Sunday, 18 July 2021

de Beauvoir Square 13 July 2021

Following torrential downpours and flooding in the underground, six artists made their way, on foot, by bike and even by public transport to de Beauvoir Square. The weather proved to be reasonably kind, no rain and fairly warm. The square was very pleasant and much enjoyed by locals and of course Art in the Park artists

The six accomplished a great deal of work, repaired to a local cafe for lunch with most people returning to the square afterwards. The stall selling Hackney Gelato at the cafe was unfortunately closed but that did not deter us.

Good work by all

Sue getting ready:

Images below:

Gafung Wong

Sara Meidan

Priscilla Worley

Diane Umemoto

Sue Lees

Janet Payne

with remote working from Gill Steiner

Don't forget 11 am Tuesday 27th July at St John's Hackney

Monday, 5 July 2021

July Outings, de Beauvoir Square and St Augustine's Tower Hackney

 As we missed so many outings during lockdown your organisers have decided to go for two outings a month whilst the so called summer lasts and Covid restrictions allow.

Our next outing is to de Beauvoir Square on Tuesday 13 July. Meet at the square at 11 am by the rose garden. The square is quite small, so we can't miss each other. It is a charming late Georgian/early Victorian Square in an unusual Tudor/Gothic style. Three sides remain intact but the east side is a part of a Hackney housing estate. There are wonderful big plane trees, a rose garden and a children's play area. It is very much a local community hub. 

de Beauvoir Square is the centre of the de Beauvoir, owned by the Benyon estate. Wikipedia is fairly informative. The photo is one I have copied from the de Beauvoir news and is by Stephen King, who lives locally.

There is a short walk to 'Bread and Butter' on Enfield Road, a cafe with outdoor seating and loos. There are also cafes on Kingsland Road.

The nearest stations are Haggerston and Dalston Junction, both of which have overground trains from Highbury and Islington. Buses run along Southgate Road and Kingsland Road. The postcode for the square is N1 4LG

Then on Tuesday 27 July we meet at 11 am outside the tower of St Augustine's, Hackney, E8 1HT. This is all that remains of the original St John's Church and was founded by the Knights Hospitaller. The church was subsequently moved to the very nearby St John at Hackney, which shares St John's Garden, a park and a graveyard.

The Tower is at the north end of Mare Street, with many cafes nearby. The nearest station is Hackney Central, overground from Highbury. Useful buses are the 30 and 38.

Nearby are Clapton Square, Sutton House and a pretty row of Georgian Houses in Sutton Place.

Please send your pics for both events to Janet's number for the day is 07815 772857

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Tuesday 29 June 2021: Visit to Newington Green, Islington

Nine artists arrived at Newington Green on a sunnyish morning.   We examined Maggie Hambling's statue for Mary Wollstonecraft, and our first reaction was that it was much smaller than we were expecting from the press photographs.  Those artists who thoroughly looked at the statue before they settled down, and while sketching it, became more and more impressed with it as they worked; they found they could see parts of the female body emerging from the chaos of the lower section, to reflect the idea that Mary Wollstonecraft was emerging from the lives of other women before her (or Everywoman is emerging from those who went before, which seems to be what Maggie Hambling intended).   Comments welcomed on this.   The silvery finish itself also reflected the trees which surrounded it in multiple shades of green, and (possibly) might also reflect the chapel which Mary attended which is still standing just outside the Green.   We are not sure whether the huge trees in Newington Green would have been seen by Mary herself at the end of the eighteenth century.   We were pleased to have had a close look at this deeply contemporary feminist and female-made artwork.

Others amongst us sketched the period buildings around Newington Green, including the Unitarian Chapel, and the Green more generally, and one person focused on the people enjoying themselves.  Unfortunately the rain came on at lunchtime, so that was that.   No further opportunities to revisit the statue in the light of our interesting conversation over lunch (obtained from Lizzy's Cafe on the Green, very nice).

Details of our next outing will follow shortly, in the meantime please enjoy our artworks.



Images above by Gafung Wong (left) and Priscilla Worley (right)

Images above by Sue Lees (left) and Tricia Sharpe (right)

Images below by Janet Payne

Four images above by Lindsay Topping

Images below by Gill Steiner (left) and Sara Meidan (right)

Park People by Alison Sandifer

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Tuesday 29 June: Newington Green N16 9PX

On Tuesday 29 June we are going to revisit Newington Green, on the borders of Islington and Hackney.   Since our last visit several years ago, Newington Green has sprung to public attention by the addition of a new statue by deeply contemporary sculptor, Maggie Hambling, of an early feminist heroine, Mary Wollstonecraft.  As Art in the Park is largely (but not entirely) a female group of artists, it seemed appropriate that we should visit this location, though we may wish to sketch Maggie's curiously disconnected creation from the rear.   The Green is surrounded by rather gorgeous buildings, including a Cromwellian period brick terrace, and the oldest in London,  and there are big trees, light and shade, and people to sketch.  

Here is the map:

(Better photo of the A-Z page refused to load!)

There is a cafe with outdoor seating in the square, and various others around, also loos in the square,  and multiple buses running past: 141, 236, 341, 73 ( ) .

The nearest train station is Canonbury, and then a walk.

There are benches, but it is always good to have your sketching stool with you.  

Looking forward to meeting up, Sue's mobile number for the day is: 07975 864142

Saturday, 22 May 2021

18 May 2021 Visit to Queen Mary's Garden, Regent's Park

 Despite a problematic weather forecast,  the morning of 18 May was sunny, cloudy, even windy, and with very occasional showers..  So all fine, really.  Nine artists presented themselves (as well as two on other days), and we had a good sketching session, and an entertaining lunch outside at the nearby cafe, a bit windy, but fine.   The afternoon, however, was totally different: the remaining two artists and all their gear were suddenly covered in hail, it was like being in Siberia!   An extraordinarily wet and windy hailstorm over took Regent's Park!   We have the photos to prove it, please see below.  Artwork damaged variably depending on effective or otherwise use of the umbrella.

The Queen Mary's Garden part of Regent's Park(the area inside the Inner Circle) is a good sketching location (being maintained by the Royal Parks staff), and our artists took particular interest in the rocky Japanese gardens, which have a cascade, wisteria bridge to the island, and little stone lantern.  Other areas which caught the eye were the circular pond with Triton Fountain, the Begonia Garden with its statue, and attractive assemblies of trees and blocks of yews. All reflected in our artwork.

A good place to revisit.

A tedious announcement: Your editors understand that Google, who maintain this blog (at no cost to ourselves) are shortly - in June, in fact - going to stop runing the automatic emailing out of blog updates to email subscribers to this blog. Presumably Google has not got enough funds for this feature. While your editors are going to be emailing regular attenders about our programme, everyone, and particularly intermittent attendees, should check the blog page for updates regularly in order not to miss sketching days (and the artwork!).

Photos below of dreadful climatic conditions and determined artist!

Images above by Diane Umemoto (left) and Tricia Sharpe (right)

Images above by Gill Steiner (left) and Janet Payne (right)

Images above by Mark Hodge (left)and Lindsay Topping (right)

Images above by Gill D'Ambrosio (left) and Gafung Wong (right)

Images below by Maggie Pettigrew

Images Sue Lees (left) and Priscilla Worley (right)

Images above by Gafung Wong (left) and Sue Lees (right)

Finally, an image by Avis Dennis of a friend's garden in Maidenhead

Monday, 17 May 2021

"At home" alternative to Queen Mary's Garden, Regent's Park on 18 May

The weather forecast suggests that any rain tomorrow is likely to be from lunchtime onwards, so we are going ahead with our plan to go to Regent's Park.   Fingers crossed here!   It seems wise to bring an umbrella as well as your sketching stool.

For anyone who is unable to join us on this outing, but still wishes to have a creative day, we suggest that you go outside and sketch (or work with any media) anything, possibly between showers.  Any response to the outdoors will harmonise with sketches done in the various gardens of Regent's Park.   Please send your images in to 

Sue's mobile number for the day is 07975 864142

Friday, 7 May 2021

Last pic from Golders Hill

 Ann Kozlowski-Hunt sent in this pic of Diogenes from Golders Hill Park, that she wasn't able to finish on site and I have taken some time to get round to posting.