Sunday, 13 October 2019

Manor Gardens Library

On 5 October we responded to an invitation to sketch at Manor Gardens Library and there was a good turn out.
Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of our work, but if participants would like to email images to me at I will publish them on the blog.

November Outing to St Bartholomew the Great

On Tuesday 19 November we are going to St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield. Meet at 11 am. This is one of London's oldest churches and dates back to Norman times, though reconstructed in the nineteenth century. We enjoyed our last visit there a few years ago. It is also very near to the Charterhouse where we went in October.

It should be reasonably warm inside, there are loos, and although the cafe is closed we are welcome to eat a picnic in the cloisters, there are plenty of take away sandwiches bars nearby for anyone who does not want to bring a packed lunch. Or we can go out!

There is a £5 entry charge for non-worshippers, and if we do go out at lunchtime, please mention this to the person at the desk, so you do not have to pay again if you come back.

They are expecting us.

The address is:
St Bartholomew the Great, Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JP
and their website is

The 17, 45, 46, 63, 8, 25, 56, 4, 153, 242, 521, 100, 243 and 341 buses are all within walking distance of the church.
The following stations are within walking distance:
Barbican Station (the closest) – Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines
St Paul’s Station – Central Line
Farringdon Station – Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Tuesday 1st October: visit to The Charterhouse, Smithfield

Twelve of us came to The Charterhouse close to Smithfield Market, on a wet morning, so we definitely had to sketch indoors.   Visitors are now allowed into the interesting old chapel and a hall (as well as a small museum about the history of the complex of  buildings where we discovered that thousands of black death casualties had been buried on the site), and this is where we worked. There were a great many arches in the fabric of the building, and many architectural details, as well as a number of small scuptural motifs, a gilded altarpiece, some lovely stained glass, and  various paintings.   One person picked out two heads from the stained glass, and reproduced them en grisaille, someone else caught a painting's essence and movement in marker pen.   Other people focused more on the overall aspects of the building, and as we were quite closely confined together  this time we have a comprehensive impression of our day's venue.  

We very much appreciated the opportunity to sketch in such a beautiful historic building and we are most grateful to The Charterhouse organisation for allowing us to do so.

On a dry day there would be a lot to paint outside, as the buildings are gorgeous, there is a smart new knot garden, and Charterhouse Square itself has views through the trees to ancient gateways, etc etc.  Another visit surely beckons.  

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Tuesday 17 September: visit to Bonnington Square, Vauxhall

Nine sketchers arrived in Bonnington Square in beautiful sunny weather on 17 September and enjoyed the semi-tropical conditions of this gorgeous urban oasis.   As you will see from our work, the greenery is everywhere, some of the paths we show are actually pavements.  Eating was al fresco;  at lunchtime the tables outside the cafĂ© were crowded and ideally lunchers need to get their orders in early, as handcrafted bread supplies are limited on Tuesdays, but what we got was delicious. No more to be said, but definitely a place to go back to on another summer’s day.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Stop Press: Additional Art in the Park Event on Saturday 5 October at Islington's North Library, Manor Gardens, London N7 6JX

On Saturday 5 October, Islington's library service is going to be participating in Fun Palaces, a nationwide project in which community groups are invited to take over public buildings and use them to undertake their own activities - and they are looking for local groups who might like to take over a library for the day.
They have contacted the IAS, to find out whether Art in the Park would have any interest in coming to Islington's North Library for the day.  It is situated on Manor Gardens near the Holloway Odeon and is an attractive Edwardian public library with front and rear gardens and beautiful period details which would present lots of opportunities for sketching. 

The IAS would like Art in the Park to participate in this, and we think the best way forward is for anyone who is interested to get in touch with the IAS via:  to  ascertain the timing of this event.   

Manor Gardens is on the east side of the Holloway Road about midway beween the Holloway Road tube station and Archway tube station.



Wednesday, 11 September 2019


On Tuesday 1st October we are going to Charterhouse. The London Charterhouse is a historic complex of buildings in Smithfield, and dates back to 1348. It was founded as a Carthusian monastery and is currently an almshouse, having also been a school in the past. It is very much part of London's heritage The public areas are now open to the public in conjunction with the Museum of London.

Entrance to the public rooms is free. This includes the museum, shop and chapel. They are expecting us. There are also tours of the rest of the complex but these need to be booked. If you would like a tour, please enquire directly to the Charterhouse.

Charterhouse Square itself is also very interesting and Smithfield Market is close by.

The nearest underground stations are Barbican and Faringdon and the 4,56 and 153 buses stop at Barbican Station

Address: Charterhouse Square, Barbican, London EC1 6AN

Meet at the entrance in Charterhouse Square at 11 am or if later please go in and find us. Janet's number for the day is 07815 772857.

There are loos next to the shop and we will choose a nearby cafe for lunch. Meanwhile don't  forget Bonnington Square on 17September.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Next Sketch Date: Tuesday 17 September at Bonnington Square, Nr Vauxhall, SW8 1TO

Our next sketch day will be on Tuesday 17 September when we will be meeting at Bonnington Square, Kennington, SW8 1TO. We will meet at our usual time of 11 o'clock at the cafe, Italo, opposite the entrance to the Pleasure Garden in the Square. (There is nothing to stop enthusiasts starting earlier!) Bonnington Square is a true green oasis in the city, complete with actual palm trees. It is a charming Victorian Square with an exotic community garden, and the planting also encompasses part of the pavements. Trees and herbiage fill the square, producing lovely shadows on some of the rather pretty Victorian terrace houses. There is also the Harleyford Rd Garden which can be reached through an alley between the houses. More details here

The cafe has a loo!

The nearest tube station is Vauxhall, on the Victoria Line, and Bonnington Sq is about 3 mins walk from the station. You have to cross some of the vast roads around the station. Bonnington Sq can either be reached via the South Lambeth Road and Langley Lane or Harleyford Road, cut through the Harleyford Road Gardens.

Various photographs below were taken by your personal representative who went sketching there in June with the Cafe Sketchers, and was captivated by this unique garden Square, also a painting. The place is a delight with all the shadows thrown by the trees. There are quite a lot of seats around and opposite the cafe, and in the Pleasure Garden, but as always, we suggest you bring your own sketching stool so that you are free to paint wherever your muse suggests.

There is very little rain shelter in the square - we would survive a short light drizzle, but nothing more. So if the day turns out looking tempestuous, we will go to Brixton Village, two stops down the Victoria Line. Regular attendees will recall that Brixton Village was the second covered market we painted in when we went to Brixton Market last autumn, generally golden yellow in hue, and very paintable. Map is here  .  If the forecast for that week in September is generally bad, we will post an update on the blog a day or two before. If it suddenly looks bad on the day, ring us, tel number at the end of this post. If it starts to pour when we are set up in Bonnington Square, we will decamp.

 Sue's phone number for the day is 07975 864 142.