Sunday, 26 July 2020

21 July 2020 Caledonian Park

As we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic thirteen brave artists went on our first outing for many months, all socially distancing of course. Another person stayed at home and made a model.

Our meeting point was the old clocktower in Caledonian Park, Islington's second largest open space. The park was previously a general market and also a cattle market. It has recently been revived as a thriving neighbourhood park complete with cafe, which was open for sandwiches which could be eaten outside.

Everyone worked very hard. It was a lovely sunny day with white clouds scudding across a blue sky, families having picnics and outdoor gym enthusiasts. Everyone was vey excited to be out again with Art in the Park.

We have had a request from Islington to use the images for their social media content for Caledonian Park. I will assume that artists are fine with this unless I hear from you

Hope I haven't missed anyone's picture out. 

The next outing is planned for late August, date and venue to be confirmed, possibly Hamsptead Heath if the building work to the toilets by the Italian cafe is finished.

Happy Sketching

Some artists who arrived at 11 am for the photo opportunity

Gill Steiner worked from home and made a model of the clocktower

Tricia Sharpe

Mark Hodge

Diane Umemoto

Priscilla Worley

Priscilla Worley

Alison Sandifer

Thursday, 9 July 2020

21 July 2020

Outing to Caledonian Park

Innings "A Better Tomorrow "

As lockdown eases we thought we would try a socially distanced outing as well as an innings for Tuesday 21 July 2020.

For those who are still shielding or would prefer not to join an outing, the innings is "A Better Tomorrow", which we hope will give people plenty of scope.

The outing is to Caledonian Park, Market Road N7 9PL. Meet at 11 am underneath the clocktower on the cafe side. 

This park is based in the old cattle market, and has a stunning clocktower, heritage railings, and thoughtful planting. There is plenty of history and it was one of the places that people marched from to support the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Info can be found by Googling Caledonian Park. 

The park is large and relatively underused, so we should have no difficulty keeping our distance. There are plenty of benches but do bring a sketching stool. The cafe is open and serves sandwiches and hot and cold drinks. Also of course you can bring a picnic, and there are several local food shops in North Road close by, if you forget. The idea is that we eat our lunch outside keeping the numbers congregating together to six or below. 

If it rains then we can all do 'A Better Tomorrow'  from home! 

The loos in the park should be open by the date of our outing but if not the Shell Petrol Station, 109-113 York Way is five minutes walk away and the loos are open. 

Islington residents who drive, can park free between 11am and 3pm in residents bays. There is also paying parking. For those prepared to use public transport the 274 bus stops on Market Road, the 390 goes along York Way and the 17, 91, 259 and 274 go along Caledonian Road. The overground stops at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury and is a short walk away. Caledonian tube station on the Piccadilly line is nearby. There are of course walking and cycling options.

Images to My number for the day is 07815 772857.

And finally a further arrival from Heather James from Tallinn.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Tuesday 30 June 2020: Virtual Sketching in Tallinn, Estonia

We have had interesting time getting to grips with virtual sketching and Tallinn, although this effort has not resulted in a vast outpouring of artworks. A fair amount of preliminary spadework was needed to get the streets of Tallinn even on the screen! We discovered that Tallinn has some art nouveau frontages (though not everyone found them in the slippery camera of google's streetview). It also turns out that Riga, along the coast, is a hotspot of art nouveau, and one of us was able to produce an image from a previous visit to Riga. (Riga's art nouveau looks like a future opportunity!) Our images reflect the historic charm of Tallinn, its old walls, watchtowers, cobbled streets, and even what appears to be a miniature St Basil's cathedral! For armchair travellers it was a pleasure to discover.

Details about our next art day will follow shortly. 

The image above is by Heather James

Images above are, left to right, by Diane Umemoto and Gafung Wong

Images above are all by Diane Umemoto

Images above are, left to right, by Peter Colley and Janet Payne

Images above are, left to right, by Diane Umemoto and Gafung Wong

Images above are, left to right, by Cathy Burkinshaw and Sue Lees

Friday, 19 June 2020

Virtual Sketching: Talinn on Tuesday 30 June

Our next art in the time of coronavirus will be on Tuesday 30 June, when we suggest that you try virtual sketching.   This has been the Urban Sketchers’ solution to the problem of how to carry on sketching contemporary life in a time of widespread home lockdown, and it has become possible  thanks to the technological marvels of those internet giants, google and facebook.   Many of you will be familiar with google’s streetmaps and aerial photographs of more or less the entire planet now; they have also driven round every road everywhere and photographed everything.   Artwork can be produced from these photographs, and the Urban Sketchers have organised a daily programme of “VirtualSketchtours” since early on in the lockdown.   As a sketching group, we thought that Art in the Park should be aware of this development, and try it out at least once. 
However, in the centre of the IAS Art in the Park we only have the barest minimum of technical capability, and are completely unable to work out our own virtual sketching tour.  We have therefore decided to join in on one of the Urban Sketchers’ Virtual Sketch Tours. 

Individual urban sketchers have taken the trouble to go through google’s photographs and select a number of places which would sketch well, and incorporate them into sreet tours.  These events are open to all, and we have decided on the Talinn tour.    Talinn is off the beaten track for most (but not all) of us, has the charm of novelty, is an attractive historic city, (in Estonia),  and has one of the better sets of photographs, google’s photos are not taken with any regard to allure.

What you need to do is this: 
1)  sign in or register with facebook – you can always unregister if your principles prevent you from contributing to Mark Zuckerberg.   It is possible that this link will let you see the relevant page on facebook without registering, but we would not bet on it:

 2)  Search within facebook for #Virtualsketch

3)  Click on Events  (in left hand column)

4)  Scroll down to Talinn, Estonia

5)   Click on See More at the end of the Talinn introduction

6)   Click on one of the location links for Talinn beauty spots

7)   A photograph appears;  move your cursor around and you will find that the view changes, it will stop moving if you stop moving your cursor

8)   Repeat until you have looked at all the locations, and found something which you would like to sketch

9)   If you are using your desktop computer, the light will almost certainly be unsatisfactory.  If this affects you,  take a photograph of your scene or scenes, and transfer it into your ipad, which you can then set up so that the light is OK

10  Then create art in the comfort of your home studio.

Certainly post your art on the #Virtualsketch facebook page if you are registered both for facebook and as a member of the Virtual Sketch group, and if you so wish. This should be done on or after Thursday 2 July, which is the date of the official Urban Sketchers sketchtour.   In any case, please send images to Sue Lees (via in the normal way and they will appear on the  blog in due course. 

Virtual sketching is much more fun than it sounds, and it does offer the opportunity to make something of a subject which almost certainly will not have the attractions of one which you have found yourself by actually padding the streets.   It also means that you are not constricted by time, changing light, weather, parked vans, and the other problems of plein air painting.

Good luck!  We look forward to seeing many interpretations of the Talinn street scene!

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Tuesday 9 June: Hopes and Dreams - or Missed Opportunities

We have decided to have another paint-at-home day next Tuesday, 9 June, because we think that you are all enjoying the challenge, and a painting day takes people's minds off the continuing unsatisfactory Coronavirus situation. This time the theme is "hopes and dreams", and alternatively, "missed opportunities". Plenty of scope for imaging what you would like to do, people you would like to see, etc., or your thwarted plans, (including collage - Ed).

And if you don't fancy the theme, don't let that put you off doing something else and sending it in.

The destination for images this time is: and we look forward to seeing your creations.

Happy Painting!

For those of you who want to get back to sketching the streets of London, a "virtual" sketchcrawl may be the answer. The London Urban Sketchers have got to grips with how to set these up, and their next event is on Saturday, 6 June, when the location is Little Venice. The USk have extracted various links from google's street photos, they put them on their blog page, artists click on the links and can pan round that particular location. You choose your view, and start sketching! Conveniently, the light does not change nor do vans park in front of the view. The usual throwdown displays of participants' work have been replaced by various social media links. Full details can be found here: This method of urban sketching is yet another step on for your artistic journey, maybe worth a go.

Finally, a new submission from Annie Faulkner.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Reflections: Tuesday 26 May 2020

This time we asked you all to produce something on the theme of Reflections. This could involve watery reflections, mirrors, windows, contemplations on our current virus situation, or indeed, a reflection of where you are or what you are doing. Artists produced work on all aspects of these reflective possibilities, and also reflections on past events now unreal and dreamlike. The white pots are interpretations of Roman pots, following the artist's discovery that the Romans had a pottery in Highgate Woods, close to her home. She has been thinking through Roman life, reflecting, in fact, on Roman existence, and the uncomfortable nature thereof, around the pottery, constantly over the last few weeks.

We have also included a couple of works which were accidentally omitted in the previous collection. (It is surprisingly difficult to keep track of all the images sent in! We do apologise, and hope that this time nobody is left out, except of course, late deliverers!)

Thank you all for sending in such interesting and varied images. We will let you know the next theme and date very shortly. In the meantime, please enjoy the images, and keep painting!

Sunday, 17 May 2020

May 2020, extra pictures and next meeting

Phoenix (Gafung) Wong has sent in these lovely pictures of irises for our Celebration of Spring event. 

Our next 'innings' is on Tuesday 26 May and the subject is Reflections. You can interpret this in any way you choose, reflections in water, reflections in a mirror, or of course reflections (or thoughts) on the current Covid 19 situation. Or alternatively in the best creative tradition ignore the subject and send in what you want! This time please send your pics to Sue,

There has been a great response so far to the innings, keep going Artists!