Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Audley End

We visited Audley End near Saffron Walden in Essex in early July.  It used to be the home of Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII in the mid 16th century

Tea garden at Audley End
11 x 16", pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I spent most of the time on a 'full on' sketch of the house which I haven't finished and which I'm not posting here as I'd like to try and finish it first.

Here instead are a quickie sketch (after the one that's not being shown) of the bridge in the garden and another of the tea garden with the house in the background (see top).

The bridge over the River pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The house is an amazing Jacobean Mansion on the site of a much bigger Tudor mansion. (More about the house) which in turn was located on the site of a Benedictine monastery.

Apart from the grandeur of the main house, it's a house to visit if you enjoy looking at the kitchen, laundry etc as it has a particularly good services wing (More about the Services Wing in the 1880s) and stable yard (More about the stable yard) which has been described as the the "grandest surviving stables of the early 17th century"

I particularly enjoyed the walk around the gardens and the visit to the walled kitchen garden.

Website: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/audley-end-house-and-gardens/
TwitterL https://twitter.com/EHaudleyend
Opening Times and Directions

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Veduta Sketch of London on a sunny day

We're having a novelty week this week - hot sunny weather, blue skies and very little cloud.  It makes a change.

It is of course all due to end on Friday in time for the Olympics Opening Ceremony!

In the meanwhile, here's the view over the rooftops of the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery last Sunday afternoon from the Portrait Restaurant on the Third Floor of the National Portrait Gallery.  I'd just attended a "Next Generation" session with teenagers and was in need of a cup of Earl Grey!

View from Portrait Restaurant 22 July 2012 3.30pm
pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
In this "veduta" sketch you can see - from the left:
Note:  A veduta is a view painting which were popularised by Canaletto and others.  I'm particularly partial to drawing views and vistas and hence I'm going to use "veduta sketch" to indicate a sketch of a complex view.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sketching the Olympic Park

It's less than week to the opening of the Olympics and I thought it was about time I sketched the view of the Olympic Park from the 3rd floor Gallery overlooking the Park in the John Lewis Store at Westfield Stratford.

The Olympic Park from the Third floor Gallery in John Lewis Westfield Stratford
(left to right: The Entrance to the Park; The Aquatics Centre, the Orbit and the Olympic Stadium)
pen and ink and coloured pencils in NPG Seawhite Sketchbook
Yes, that is a big black cloud up above and yes, I did get wet on the way home! What's new?

The skies are very difficult to draw this summer.  They're either incredibly grey and uninteresting or it's raining cats and dogs and you don't want to be out sketching!

I'm trying out a new sketchbook.  This one is slightly bigger than a Moleskine and the paper has more of a tooth although still smoother than most.  It's made for the National Portrait Gallery by Seawhite of Brighton and I think the paper is a heavyweight cartridge paper.  It looks very similar to this one.

It took pen and ink and coloured pencil fine - however I still prefer the Moleskine paper.  I think this one would be better for those wanting to use watercolour.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Art of Urban Sketching Exhibition - my contribution

Sketches of London by Katherine Tyrrell
for The Art of Urban Sketching Exhibition at Foyles Bookshop
16-22 July 2012
These are now on their way to the hang of the The Art of Urban Sketching Exhibition - which is happening today - starting at 11.30am!

This exhibition is being held this next week in The Gallery at Foyles, Third Floor, 113-119 Charing Cross Road. It is part of the Foyles Sketching the City Season and the Urban Sketchers London Events Programme relating to the launch of the new book about Urban Sketching by Gabi Campanario and the other Urban Sketchers.  See The Art of Urban Sketching - at Foyles in London for more details

From top left - going round clockwise - the sketches are of:
  • Syon Vista (Kew Gardens)
  • Syon Reach (River Thames between Syon House and Kew Gardens)
  • Bankside Shoreline (outside the Bankside Gallery - home of the RWS and RE - and next to Blackfriars Bridge)
  • View from the The Portrait Restaurant (at the top of the National Portrait Gallery - includes Nelson's Column and Big Ben)
  • Burlington House Courtyard - on a rainy day (view from the front of Burlington House - home of the Royal Academy of Arts)
I won't split up my sketchbooks for anybody!

So in order to contribute to the exhibition I scanned the sketches, saved them as a tif file, resized all of them to A4, printed them on to Somerset Enhanced Velvet paper, restated the coloured pencil, matted them in Daler Rowney Studland Mountboard in Antique White and framed them! My better half did the mirror plates!

The exhibition also includes work by the other correspondents for Urban Skethchers London and page spreads from the book.

More pics of the exhibition tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Art of Urban Sketching - at Foyles in London

On Sunday, I shall be in Foyles Bookshop on the Charing Cross Road helping fellow members of Urban Sketchers London hang our exhibition of sketches of London in their Gallery.

I'll probably be posting photos of the hang and the exhibition on this blog next week!

The Art of Urban Sketching Exhibition is in The Gallery at Foyles, Third Floor, 113-119 Charing Cross Road. It is part of the Foyles Sketching the City Season and the Urban Sketchers London Events Programme relating to the launch the new Urban sketchers book. It comprises:
  • prints of book spreads from the Urban Sketchers book The Art of Urban Sketching
  • framed sketches by correspondents from London Urban Sketchers
The exhibition is free and is open from Monday 16th July until Sunday 22nd July. Opening hours are:
  • Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5pm and 
  • Sunday 11.30am - 6pm.
  • However beware that the Gallery may be closed for special events so you need to ring to check if it's open if you're coming specially to see the exhibition.
We're not having a PV however I'd love to know if you visited and what you thought of the show.

Here's the announcement as part of the list of events in the Sketching in the City season.
Images: top: Bankside Shoreline by Katherine Tyrrell; below: Spitalfields by James Hobbs

Tomorrow I'll be telling you how YOU can get your sketches of London in an exhibition at Foyles later this summer. [Update - see The London Sketchbook Challenge - Call for Entries on Making A Mark]
You can find Foyles at: 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB
You can contact Foyles: 
  • Tel: +44 (0) 20 7437 5660 
  • Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7434 1574 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sault and the Lavender Fields of the Nesque

Sault and the Lavender Fields16 ½” x 12”, 29cm x 42cm, pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in
Moleskine A3 size Folio Sketchbook

One very hot day, Sarah and I decided we would go out later afternoon and scout out the Lavender Fields over near Sault.

To get there we took the D1 which skirts around the edge of Mont Ventoux from its western edge to its eastern slopes above Sault.

On the way we came across the Belvedere de la Nesque (on the D1) and found a map of the Lavender Fields in the Nesque Valley.

Map of the Lavender Fields in valley of River Nesque
A map of the Lavender Fields in the valley of the River Nesque
- as seen from the Belvedere de laNesque

The Lavender was getting there but would be better for a few extra days and so we decided to find the best places to paint and then take a trip up over Mont Ventoux via the Route du Ventoux on the way home (of which more in another post) and then come back in a few days time.

The way lavender looks depends on which way round you paint it - so you can EITHER see the rows in which it is planted

Lavender rows at Senanque Abbey
Rows of Lavender at Senanque Abbey on 27 June 2012

OR alternatively you are just looking at a sea of lavender.  I preferred the latter since it focus more on the colour and less on the shape.

We found a field some way from Sault which had a good view of the town - and all the other fields of lavender.  D164 - Route du Ventoux - View of Sault & Lavender Fields is the Google Maps location on the Route du Ventoux from which I sketched Sault and the Lavender Fields. [I've started a Painting Places in Provence map so I don't forget where I went to sketch something!]

We returned to this spot on June 25th and sketched and painted in the late afternoon.  I think Sarah produced two paintings in the time it took me to do this sketch! :) I was very struck by the pinky shades which kept coming through - although I guess that might have been the late afternoon / early evening light.

The Pays de Sault website has some other suggestions about Suggested Circuits to View the Lavender

To see a review of the Sketchbook I used for this very large sketch see Making a Mark Reviews: Moleskine Folio Sketchbook - A3 size

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Abbaye de Senanque and the Lavender Fields

While in Provence last year Sarah WimperisRobyn Sinclair and I visited the Abbaye de Sénanque which is very famous for its lavender fields.  I exited the gift shop weighed down with lavender products!

Abbaye de Senanque and the Lavender Fields (19th June 2011)
11.5" x 16", pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
© Katherine Tyrrell
We knew we might be too early for the lavender and so we were.

Below you can see a view of what the abbey looks like from the road up above - as we travelled there from Gordes.  It was just beginning to bloom in the field further away from the Abbey carrying blooms but the lavender right next to the abbey was yet to bloom.

Abbaye de Senanque and the Lavender Fields
Abbaye de Senanque and the Lavender Fields from above - Sunday 19th June 2011
Here also is a photo of Robyn hard at work on her watercolour painting of the abbey.  She and I nabbed the only shady spot we could find.  This gives you an idea of what I was sketching.

Robin Sinclair and "the red chair" at Senanque
We went back a week later to see how the lavender had progressed and this is what we found.  The colour of brand new lavender is quite something!

Lavender in flower
Lavender at Senanque - 6 days later on June 25th
The Abbaye de Sénanque

The Abbey of Our Lady of Sénanque is a good example of early Cistercian architecture.  It was founded in 1148 and is remarkably intact for a church which is very nearly a 1,000 years old.

It comprises the twelfth century abbey church, cloister, chapter house, the heating and the old dormitory. This is a link to a Romanesque website which provides a gallery of images of the abbey.

It is also home to an active community of Cistercian monks. Seven times a day, the community of Cistercian monks gather in the church to pray - this is called The Liturgy of the Hours.

The monks grow lavender and produce lavender honey by keeping honey bees in order to generate income for their church and their livelihood.


This is a link to the location of Sénanque Abbey on Google Maps


If you want to visit the Abbaye, beware it is down steep winding roads and can be very busy with tourists.  I'd very much recommend visiting at the beginning or the end of the day.  I didn't visit the church because it was so busy and because I wanted to sketch it.

Guided tours for individuals are available but they are in french and last about an hour - and you cannot leave before the end.  It's possible to go round as an individual but only when it's not crowded - which is not often.

The timing for guided tours at different times of the year is available on the abbey website.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Chiswick House - and a "lost" phone

Tree at Chiswick House
Tree at Chiswick House
11.5" x 8", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
© Katherine Tyrrell
Last Friday was one of those fine mizzle days (being the product of mist and drizzle) - as if somebody is spraying you with a fine wet mist.  Which is not much good for sitting outside and sketching because the paper gets wet and then the surface changes and the drawing tools don't work.

However I sat under cover at the Cafe in the grounds of Chiswick House and sketched the tree next to Chiswick House with the drawings of Caspar David Friedrich in mind. I have a wonderful book  - Caspar David Friedrich: The Art of Drawing - in which he draws (and paints) lots of trees and other motifs within the landscape.)

This was the sketch I was doing when my mobile phone slipped out of my pocket.  (It now looks like I might get it back next week.........fingers crossed!)

It's of the Italian Garden which is a Parterre garden with a the large Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle tree) at one end, swags marking the boundaries and Bay Trees clipped to form balls.

Italian Garden at Chiswick House
8" x 10" pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in small Moleskine Sketchbook
© Katherine Tyrrell
Italian Garden
This semi-circular garden, bordered with evergreens, with geometric flower beds cut in grass was designed by Lewis Kennedy and laid out in 1812 for the 6th Duke of Devonshire. It became an example of the massed bedding system and 19th century experiments into colour theory. The garden has been beautifully restored and provides an elegant setting to the 6th Duke’s Conservatory.
Italian Garden Parterre
The Gardens are particularly relevant to artists because of their history in relation to the Landscape Movement and to New Yorkers in particular.  Read more about the history
But there is more to Chiswick House Gardens than mere beauty. This is also the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement and the inspiration for great gardens from Blenheim Palace to New York’s Central Park.Originally created by Lord Burlington and William Kent in 1729, the garden was inspired by the sights of the Grand Tour and romance of classical Italian landscape painting; it was conceived as a single, living artwork.About the Gardens
I know I'll be going back to Chiswick:
  • (hopefully) next week - to pick up my phone
  • next February - to see the wonderful collection of Camellias in the Glass Conservatory.  They must be absolutely amazing then in full bloom.
The property is maintained by English Heritage.  You can download documents relating to Chiswick House Gardens

Site Plan for Visitors
A downloadable map and site plan showing some of the main features around Chiswick House Gardens
pdf icon pdf (2,201.89kb)
Map of Chiswick House Gardens
A visitor map of Chiswick House and Gardens
jpg icon jpg (1,147.21kb)
Chiswick House Gardens
Description and map for a 1.5mile walk around Chiswick House Gardens
pdf icon pdf (481.48kb)