Wednesday 24 April 2024

Tuesday 14 May: St John's Wood Church Gardens, 8 Wellington Place, London NW8 9JA

Our next sketching day will be Tuesday 14 May 2024 when we are going to go to the St John's Wood Church Gardens.   This a two-hectare local nature reserve, partly wooded graveyard, (with gravestone of watercolourist John Sell Cotman), and partly ornamental garden.   The St John's Wood Church is alongside, built in the Italianate style, and with one or two (possibly) Italian cypresses in the formal garden we may be able to imagine ourselves in an Italian garden.  More details here:    Outside there is one of those green cabmens' shelters, shadowed attractively by trees, another subject for art. 

If it is wet, we may be able to sit under the Church Portico, or do some cafe sketching.  In any case, we suggest you bring your sketching stool and your umbrella.

There is a public loo at 5 Wellington Place.    Depending on the weather, we can either have lunch at one of the cafes on St John's Wood High Street (The Good Life Eatery which does salads, etc., is just across the road from the Gardens, and if we are a large group, AT Feast might be better and we can probably book ahead that morning), or get take away sandwiches and coffee from one of the cafes which does take-aways (Laurent's  is recommended) and eat lunch together in the Gardens.   The green cab shelter also serves the public.   It does not look as though we will starve. 

The nearest tube station is St John's Wood, on the Jubilee Line.    The 274 bus runs through Camden past the south side of the Church.

Hoping for a warm sunny day!

Sue's telephone number for the day is: 07975 864 142.


Sunday 21 April 2024

Our Visit to Abney Park.

On a variable and chilly day 10 artists arrived in Abney Park to draw the chapel, the trees and the graves.

Fortunately the hale storm held off until just before 1 pm, when most of us hastened to the Green Room, a cafe on Stoke Newington Church Street where we stocked up on hot drinks and smashed avocado on sourdough toast.

One key path in the cemetery was closed for maintenance. Navigation in the cemetery is always a challenge and the path closure didn't help. Fortunately no-one got lost or left behind which would have been a ghoulish experience.

In spite of the weather some great work was produced, see below.

Here is nice picture taken by Audrey Rapier of Sue Lees, determinedly carrying on in difficult weather conditions.

3 pictures below from Audrey Rapier

From Avis Dennis

From Diane Umemoto

From Doreen Burgess

From Gill Steiner

From Janet Perkins

From Janet Payne

2 pictures below from Peter Colley

From Diana Marshall

From Sue Lees

The next date is Tuesday 14th May. Venue to be confirmed.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Abney Park Cemetery on Tuesday 16th April 2024

Our next outing is to Abney Park Cemetery. 

Meet at 11am on Tuesday 16th April at the Stoke Newington Church Street entrance, not the High Street entrance. The 73, 476 and 393 buses all run along Church Street. The main entrance is on the High Street, but this is more difficult for most of us to get to. This entrance is served by the 67, 76, 106, 149, 243, 276 393 and 476 buses and is a short walk through the cemetery to the Church Street entrance. The 106 goes from Finsbury Park and the 393 from Highbury and Islington undergrounds.

The address is Abney Park Cemetery Trust, 215 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH.

More about the cemetery can be found on their website including some very informative videos. The cemetery was originally an arboretum for two big houses and then became one of London's Magnificent Seven Victorian cemeteries. There are some rare trees and a lot of greenery. Stoke Newington has a tradition of non-conformism, which is reflected in the burials. One of the grandest tombs is that of General Booth of the Salvation Army. The lion tomb is that of a circus entertainer.

The cemetery has recently been 'refurbed'. The unkempt and charming undergrowth has been tamed but not obliterated. Unfortunately the chapel is not open to the public but there is often a glimpse of the interior for the determined. But plenty of ornate tombs with angels and trees.

The visitor centre is currently closed, so sorry no loos. There are plenty of cafes and pubs on Church Street.

Janet's phone number for the day is 07815 772857. Pics to for posting on the blog.

Our great little exhibition at the Roundhouse has now been taken down. Thank you to all who helped and participated. Three artists sold work. They were Sue Lees, Daniel Lloyd Morgan and Audrey Rapier, which is good as there were only 8 of us and also no formal stewarding.