea and DVDs at the National Portrait Gallery

Tea at the National Portrait Gallery
11" x 8" pen and ink and coloured pencil in Daler Rowney sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This is a shorter version of a post which was first seen on Making A Mark on 13th January 2007.

On Thursday afternoon I went back to the National Portrait Gallery for another look at the David Hockney Portraits exhibition which closes on 21st January. I arrived just after 1.30pm and left about 7.00pm (Thursdays and Fridays being late night opening). This must have been one of the most successful exhibitions that the NPG has ever had as it was busy all afternoon and was packed again after 5.00pm.

Drawing the work of other artists is a very well established tradition - and I'd love to show you what I did but I don't think I can as Mr Hockney is very much alive rather than dead for more than 70 years so copyright restrictions apply. I can justify 'fair use' for educational purposes - and I've now got a much better understanding of how he draws. None of my drawings are for commercial use and I'd show you all my sketchbooks if you were sat next to me - but on the internet I'm not so sure........... Anyway, I've written to the authorised website - so we shall see.

Instead you can see my sketch done in dim light sat in the Portrait Restaurant having a "Portrait Tea". My position gave me a good view of the roof of the National Gallery, Nelson's column (Nelson was just out of view) in Trafalfgar Square and the car lights and rain-soaked ground in Whitehall with Big Ben and the House of Parliament and the tower of Westminster Abbey visible in the background. I'm minded to try and draw this view as the seasons change and at different times of day as I find it endlessly fascinating.

(Note: I now have a conundrem as to whether the view looks better with or without people - see Sunday's post. I rather like the idea of the people 'weighting' the base and providing a counterbalance to all the geometric shapes. The values and colours in this one now look a bit 'off' to me having drawn it again. Maybe third time lucky? )

David Hockney Fifteen Sketchbooks 2002-2003

For those people who are Hockneyphiles (you know who you are!), I can confirm that the people providing support to the Hockney Pictures (which is the authorised website) are accepting orders for the DVD of "David Hockney Fifteen Sketchbooks 2002-2003". Use the contact form identified here to ask for a copy. Hockneyphiles in the USA have now managed to get a copy of the DVD through this route. (For an update on this and details of how to buy the DVD at the Hockney Pictures store see the original post.)

I've added a link to the shop below plus links to other posts about the Hockney exhibitions.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Interior landscapes with food - a Sketchbook

Lots of my sketches on my travels end up being done in restaurants, cafes and tea rooms. One day I may do a book.........

In the meantime, this summary post:

  • lists all the sketches by title, with their locations. I've organised it geographically in case anybody else fancies having a go at sketching the same view.
  • links to the locations in the title of the place

I'm also planning to post more of my sketches in various restaurants and other eateries which have already appeared on my other blog - see 'Making A Mark' - Interiors. While most of the sketches are of interiors (hence the title), a few involve facilities where the eating and drinking frequently takes place on a terrace outside eg Kew Gardens. Some are purely are of my view while I was taking refreshments.

Also ...... a post about my tips for people wanting to sketch in restaurants and other eateries.

10 "Dos and Don'ts" for how to draw people while eating

An Orangery Afternoon Tea
Kew Gardens

London (from west to east)

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


Kensington Palace

Rex Whistler Restaurant 
Tate Britain, London

Tate Britain

Piccadilly - Royal Academy of Arts

St James Restaurant
Fortnum & Mason, London

Piccadilly - Fortnum and Masons

Mall Galleries

National Gallery

The National Cafe
National Gallery, London

National Portrait Gallery: Portrait Restaurant and Portrait Cafe

    Tate Modern

    "Fish! Restaurant, Borough Market
    Bankside, London


    City of London - Smithfield

    Northern England

    The Ferry Inn, Cookham
    Berkshire, England

    Southern England


    Menu du Terroir, La Grillade Gourmande, Épernay
    Auberge du Terroir
    Servon, Normandy



    Trattoria alla Madonna


    USA - California
    San Clemente, California

    USA - Arizona

    Cafe on Route 66
    Grants, New Mexico, USA

    USA- New Mexico

    USA Massachusetts

    Burdicks, Walpole,
    New Hampshire, USA

    USA - New Hampshire

    USA - Vermont

    USA - Maine

    In Good Company,
    Rockland, Maine

    More travel sketches 

    You can see more of my travels with a sketchbook on my website or by clicking the links to the summaries of blog posts for different areas in the right hand column. These are the links to my travels with a sketchbook in London; England; Venice and the USA.

    This post will be updated as new sketches are added to this blog.

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Westminster at night

    Study for Westminster Nocturne
    11.5" x 8", pencil in sketchbook
    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    This sketch of Westminster at night is done from the 'light refreshments' end of the Portrait Restaurant which sits at the top of the Ondaatje wing of the National Portrait Gallery.

    Last Friday evening, after visiting the ING Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries I decided to avoid doing battle with the evening rush hour and instead walked across Trafalgar Square to the National Portrait Gallery and had a quick look round the bookshop before ascending to the Portrait Restaurant.

    Before I got started on my other drawing, I did a very quick drawing on my bowl of olives and my drink (plus spot the pencil box at the back!).

    Rock Shandy and Olives
    11" x 8", pencil and coloured pencil in sketchbook

    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    My drink is called a "Rock Shandy" which means it contains lemonade, soda, bitters and 'London Sunset' - Pineapple, pink grapefruit and pomegranate juice.

    I'm convinced I'm going to do a more developed piece of the view from this restaurant and this is the second time I've sketched it at night. I'm practising as it'll be impossible to take photographs and get any decent information due to glass glare and just general problems of photography at night.

    From my table next to the window, I'm looking over the roof and roof lights of the National Gallery, across Trafalgar Square, past Nelson's Column, to the heart of British government - down Whitehall and Parliament Street to Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, which houses the two houses of the United Kingdom Parliament.

    You can see a sketch map of it on the right and this is a map of the area on Google Maps. The arrow is where I'm sitting and the direction of the arrow indicates the direction I'm looking.

    I haven't included the colours of the various lights but am wondering whether you can make out the headlights and reare lights of the traffic at all?

    Overall I'm quite pleased with this mono study. It's really helping me to sort out how all the relative values work at night within the context of both natural and artificial lighting.


    Monday, November 05, 2007

    16th Worldwide Sketchcrawl - the result

    Prime Meridien - Study #1
    pencil and coloured pencil in Daler Rowney sketchbook

    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    Well! (You now know there's a story coming up....)

    I made up my mind late in the day that, for the 16th Worldwide Sketchcrawl, I would sketch the Prime Meridien at various points passing either side of the Thames. So I drove to Greenwich Park and got out of the car and then heard somebody saying to me "You've got a flat tyre".

    Just what I needed!

    So I had a little think (all the while having people stopping to advise me I'd got a flat tyre!!!) and decided that it looked like a slow puncture to me and that I could go and do at least one sketch while letting the tyre cool down. I would then try pumping it back up and driving home. If it pumped up I'd drive and if it didn't I'd call out Green Flag.

    Which is what I did - after first getting "he who must not bored while I sketch" on to standby mode to come and rescue me in case I ground to a bouncing halt anywhere scary like the approach road to the Blackwall Tunnel. Despite my breakdown cover, there's no way I'm staying on a road with speeding traffic any longer than I have to.

    As it happens, he wasn't required to don his armour for the dashing knight on a white charger routine and I got home again OK driving carefully at 30mph. Guess who's getting a slow puncture sorted today!

    However it did rather effectively kill the sketchcrawl. Although I still like the idea of sketching the Meridien and might try going out on another day and trying again.

    What you can see in the sketch at the top is the view from the top of the hill in Greenwich Park, I'm sat to the immediate right of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and am looking right down the line of the Meridien. This slices straight through the left edge of the Dome which used to be known as "The Dome" (constructed to celebrate the Millenium) and has now been redeveloped as "The O2 Arena" which is home to concerts and rock and pop stars - including the London concert for the comeback tour of the Spice Girls next month and the new Tutankhamum exhibition!

    The River Thames and the Isle of Dogs/Canary Wharf are to the left and the autumn trees on the slopes of the hil Greenwich Park fill the bottom half of the drawing.

    You can see more sketches of views in and around the River Thames in my London Sketchbook on my website.


    Friday, November 02, 2007

    Eating in the Gallery Cafe at Manchester Art Gallery

    Gallery Cafe, Manchester Art Gallery
    8" x 11", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils
    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    Yet another one for the interior landscapes and eating themes which run throughout my sketchbooks, blog and website!

    This is quite a quick one , done while eating a tuna salad baguette and a flapjack for lunch prior to visiting the exhibition - Art Treasures in Manchester - 150 years on. The cafe is very light and airy and is a very pleasant place to have lunch.

    The food and drink in the Cafe is excellent and they are Fair Trade oriented (of which I heartily approve). This is a little twist on the previous emphasis within Manchester on 'free trade' which resulted in the Free Trade Hall - sadly no longer the home of the Halle orchestra and concerts and rebuilt as a hotel!!!

    I also did a quick sketch while in the exhibition of a Landseer painting of a bloodhound and a terrier - 'Dignity and Impudence' - otherwise known as Grafton and Scratch to their owner who commissioned the painting. (Guess which was which!) You can see the 'real thing' at the exhibition, in my MAM blog post about it and thereafter at Tate Britain.

    Sketch of Landseer's 'Dignity and Impudence'
    pen and sepia ink

    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    The Cafe and Art gallery are situated on Mosley Street and are an extended hop,skip and a jump away from another famous Manchester landmark - the circular Central Library - which is on the other side of the St Peter's Square tram stop. I've spent long hours pouring over historical records for a dissertation in that library!

    The Gallery and the Library are both institutions run by Manchester City Council which has its own landmark building in Alfred Waterhouse's Manchester Town Hall which is Grade 1 Listed. One of Waterhouse's other major Gothic revival works is the Victoria and Albert Museum and the two buildings are rather similar.


    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    Early morning light in Cheshire

    Sunrise from Jan's Study
    8" x 11", pencil and coloured pencils in Daler Rowney sketchbook

    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    One of the tips I remember being given a very long time ago is "never neglect a chance to sketch in early morning or early evening light" as the light, colours and shapes can be a lot more interesting. So if I'm occupying a bed away from home I always look out the window very early to see what the view looks like and lots of sketches over the years have been done before breakfast!

    I was staying at the home of my cousin and her husband in Cheshire earlier this week and found the clocks going back on Sunday meant I was getting up earlier than usual. So I took some time to sketch the views in very early morning light from rooms which look out from the front and rear of the house over gardens and fields. I even managed a sunrise!

    Sketching a sunrise is a tricky business - the light changes really fast and I had to draw even faster than usual, plus use my memory of what colours had been there. The nature of the tonal range and contrasts and the speed with which these changed were a real challenge as well. As I think I've explained before, I usually get some colour down fast and try and indicate its area very loosely without trying to get a more 'finished' sketch. That way I can finish the sketch after the light effects have changed.

    I'd like to have a go at working the sunrise one up. I've just had a peek at my camera card and I've got a couple of photos which provide me with good information about the cloud formation but of course the camera has then made everything else completely black - such is the way in which cameras cope with areas of dark values when faced with intense light! I guess I'll work something out....

    The view from 'bedroom 5'
    8" x 11", pencil and coloured pencils in Daler Rowney sketchbook

    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    This next one is a favourite view of my cousin's and I've been on a promise to try and produce a drawing of this for some time. The combination of the sunshine and colours of the early morning clouds juxtaposed with the autumn colours of the beech hedge and silver birch in the garden plus the other hedges and trees in the fields creates an attractive vista. Again, this is potentially one for working up but I think I maybe need to experiment with a different crop or format for this one.

    Have you ever tried sketching a sunrise?