Throw down

At the end of a sketch out artists do a throw down where we lay out all our drawings for each other to see. There are fourteen sketches here but I think there were more people attending than that.

There are lots of things to sketch at Keele, there is Keele Hall, various interesting buildings and different architectures. There are also a series of small lakes and an observatory which I once visited, but can’t remember where it is. The number of buildings on the campus has really increased in recent years. There is now a full blown science park there. It’s a long way from when it’s campus was the base for an old British comedy called a very peculiar practice. Based in the 1980’s.

Rita sketching

Ten minute pen sketch, my fellow urban sketcher Rita was concentrating on drawing Keele Chapel, she looked chilly in the cold wind!

There was an open day at the University today but they let the urban Sketchers on the carpark. I sat myself down on a bench by the students union and ruffled by the wind that was gusting through the plaza, I sat and drew the Chapel too while watching gazebos rocked by the wind. A whole display of soaps and moisturisers on one craft stall went flying to the ground, it got gloomier and colder. But then about twenty of us gathered to see each others work! What a brisk and breezy morning.

Urban sketching

I’ve been out with Stoke urban Sketchers today. It was a breezy cold morning but I need to get back into urban sketching again, I haven’t been along for months. We were at Keele University in Staffordshire. I decided to draw the Chapel, large, brutal architecture, a bit like a castle without the castelations. If that’s what they are called. I tried drawing using a charcoal set I’d bought. It was a bit disappointing, less charcoal, more grey pencil? I used some conte crayon sticks and a few felt pens to add bits of colour. I finished off drawing tiny lines to indicate the walls were made of black bricks. Eventually I went and got a hot drink. Then I came out again and quickly drew one of the other Sketchers. Finally we had a throw down of everyone’s drawings, I might post a photo later.

Outside sculpture?

At Keele University, seen one summer evening in the glow of the evening sky. The posts are square and mirror coated, the lights reflect off them and you see a miriad of reflections as you look through them. It’s an impressive sight. It’s near the Chapel and Students Union at Keele University in Staffordshire, England. The University is on a campus about a couple of miles west of up a hill from Newcastle-under-Lyme. I’m glad that public art is on display. It gives a place for artists work to be seen.


Lit by led lights, this sculpture at Keele University is striking. Spires of reflective steel radiate outwards. Each line of them diminishes in size as them move outwards. It seems energetic, yet constrained. Like a frozen fountain. At the centre is a low metal plinth or seat. I wanted to walk into the centre of it and sit or stand on it. But thought it might be too fragile. A peaceful place to contemplate the universe perhaps?

Keele Hall silhouette

Moving away from meteors, here are a couple more photos from this evenings walk. Showing Keele Hall and a very tiny thin crescent moon peeping out from behind the branches of an ancient tree on the estate. It relaxed me seeing such a lovely fading sunset. We had been blinded by the westerning sun dropping low on the horizon earlier so it was good that it had set for this photo.

Evening stroll

This evening we had a stroll round Keele Woods. Situated being Keele Hall, part of Keele University in Staffordshire. The paths are rough in places and meander down by three old fishing pools. I’m not sure about who is allowed to fish if at all. It was getting dark as we walked back up the hill to the hall. Nice walk.

Night out at Keele

Keele University not Keele in Germany!

There is a choir called Keele Bach choir who do regular concerts of music by Bach and other composers each month or so.

We arrived on time but struggled to find a parking space. There are lots of spaces for approved permit holders only. Plus ones for electric vehicles, spaces for thirty minutes only and of course disabled spaces (which I would never park in) in the end we parked in a permit holders space, only to find out they are not policed after 5pm!

To the Chapel where the concerts are held. Lovely music, wonderful singers and beautiful organ laying. I didn’t get the titles of the short peices because we didn’t have time to get a programme, only getting there a minute before the performance. But there was an Ave Maria and then later an Ave Maria Stella.

During the interval I tried drawing the asymmetric windows in the Chapel above where the choir were singing.

When we came out the clouds were looming again. Pink edges to the clouds did seem to signify a slightly better day.