Wednesday 19 June 2019

July outing to Woodberry Wetlands

Our July outing is on Tuesday 16 July to Woodberry Wetlands, a nature reserve between Stoke Newington and Manor House. The canal towpath passes adjacent to the old East Reservoir which has been reinvented as Woodberry Wetlands.

The website is

Meet at the West and Coal House entrance on Lordship Road N16 5HQ at 11 am. Janet's number for the day is 07815 772857. There is a cafe and loos but not too much cover if it really rains! Sketching stools will make it easier to find a good location.

The West Reservoir, home of little sailing boats and early morning wetsuit swimmers is easily accessible and provides an alternative sketching opportunity.

Woodberry Wetlands are a 10 minute walk from Manor House tube or Stamford Hill railway station, and the 253 and 254 buses stop on Seven Sisters Road and can be caught by Manor House tube.

Monday 17 June 2019

Visit to the Beech Garden, Barbican, on 11 June 2019

In contrast to our recent sketching days out, we had a deliciously peaceful day in the Barbican's upper storey Beech Garden on 11 June. Miraculously dry between days of heavy rain, we enjoyed light sunshine, and astonishingly, Nigel Dunnett's steppe planting design had not been flattened by the downpour the night before. The spring display was over, and the principal flowers were purple alliums, red hot pokers, poppies, and tawny euphorbias, making good shapes amongst various grasses and less noticeable plants. We were very pleased to see a blackbird, a few sparrows and a pair of goldfinches nipping in and out of the main "steppe border", clearly finding good things to eat, and no predators.

Nine artists presented themselves, and we all had a go at the plants one way or another, the soft prairie planting was something completely different from our normal sketching subject matter. Most of our work shows the garden within its Barbican surroundings. Our collage specialist arrived with papers, fabric, and glue, and produced a successful interpretation. There was an opportunity to sketch people drifting around the garden, but only one figure appealed.