Friday 31 March 2023

Visit to Arlington Square on Tuesday 18th April

We are optimistically thinking that April will be warm and dry enough to risk sketching outside. So hoping we are not being too foolhardy meet in Arlington Square N1 7DS on Tuesday 18th April at 11am.

This is a lovely little square in a quiet corner of Islington surrounded by early Victorian Houses and quite close to Regents Canal. The planting in the square is maintained by volunteers from the and photos can be seen on their website. They also have a Facebook page. There should be some colour and flowering shrubs by mid April.

St James Prebend Street, the local church, is very close by and I understand it is always open. So if wet we have another option. The interior is possibly not the most exciting but they do hold Art exhibitions from time to time, as they are artist friendly.

Arlington Square is a brisk 10 minute walk from Angel or Old Street tube stations. The 21 bus runs between Highbury and Islington and Old Street stations and the square is a very short walk from the stop. Get off at the stop closest to Baring Street.

There is a nice pub called The Hanbury on the corner of the square. Lunch options in the area are rather limited so I suggest we try this pub. It opens at 12 noon and of course has loos. Check out the pub at The pub is owner run and the landlady says that Tuesday lunchtime is not her busiest time, so she has asked that I let her know in advance approximately how many to expect, otherwise the options will be limited. So please, if possible let me know if you would like lunch by emailing me at by Saturday 15 April. Another option is to bring sandwiches and have a drink in the pub if you want. I am sure she will be flexible if you change your mind but approx numbers would be great.

Pics to me for posting on the blog. 

Saturday 25 March 2023

Tuesday 21st March: visit to Battersea Power Station

14 artists made their way to the Battersea Power Station complex.   It was wonderful to see the old landmark cleaned up and embarking on its shiny new existence.   We reeled a little under the expensive consumerism on display, and were astonished by the vast number of glassy apartments which have sprouted just around the Power Station.  We wondered how many apartments were occupied, and how many had been built to relieve London's  housing shortage.  For more information on this aspect of the development look here   Despite the thousands of tons of concrete poured into the site, the developers have tried to be sustainable, details here   The area now has a gas powered district heating system which operates using nearly half the amount of energy a  coal-fired conventional system would use, details here   (Not clear what the gas comparison would be.)   Not sure either if there are any solar panels anywhere.  They make much of having retained the black redstarts and peregrine falcons already on the power station, and there are green roof-gardens on top of most of the apartment blocks.  We probably did not notice, but some of the retailers are showing a greener aspect look here

We found much of interest artistically both inside and outside.  Many people focussed on the power station itself, or the river, but inside there are occasional hunks of old machinery, and vintage cars, as well as shoppers and the enormous internal spaces.   There was a lot which we did not tackle, so this is a very useful indoor venue to come to in future winters.  

Please enjoy our images!

Our next outing is Saturday April 1st, the orchestral rehearsal.  Please see previous post for details.

After that, we will go to Arlington Square, Islington, on Tuesday 18 April, details to follow. 

  Image above by Diane Umemoto

Image above by Chris Baker

Image above by Tricia Sharpe

Image above by Avis Dennis   

Image above by Christian Cook

Image above by Janet Perkins

Image above by Sue Lees

Image above by Janet Payne

Image above by Priscilla Worley

Image above by Sue Loder

Image above by Peter Colley

 Image above by Tricia Sharpe

 Machine at the North Atrium by Alison Sandifer



 Three images above by Lindsay Topping

Image above by Sue Lees





Sunday 12 March 2023

Haydn Chamber Orchestra Rehearsal, Saturday 1 April 2:30

We have been given the opportunity to draw the Haydn Chamber Orchestra in rehearsal on Saturday 1 April at 2:30pm at Christ Church Highbury. This is a departure from and in addition to our usual programme. 

The Haydn Chamber Orchestra is an Islington and adjoining area amateur orchestra and more about them can be found on their website at 

They will be rehearsing:

Bruch, Violin Concerto No1 in G minor,   Schubert Symphony No 4 in C minor  and Beethoven Namensfeier Overture. On this occasion the conductor is Andreas Kaljuste.

for a concert at Christchurch later in the evening.

Christ Church's address is 155 Highbury Grove, London N5 1SA. It is a short bus ride or walk from Highbury and Islington or Finsbury Park Stations. Please note that Arsenal are playing Leeds at home on 1 April with a 3pm kick off. The nearby tubes get crowded at home games, so please allow enough time or arrive early with the opportunity to treat yourself to lunch at a nearby cafe. The entrance to the church is on the clocktower side, not the main road. We did visit the church earlier in the year when we sketched from the cafe and encountered a parrot.

Please arrive by 2:15 so as not to cause too much disturbance. My number for the day is 07815 772857. Pics for posting on the blog to me

Thank you to Alison Glaister for making this possible.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Tuesday 21st March: Battersea Power Station

 In a bid to keep up with new developments in public space in  London, on Tuesday 21st March we have decided to go and see London's newest public interior - and exterior -  space, Battersea Power Station in its new incarnation as a superior indoor shopping centre on several levels.  Not fully occupied yet so rather desolate in its upper levels.

The inside is rather like a smart Swiss airterminal, complete with shops selling swiss watches and other seriously upmarket fashion and jewellery of the sort seen at Geneva airport, for example.  It is still possible to see parts of the old powerstation construction in long views, and one of the control rooms has been turned into a cocktail bar.   The shopping centre is rather bleak, and there are very few chairs in the main galleries.  There are various cafes and restaurants, but mostly they do not have a decent view of anything though their windows.  There are two pianos for the musical public to use, one of which has a nearby coffee/cake kiosk (in fact a smartly painted old French van), and chairs for the customers.  The pianos are popular, so an opportunity to sketch a pianist.   Outside, if the weather is kind, there are other sketching possibilities.   Between the Power Station and the tube station there is a tastefully landscaped winding pathway, an extraordinary quasi-amphitheatre, and the mass of apartments are quite quirky and would be a challenge to anyone's perspective capabilities.   This lot would compose into interesting urban sketches. There are also views of the river.  There are a lot of people wandering around, so a good opportunity for figure drawing.

As the seating is virtually non-existent, artists MUST bring their sketching stools.   If you want to sketch outside, an umbrella would be good, we are not sure if there are any shelters and there are no views of the outside from the shopping centre,  As for lunch, the cafes get crowded (most of London  seems to be visiting at present), but there is a Pret, where we can get sandwiches, and then eat them together in our own encampment in one of the vast corridors.   

The Pret does not take cash (nowhere to store cash, we have been told), we do not know if any other cafes take cash, so please bring your plastic or your own lunch if you have forsworn plastic.   Lavatories no problem.

 A map of the exterior is here         We will meet at 11 o'clock at the South Entrance, which is right by the sunken ampitheatre (Malaysia Square).

The tube station Battersea Power Station is on a new arm of the Northern Line.   The Power Station is a few moments' walk round the back of the new tube stop, signed.   Further details of the development here

Sue's mobile number for the day is: 07975 864 142.   Looking forward to seeing many of you on the 21st.   Meanwhile, a few images prepared earlier.

Monday 6 March 2023

Our visit to the Place --- Correction

 On 28 February we visited The Place, near Euston to sketch a ballet rehearsal. The Place is the home of the London Contemporary Dance School. This was a new departure for Art in the Park and very successful. The dancers had amazing energy and skill and we were very privileged to be allowed to sketch the rehearsal. A big thank you to The Place and the hard working dancers. We were made very welcome.

On a cold February morning some 18 artists attended. Obviously the dancers moved very quickly so this was a real challenge.

There are quite a lot of pictures this time, so I hope I have not missed anyone out or misattributed any pictures. Corrections can be issued. Contact me,

Next dates for your diary Battersea Power Station Tuesday 21 March 


Saturday 1 April 2:30, The Haydn Orchestra rehearsal at Christchurch, Highbury. More details to follow.

Correction. On the last mail out I inadvertently added some of Sue Loder's pics to Sue Lees pics. So Sue Lees had too many pics and Sue Loder not enough. I hope it is right this time, apologies

Here we all are at the Place. Photos from Gafung

and pics

From Diane Umemoto

Avis Dennis

Gafung Wong

Gill Steiner

Daniel Lloyd Morgan

Audrey Rapier

Sue Loder

Christine Khwaja

Peter Colley

Sue Lees

Janet Perkins

Janet Payne

Priscilla Worley