Wednesday 4 December 2019

Visit to Leadenhall Market, City of London, on Tuesday 3 December 2019

This was Art in the Park's second visit to Leadenhall Market, and on this chilly December day only six hardy souls turned up to sketch its monumental Victoriana. However, we did have a nice time and produced lots of good and varied work. We were hoping for superior Christmas decorations to place amongst the architectural motifs, etc., but felt rather let down. There was a big Christmas tree in the central square of the Market, but its decorations were rather discreet, even muted. (A reflection of current trading and political circumstances, perhaps?) However, the tree did provide a good tall central feature to juxtapose against the regular classical features of the building, and many of us included it in our work. Other decorations were either rather small, or, as was the case of a huge pair of hands hanging from the ceiling, both difficult to include in a painting and rather odd. So no huge silver reindeer leaping across the facades which your editor was hoping for. While some of us painted in the arcades, sensible people went into a cafe and operated in the warmth, and the afternoon shift found a convenient counter to sit on beside a window in a nearly empty Leon.

The place was not crowded,except for the lunch hour, when all indoor seats got taken by city people, so once again we nipped off round the corner to The Grapes pub, and had a cosy lunch upstairs.

Our next outing will be in January, and as we may or may not post the details of this presently unformulated event by the holiday period, now seems the moment to wish all Art in the Park participants a happy Christmas, and a relaxing break. We will look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Visit to Leadenhall Market, City of London, on Tuesday 3 December 2019

Saturday 23 November 2019

Visit to St Bartholemew the Great, Smithfield, on Tuesday 19 November 2019

This was Art in the Park's second visit to the stunning St Bartholemew the Great so some of the sixteen sketchers who turned up on a grey November day knew what to expect. Most people focussed on the arches (mainly Norman, of course, in this historic location), but some picked out cameos from the monuments and the artwork, which includes a golden statue by Damian Hirst. The Church was rather dark, with daylight coming in from the upper windows, and with patches of golden light at ground level giving interesting effects. In the afternoon the daylight faded rapidly and the interior became very dark and cavernous. We very much appreciated the opportunity to sketch in such an antique building.

The weather was unfortunately too cold to sketch outside, but there were interesting possibilities outside for another time.

December Outing to Leadenhall Market

We meet at 11 am on Tuesday 3 December for our December outing to Leadenhall Market, hopeful that there will be some Christmas spirit and decorations.

We have previously visited Leadenhall Market in October 2018 and there is a post on the blog. Although it is undercover it is cold so wrap up warm and bring sketching stools.

Meet under the central Rotunda. Janet's number for the day is 07815 772857.

Leadenhall Market dates back to the 14th century although the present building is Victorian, and features in the Harry Potter films as Diagon Alley.

The address is Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch St, Langbourn, London EC3V 1LT. As it is in the City there are plenty of buses and underground stations. The website is

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.

I finally have two pictures to upload. Better late than never, any more always welcome

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.