Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Liverpool Street station

Lunchtime at Ponti's restaurant
Today's visit to Liverpool Street station was our last sketching outing for this year. Eight sketchers gathered by platform 10 and then duly signed in at the station reception and watched a video on health and safety. Once we had been issued with our visitors passes we were allowed to roam free around the station. An hour and a half later we stopped for lunch at Ponti's restaurant to warm up and compare our artistic efforts. As usual we were all interested in the views that other people had chosen.

After lunch most of us repaired to the upstairs bar at Hamilton Hall which was the former ballroom of the Great Eastern Hotel and overlooks the station, in order to continue sketching. It has the most ornate decoration, comfortable chairs and interesting views of the downstairs bar and would be well worth visiting again with our sketch books.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

One more sketching outing before Christmas

Art in the Park is going to take December off so we have organised another sketching outing for the end of November. On this occasion we will be meeting at Liverpool Street Station which is an interesting venue, is under cover and has all the facilities we might need.

We are planning to meet at 11am on Tuesday 25 November. We have been granted permission to sketch as a group so the plan is to meet by platform 10 and then we can sign in at the station reception. We will also have to watch a video on health and safety and learn about evacuation procedures in the event of the station being evacuated.

Easels are not allowed but sketching stools are permitted so long as we don't site them at the bottom of escalators or get in peoples' way. If you need to get in touch with us on the day you can phone Heather on 07899 653307.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the 25th.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

November's sketching trip to Sutton House

Six artists met at Sutton House on Friday to spend time drawing, and exploring, this fascinating and atmospheric Tudor house that over the centuries has been renovated, added to, divided and fianlly restored to one dwelling. It was built in 1535 by a prominent courtier of Henry VIII, Sir Ralph Sadleir when Hackney was a village outside London. Now Hackney is a large borough in London and lost any rural charm it had a very long time ago.

However if you spend any time in the house or garden you can still feel a sense of peace and quiet and it is easy to feel you have accidentally slipped back in time.

So, while we all withdrew into our individual worlds while sketching variously in the Linenfold Parlour, the Cellar, the Georgian Parlour, the Great Hall and the garden we were able later to come together and chat in the café and admire each other's work and look forward to future sketching outings.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Next sketching outing is Friday 14 November to Sutton House

Now the weather is getting distinctly colder we have decided to move under cover with our sketch books for the next few months. We are planning a sketching trip to Sutton House in Hackney on Friday 14 November at 11am. It was built by Ralph Sadleir who was a courtier of Henry VIII and he lived in the household of Thomas Cromwell from the age of 14. The house features in Woolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and is steeped in history.

This is a National Trust property so admission is free to National Trust members. The charge for non-members is £3.50 and if there is a group of eight or more the price is reduced to £2.70 per person, they do not offer concessions. We can take dry materials with us but because of the historic nature of some of the rooms I believe we cannot use painting materials. There is a café which opens at 12 noon.

It is quarter of a mile walk from Hackney Central overground station which can be reached from Highbury & Islington station and the 106 bus from Finsbury Park runs close by the house. You can find a link for directions to a Google map here.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Art in the Park outing on 23 October

The weather was quite good for our latest Art in the Park session in the Crouch End Open Space, with sunshine, and light cloud. Four sketchers gathered, including one from Hackney who had used her satnav to navigate into the off-the-A-to-Z area of CREOS! We were greeted by the Chair of CREOS, who kindly offered us the use of the facilities in her home, which was not far away. Our own Islington Art Society Chair, Virginia Jackson, also visited us in between her activities connected with the IAS's forthcoming exhibition.

We found plenty of subjects to sketch and had a very pleasant time in the sylvan surroundings of the Hanley Tennis Club. At the end of the morning, we went to the Royal Palace Cafe in Park Road for lunch and art talk, including a discussion of future Art in the Park locations.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Art in the Park 23 October: Update

Stop Press News for Art in the Park sketching day on Thursday 23 October:   unfortunately we will not be able to use the facilities (for shelter if it is wet, lavatories, kettle and coffee mugs) in the Hanley Club House, due to illness.

We are still meeting in the car park (council-owned so free and accessible) beside the Hanley Tennis Club at 10.30 tomorrow, but the nearest lavatory and hot drinks will be at Royal Palace Café a five minute walk northwards along Park Road at 298 Park Road (at the junction with Cranley Gardens). So please bear this in mind!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Our October sketching outing is on the 23rd in Crouch End Open Space

The October Art in the Park sketching outing will be in the Crouch End Open Space/Shepherds Cot. This is an area of woodland, playing fields, tennis courts, clubhouses, and old trees. It is an opportunity to do tree studies – there are a number of very old oak trees and pollarded limes – and autumn colour work. The leaf colour is more muted Gainsborough than New England at present, but very pretty, especially in sunshine. It is also a good opportunity to paint skyscapes seen above the trees. Please bring your sketching stools.

We will assemble at about 10.30am in the lane outside the HanleyTennis Club where we will be based. They have kindly agreed that we can use their lavatory, and their kettle and mugs, and the Clubhouse will be open from 11 am for the morning, and possibly longer if there are Club members playing tennis. Please bring such tea/coffee/sugar and milk as you require.

If you plan to arrive by car via Park Road, Crouch End, the entrance is a small tarmac lane situated off Park Road (A1201) opposite Park Avenue South. This takes you into the Shepherd's Cot Trust grounds (the whole area of Metropolitan Open Land). Follow the lane and do not branch left at Georgian's tennis club. Keep going straight until you can go no further and reach a small car park. Entrance to Hanley is on your left via a small gate. Parking is free. and the map is here.

Alternatively, there is a car park accessible from Montenotte Road N8, (go down the lane beside Highgate Wood School) off Shepherds Hill, you will then have to walk past the Highgate Tennis Club and turn left at the T junction in the lane. If coming by bus, the W7 is the only bus which goes down Park Road, but there are other access points to the area, and the full range of bus services from Highgate Tube Station can be seen on the CREOS website here.

We suggest that you bring your own sandwich lunch, although lunches are available at the Victoria Stakes pub a short walk northwards along Park Road, and there are one or two cafés on the opposite side of Park Road.

The weather forecast is reasonably warm (17C) and cloudy, but not rainy.

See you there!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

September's visit to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

September's Art in the Park sketching trip was based in the third floor viewing gallery at the John Lewis store at Stratford Westfield overlooking the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Only two artists made it to this venue and we wondered if the logistics of getting there had put other people off from joining us.

The view from the panoramic picture window of the London Aquatic Centre and the stadium in the foreground with Canary Wharf in the background presented some interesting visual challenges. The enormous red ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture posed the question 'Put it in or leave it out?' which we answered by putting it in.

The staff at John Lewis were charming and helpful and even moved a meeting they were having to another place so we could get on with our sketching. There were benches to sit on so we didn't need our sketching stools that we had taken with us and we were very close to those two important requirements: public lavatories and a café where we enjoyed a snack.

All in all we had a stimulating outing and were pleased to have produced work we wouldn't normally have done.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Next sketching date: Tuesday 23 September

We have decided to take an aerial view of the Olympic Park, Stratford for our next day out. As funds do not stretch to hiring a plane we are going to go to the third floor of John Lewis, Westfield Stratford store where they have a large viewing area and some big windows overlooking the site.

I am not sure what the view currently consists of as they have been rebuilding since the Olympic games but it will be interesting to draw a landscape/cityscape from above.

John Lewis are happy for us to sketch, including using watercolours, in this part of the store. Please bring your sketching stools. It will be relatively secluded, since the viewing platform is behind various shopping areas. The café is on the same floor – on the other side of the building – and we will be able to nip off easily to have lunch. Take the escalator to the top, walk forward through the children's clothes department and the windows are visible.

The address is: 101 The Arcade, Westfield Stratford City, London, E20 1EL. Hopefully, John Lewis  will be completely unmissable as one emerges from Stratford Regional Station, which includes the London Overground System as well as the tube. You can find further details here.

Start Time: 11am (the store opens at 10am). Sue's mobile number is: 079758 641 42.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sketching outing to Kingsland Basin

On Friday 22 August six Islington Art Society members assembled at The Proud Archivist café on the Regent's Canal beside the Kingsland Basin. The day, which started cloudy, improved while we were having coffee and we enjoyed a beautiful day which fully justified that stretch of towpath's trendy name the Haggerston Riviera. We also took full advantage of the facilities offered by the decorative Towpath café a little way westwards.

There were an assortment of nice barges and bridges to assemble into compositions and designs, and we had a stimulating day getting to grips with the possibilities these offered.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Next sketching date: Friday 22 August

We are planning to meet at Kingsland Basin at 11am on Friday 22 August. This is just off Kingsland Road and very near Haggerston station. There are lots of cafés in the area with views of the canal and the basin which means that we can draw inside if it is cold. They have large windows and there are many tables.

For example, The Proud Archivist sells coffee and lunches for under £5 plus it has lavatories. It is also an Arts and community building with all sorts of activities going on. Haggerston station is on the overground and accessible from Highbury and Islington but it is a bit of a journey for those travelling from Crouch End.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Parkland Walk sketching day

Around a dozen Islington Art Society members and their guests turned up to paint and sketch last Tuesday which was a gorgeous summer's day. We sat with our sketch pads and absorbed the rural atmosphere of the Parkland Walk close to the Crouch End Hill entrance.

We were subliminally aware of the tweeting of the birds and the Speckled Wood and White butterflies dancing along the ivy and buddleia but mostly we concentrated on our art. There was also time for relaxed chatter amongst ourselves and with other users of the Walk.

The Parkland Walk was looking good with dynamic contrasts between the brickwork and iron bridgeworks, the greenery and the glittering graffiti all emphasised by the sunshine. It was a slightly surreal experience made more so by the Spriggan and some of us took away fantastic pieces of flaked graffiti as elements for future exotic artworks. 

We were delighted with the friendly Sercem Café on Crouch End Hill which provided good coffee and excellent Turkish dishes. This section of the Parkland Walk offered a great many eye-catching subjects for sketching, and would be good for a repeat visit. It was a smashing day all round.

Artwork credits:
Above left, The Spriggan ©Susan Lees 2014
Right, Lost Station ©Janet Payne 2014

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Next Art in the Park Day: Tuesday 15 July from 10.30am - The Parkland Walk, Crouch End/Islington North

We are going to start at the Sercem Café by the entrance to the Parkland Walk at the junction of Hornsey Rise N19/Crouch End Hill N8. The Sercem Café has basic refreshments, a few tables and chairs and a small lavatory. The Parkland Walk is down some steps. 

Various buses go up and down the road most usefully the 91. Also the 271 turns off a few minutes walk down the hill on the Hornsey Road. You can find a link to the map here.

At this point on the Parkland Walk there is a nice view of the bridge and rear of the café, and graffiti (interesting artistically), there are the old platforms, old railway walls with arches and statues springing out of the wall, more graffiti, and a bit further down the skateboard park (possibly with skateboarders) plus steps up to the new Crouch Hill Park and wooden  climbing walks for the children. The vista is heavily wooded.

I suggest that we meet at 10.30 at the Sercem Café, and then go down and paint below. Some of us will probably be visible from the steps so that latecomers can see that we have arrived. Participants can leave whenever they feel like it but hopefully some people will want to continue into the afternoon.

Bring your sketching stools as there aren't any benches.

I understand that the Friends of the Parkland Walk would be willing to put people's artwork on their website, which is very nice of them, and any finished work will of course qualify as a 'local view' for the Islington Art Society's Crouch End Exhibition in November.

If you would like to join us please turn up on the day or leave a message in the comments box below or alternatively email the Islington Art Society. We are keen to involve as many members of the Islington Art Society as possible in Art in the Park as it is such fun sketching outdoors with others.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Sketching outing to Arlington Square

Our Art in the Park date for June was blessed with dry weather and actual sun at times. Seven Islington Art Society members and one guest met to sketch and enjoy the peace of Arlington Square which was looking very good both horticulturally and artistically. The nearby pub supplied various essentials and kept some of us going well into the afternoon. It was a nice location for sketching outdoors and suitable for a return visit.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Summer sketching date: Tuesday 24 June

Our next Art in the Park Sketching Day is Tuesday 24 June when we plan to go to Arlington Square, Islington N1. This is a very pretty square which has benefited from a huge community gardening effort, it contains an interesting shed (a possible focal point), and a sort of patio area with a few palm trees around it.

It is surrounded by pretty Georgian houses that are visible through the trees and there is a pub, The North Star, at 188-190 New North Road, Islington, London N1 7BJ which is a two minute walk away. It opens at 11am and has lavatories. You can find a map here and the A1200 is the New North Road.
The two of us who are going to go to Arlington Square are hoping to be joined by other members from Islington Art Society. If you would like to join us please let us know via the message box below so that we know who to expect. We suggest that we meet in the square at 11am.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sketching in the rain at London Fields Lido

Two intrepid artists braved the torrential rain today to sketch at London Fields Lido, the open-air, heated Olympic sized swimming pool in Hackney. A tarpaulin provided some cover from the endless rain but some water inevitably ended up on the sketch books adding a random quality to the finished results.

After about an hour and a half our two artists withdrew to the nearby E5 Bakery café for a warming bowl of soup and the conversation turned to possible future outings to the Velopark and the Aquacentre, both at the Queen Elizabeth Park.

Friday, 9 May 2014

May meeting: Tuesday 27 May

For our May meeting we are going to meet at the café by London Fields Lido at 11am. The nearest overground stations are Hackney Central, London Fields and Cambridge Heath and the nearest tube station is Bethnal Green on the Central Line.


If you'd like to join us and have any questions please message us via the comments box below or just show up on the day.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Funfair at Clissold Park: 5 May

On Bank Holiday Monday 5 May a small group of artists called OckArt, based around Ockendon Road Islington, are visiting Clissold Park to take in the funfair.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Our first sketching outing: 22 April

A small group of artists from the Islington Art Society chose Clissold Park in Stoke Newington for their first sketching outing. The weather was overcast in the morning and nearly scuppered the whole event but in spite of the slightly inclement conditions they persevered and produced a number of interesting sketches which were compared later in the café over lunch.

The intention is to meet roughly once a month at different locations around London. Both members and non-members of the society are welcome to join in. The date and location for the next outing will be posted on this blog.