Wednesday 31 January 2024

Drawing the Haydn Chamber Orchestra, January 27 in St Michael's, Highgate

Approaching 20 sketchers came to St Michael's Church, Highgate on Saturday, 27 January, to draw and paint Islington's prestigious Haydn Chamber Orchestra in rehearsal, thanks to a very kind invitation via Islington Art Society member, Alison Glaister.  (Three people went to the previous night's rehearsal in St Andrew's, Thornhill Square.)    People who had not been to St Michael's before were very impressed with the striking Evie Hone stained glass Last Supper in the East Window, but mostly managed to focus their art on the orchestra, whose music was breathtaking. 

The conductor was the distinguished Paul Daniel, and the piano soloist the equally distinguished Charles Owen.   The pieces were Schumann's Piano Concerto, Brahms' Symphony number 3, and Siegfried's Rhine Journey, from Wagner's Gotterdammerung.  It was such a treat and a privilege to be so close to such beautiful music, we are so grateful to the orchestra for allowing us to overlook them during their practice runs.   It was also good to see the love the musicians have for the intricacies of the music, and how Paul Daniel finessed the interpretation of certain phrases.

One or two artists went up to the galleries and took in the whole ensemble and church, but most people focused their concentration on selected performers.   The removal of the Steinway piano after the Schumann was a bit of a blow for some, but they soldiered on without its substantial presence in the middle of their compositions. 

We all enjoyed ourselves enormously.   It was such a delightful afternoon.  We thank the Haydn Chamber Orchestra for giving us the opportunity to sketch them.

Please enjoy looking at our images below.   Any further submissions will be added in later.

Image above by Daniel Lloyd-Morgan

Two images above by Ruijun Hu  


Six images above by Vanessa Whinney 

Two images above by Ann Kozlowski-Hunt 

Two images above by Maureen Bocking                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Three images above by Lorraine Peacock

Two images above by Janet Payne

Two images above by Do Burgess   

Three images above by Peter Colley

Image above by Christian Cook                                                                                                                 

Image above by Frank Burgess

Two images above by Alison Gardiner

Four images above by Janet Perkins

Three images above by Penny Spelling

Two images above by Cathy Burkinshaw



Three images above by Sue Lees

 And finally, Pauline Cushnie sketched the sketchers:


Sunday 21 January 2024

Visit to St Bartholomew the Great on Tuesday 16 January 2024

 A dozen artists came to sketch in the fabulous St Bartholomew the Great on the 16th January.  

This church is amazing, it was built 900 years ago, as part of the priory which operated the hospital next door, Barts, which has also therefore been going for 900 years.   The foundation story is also pretty amazing, with one of Henry I's noblemen/court jesters/clerics, named Rahere, having made a pilgrimage to Rome following the trauma of the loss of the White Ship with Henry's family aboard, getting ill, making a promise to build a hospital, and having a vision of St Bartholomew who told him where to build his hospital and church.   Hot stuff.   And both still going today.    A good review of the many ups and downs in the church's history can be found here:

While the side aisles of St Bartholomew are good Gothic arcades, the real splendour of the church is the large central part which is held up by a series of big Norman pillars and exuberant runs of Norman arches, in tiers.    Many of our artists tackled some of these arches, but only one took on a floor-to-ceiling view of multiple Norman arches.    Two artists found fascinating sculptures, and one went outdoors into the cold and painted one of the many historic buildings in this very interesting corner of London.   

The church was warm, with radiators hidden underneath carved benches, but in pursuit of the medieval atmosphere, electric lighting was restricted.   Lovely spotlighting on particular features was great, and helped to give focal points, but those of us who went back into the church in the afternoon found it very difficult to see the paper in front of us.   There were some candles, and it was rather magical to sit and imagine that this was how the church had always looked through the centuries. 

We had lunch in a nearby cafe, Beppe's, kindly checked out in advance by two of our group, and it turned out that this was rather a historic place as well.  It had been set up in 1932 and had remained through several generations of the same Italian family.  Such a pleasure to go somewhere which is not a corporate chain. 

Please enjoy our images.

Image above by Gafung Wong

Image above by Do Burgess

Image above by Ruijun Hu

Image above by Daniel Lloyd-Morgan

Image above by Janet Payne

Image above by Diana Butement                                                                                                                 

Image above by Frank Burgess

Image above by Peter Colley

Two images above by Audrey Rapier

Image above by Gafung Wong

Image above by Diana Marshall

Image above by Sue Lees

Below, two sculptural features found in the church, St Bartholomew himself (we think) supporting the lectern, and the Chamberlayne Monument of 1615, showing Sir Robert Chamberlayne

Image above by Janet Perkins

Image above by Gill Steiner

  And finally, Daniel Lloyd-Morgan's painting of Smithfield Market, done outside on that very cold day!