Wednesday, 7 June 2017

June Art in the Park

Our outing to the Islington Ecology Centre was on a very wet day indeed. Your intrepid organisers Janet and Sue did meet up at the venue as advertised but it was far too wet to draw outside and the forecast was not good. Much to our disappointment we were the only people from IAS to show up. So after waiting a decent interval we switched to plan B, which was to go to nearby Blighty cafe on Blackstock Road and draw inside. The Gandhi vegan breakfast was a definite winner but we did do some work as well as the pictures show. 

Our next outing will be to the Curve, a community garden in Dalston, where we hope for much better weather and to back up to our usual attendance.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Next Art in the Park sketching day: Tuesday 6 June at Gillespie Park, Islington Ecology Centre 191 Drayton Park, Highbury, N5 1PH

We have realised that we have not yet visited Islington’s flagship nature park, Gillespie Park, right on our doorstep.   There are several smallish meadows, with areas of woodland, generally varied habitat as befits a nature reserve.  We expect that the Park will be looking very floriforous in early June, in particular the lupins will be in flower in one of the meadows, and there should also be highly visible ox-eye daisies and wild carrot in bloom, as well as many other wildflowers, dog roses, etc.   The Park has several ponds, with bridges, so an opportunity to paint reflections.     Lots of details, including a map of the Park, can be found here

We will meet at 11 o’clock, when we will be greeted by a member of the Ecology Centre’s staff.   (So it would be good if we made it by 11!)  The Islington Ecology Centre is close to the Drayton Park entrance, and contains within it the all-important lavatories.    The Park has various access points:  Drayton Park, Gillespie Road, Quill Street and Seven Sisters Road.    The nearest tube station is Arsenal, but Finsbury Park is close to the northern extremity of the Park.   Drayton Park overground station is also close.    The following buses go reasonably close: 4, 19, 236.

There is no catering in the Ecology Centre, so you will need to bring your picnic lunch.   If the weather is nice, we can all eat together out in the fields somewhere.   If the weather is not good, we have decided to go on to Blighty Coffee, which is a cafe on the Blackstock Road up near Finsbury Park Station. (Address: 35-37 Blackstock Road, N4 2JF).    Its interior bristles with things to draw, with a British wartime emphasis.   A good series of photos can be seen here     It also has good reports of its coffee and catering.

We suggest that you bring your sketching stools, as there are seats around but not necessarily where you want them, and we look forward to seeing everyone.    Sue’s telephone number for the day is: 07975 864142.

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Seven artists met in the Estorick caffe in Canonbury Square for a sketching session before the splendid talk on Giacomo Balla organised for the IAS at the Estorick Gallery in the evening. We had intended to meet in Canonbury Square itself and sketch outside but it proved to be one of the wettest days of the year so far. Drought, what drought? This was a deluge, so, ever resourceful we retreated to the caffe and indulged in cups of tea. The caffe was cosy, snug and Italian (hence the two ffs in caffe) with views of the rain soaked garden through a wonderful glass conservatory extension. We all worked hard, despite the lack of the leafy square and enjoyed the talk in the evening.

The next outing is to Gillespie Park on Tuesday 6 June at 11 am, but watch this space for more details."

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Corrected date for May outing: Wednesday 17 May at Canonbury Square, followed by Estorick Collection visit

Oops:  apologies, made a mistake with the date in my original post for our May meeting.   The correct date is Wednesday 17 May at 3pm, all other details as announced in previous post.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Next Art in the Park sketching outing: Wednesday 17 May at 3 pm at Canonbury Square N1

Please note corrected date!

Our next outing is on Wednesday 17 May at 3pm to Canonbury Square N1.   The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is on the corner with New North Road (39a Canonbury Square), we suggest gathering outside initially.   We will meet at 3pm so that artists can go on seamlessly to the evening IAS-sponsored talk on Giacomo Balla at the Estorick, starting at 6pm.  The Estorick is focusing on the futurist painter Balla with a major exhibition this spring, details are here  There is a cafe and a garden in the Estorick which are open to the public.   Map and full location details can be seen here

Canonbury Square itself has been nicely landscaped and there are plenty of benches, but some of these have suffered from birds, so people may want to bring sketching stools. Canonbury Square is a good example of a typical Islington Georgian Square. George Orwell lived in one of the houses for three years. The sixth form centre for Northbridge House is just round the corner and is based around Canonbury Tower which dates back to Tudor times. The surrounding buildings used to be the Tower Theatre. Upper Street with its shops and cafes is just round the corner. So enough estate agent talk and let's get drawing!

Janet's phone for the day is 07815 772857. 

If you wish to come on to the Giacomo Ballo talk, please could you let the IAS know by 12 May preferably to otherwise tel:  020 8348 8728 (no answer please just leave a message).


Estorick Collection

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


 The end of April proved to be not quite as warm as we had hoped, but this did not deter six artists from our planned sketching trip to Goodman's Fields, which is just off Leman Street.  Goodman's Fields is now a landscaped courtyard with sensational horse sculptures by Hamish Mackie, in the midst of a new housing development by Berkeley Homes. In the eighteenth century there were two theatres here, and though they are long gone, the district still has a just out of the centre of London edginess to it. 

We braved the cold and the noise from the neighbouring building site to produce some exciting drawings and watercolour sketches and then dived into the local pastry shop for cups of hot coffee and sandwiches.

 We took a shine to the horses, and hope to return in a future summer when the building work is finished, and the horses are prancing in their rushing streams, as they were designed to do.

The next outing is to Canonbury Square. Meet at 3 pm on Wednesday 17 May and then on to to the IAS talk on Giacoma Balla at 6 pm in the Estorick in Canonbury Square. More details to follow on the blog page for May.

Monday, 17 April 2017


As we did not have sketch day in March, we have decided to have a second outing in April.
Our next Art in the Park gathering will be on Tuesday 25 April when we are going to Goodman’s Fields, Leman Street, Aldgate E1.    The attraction of this swanky new development,  which has various areas of  smart public space and architectural planting, is the half-a-dozen galloping horse sculptures: 

They offer unusual artistic possibilities, and you might produce some work which would be of interest to visitors to  the IAS’s June exhibition at the Espacio Gallery which is not a great distance away.

The nearest tube is Aldgate East, though Aldgate is walkable.   Goodman’s Fields is on the eastern side of Leman Street and the geography of the area can be seen here under the Local Area tab at the top of the page:

We will meet at 11 o’clock in the main Plaza of Goodman’s Fields, where the horses are.   We suggest that you bring sketching stools to supplement the stone benches.   There are various pubs in Leman Street where we can have lunch/find a loo, or you might prefer to bring some sandwiches.   If it is wet it will be possible to sit under various overhanging parts of the new buildings.

We look forward to seeing you there.   Sue's telephone number is 07975 864142 if you arrive and cannot find anyone!