Saturday, 22 January 2022

Winter Atmospherics 2: January 18 (approximately)

This January, with Covid variety omicron cruising the country, we asked our artists to go out separately and create art reflecting winter weather and winter life.  We are surprised to find how far people have travelled!   We have images from Yorkshire, Norfolk, and Sussex Beaches, as well as various London outdoor spaces.   Our artists have produced their customary varied interpretations of the winter scene, please enjoy!

Vanessa Whinney, image below, Sunrise at Ellingham, Norfolk

Vanessa Whinney, image below, Garden in Winter

Tricia Sharpe, image below, In Calderdale, Yorkshire

Maggie Pettigrew, image below, Winter Walk, Sussex Beach

Maggie Pettigrew, image below, Hampstead Heath photograph

Avis Dennis, image below, Winter Tree, Kew

Feroze Antia, three images below, Trent Park and its Golf Course - briskly sketched 6 inch square oils

Diane Umemoto, image below, Regent's Park

Gill Steiner, image below, Football in Winter 

Diane Umemoto, image below, Moon at Sunrise on a Frozen Morning

Janet Payne, image below, Morning Chill

Sue Lees, image below, Upon Reflection (newly reinstalled statue in the Philip Noel-Baker Peace Garden, Elthorne Park, N19)


It was also pointed out to us that Sky Arts have started a new series of Landscape Artist of the Year and Channel 5 a new 20 episode series of Watercolour Challenge, and we thought that many of our artists would like to know of these painterly - and sometimes pleinair - programmes which they can watch from the comfort of their homes.

Details of our February activity will follow before long.  

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

January 2022: Winter Atmospherics (2)

With the uncertainties of omicron and the cold weather. we have decided that our January session should be done at home, or in your local park.   Much safer and more comfortable.  We suggest Tuesday Jan 18 as the focus date when you might like to go out to your local park/into the garden to catch signs of winter, including winter flowers, people bundled up in coats and scarves, possible snow scenes, snowmen, frost,  birds in snow, icy ponds, generally anything to do with winter weather.  Also cosy life indoors, with blazing fire, your partners asleep on the sofa as they do.   Many possibilities!   Any media, of course.  Or a series of vignettes from a stroll round the park on one sheet, and if you want to take photos and work up afterwards, we are happy with this too.

Hopefully the omicron situation will have peaked and the situation will be clearer - and better - by February.

Please send your images to Sue at:  by the end of that week, by the end of Friday 21st.  Thank you and happy creativity!

Sunday, 19 December 2021

December at St Mary Aldermary

 A dozen artists went to St Mary Aldermary in the City for our last sketch of the year. The City was quite empty due to the 'work from home' government advice but we were all socially distanced. 

The church was decorated for Christmas with a lovely Christmas tree and a crib. The beautiful stained glass windows also added to the Christmassy atmosphere. This is a Wren church and unusually for Wren it is in the Gothic style, having been rebuilt on the footprint of an earlier church destroyed in the Great Fire. The church was destroyed once again in WWII and again restored. The wonderful ceilings are a good example of fan vaulting but taken further.

As usual we all worked hard and some people sketched outside as it was a mild day. Some of our work is below.

It is not too late to send in your work, for those who have not already done so. Send to me I will publish probably when we announce the next outing or even innings, depending on Covid.

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.

Sue Lees

Pam Wighton

Lindsay Topping

Janet Perkins

Gafung Wong

Diane Umemoto

Janet Payne

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

St Mary Aldermary 14 December 21

Our next outing is to St Mary Aldermary, Watling St, London EC4M 9BW. Meet at 11 am, but the church is open and they are expecting us.

Nearest tubes are Mansion House, St Paul's, and Bank. Useful buses are 4, 21, 76, 141 but do check the most convenient route for you.

This is one of the Wren City Churches and is, unusually for Wren, in the Gothic style. The plasterwork on the ceilings is amazing. St Mary Aldermary's Wikipedia page is very informative.

The Church is currently home to the Moot Community who follow the Anglican monastic tradition.

There is a cafe with coffee and cakes and loos. The Church and cafe ask only that we patronise the cafe for our coffees and don't occupy the cafe seats to sketch at the expense of paying punters. There are plenty of pews!

Late arrivals from The Union Chapel but well worth waiting for:

From Sara Meidan

From Janet Perkins

Monday, 8 November 2021

Union Chapel Images Nov 21

We did manage to get inside the Union Chapel, so thank you Brett Pracownik for your help. Most artists took the opportunity of staying inside the chapel but some chose the stunning view from outside.

What an amazing building, both inside and outside.

There were about a dozen of us there and if I have missed anyone off please send me your work to and I can post it on the next posting.

We will be moving to ventilated large indoor spaces now the weather is colder, suggestions to me or Sue.

The next outing is to St Mary Aldermary in the City, on Tuesday 14 December, more details in the next post, but save the date.

Meanwhile our drawings from the Union Chapel

From Alison Gardiner

Daniel Lloyd Morgan

Diane Umemoto

Janet Payne

Lindsay Topping

Maggie Pettigrew

Phoenix Wong

From Sue Lees

From Gill Steiner

From Tricia Sharpe

From Avis Dennis

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Tuesday 2 November, Union Chapel

Our next visit is to the Union Chapel in Islington. It is a nineteenth century Gothic revival Congregational Chapel, which is used as a music venue as well as being a functioning place of worship.

The address is 19b Compton Terrace, N1 2UN. Compton Terrace runs parallel with Upper Street separated by a strip of community garden. The nearest tube and overground station is Highbury and Islington and numerous buses run along Upper Street including the 4, 19, 30 and 43.

The Chapel staff are expecting us but the Chapel has proved difficult to access in the past, as it is short staffed and generally not open to the public in the working day. We meet at 11 am, Janet's number for the day is 07815 772857 and Sue's is 07975 864142, so do call if you can't find us. If you can be there on time this would probably help, as we may have to go in through the back.

There is a community garden outside which is open to all and a good fall back if we find it difficult to get into the Chapel. We will update nearer the time. Upper Street is also full of people, activity and buildings!

During the summer we increased the numbers of outings to take advantage of the good weather and the easing of Covid restrictions. With the onset of Autumn we aim to seek out more covered but not enclosed venues and to go out once a month on a Tuesday. 

Sunday, 10 October 2021

October 5th 2021: Visit to the West Highgate Cemetery

 A dozen artists came to the Western Highgate Cemetery on a day which was supposed to be dry but which developed rain clouds and rain around lunchtime.  Despite this downpour, some hardy types made it through to the afternoon.  We had a fascinating and fruitful day steeped in antiquity.  Most people focussed in on the amazing and unique architecture, of mixed historical styles cheek by jowl, but some took in the heavy tree cover (and the trees are immensely tall), and some were attracted by angels and the lion!   

One artist couldn't make it and sent in an image from another cemetery, New Southgate, perhaps we should go there another time. 

See below what we made of it.

Image below by Cathy Burkinshaw

Image below by Avis Dennis

Images below by Janet Payne

Images below by Gafung Wong

Image below by Christian Cook

Images below by Daniel Lloyd-Morgan
Images below by Sue Lees

Image below by Diane Umemoto

Image below by Alison Sandifer

Image below by Alison Gardiner

Images below by Maggie Pettigrew, who was captivated by the tomb of the Menagerist, George Wombwell, 1777 - 1850, as well as by a herald angel. 

Reflective angel below by Peter Hassell

Image below by Tricia Sharpe, of an angel in New Southgate Cemetery

Tricia sent in the following comments as well: "The cemetery is now called New Southgate but it was The Great Northern Cemetery that was built in the 1850s when the central London cemeteries were closed. The dead were brought from Kings Cross on special trains that ran to what is now New Southgate station and then on a spur line to the cemetery. The cemetery is still in use – it has a crematorium now of course, a Jewish section, and Greek Orthdox etc, and is the resting place of a leader of the Ba’hai faith that is a point of pilgrimage.


It has its full complement of angels etc as you will see from my pic. This is on a re-purposed painting – and the weird dark terracotta shape leaning on the right is a memorial stone next to the angel that was falling over. I tried to hint at the tree behind with the blue shaped leaves."

Details of our next sketching day in November will be published shortly.