2018 drawings.

Last year we went to Apedale light railway and enjoyed a day looking at exhibits of the anniversary of the 1914/1918 War. These are black and white sketches I did. Such an interesting day I thought I would post some of them. Each one has people included. I don’t just draw landscapes if I can help it, I like to include little portraits. When I do urban sketching I will try and include people to give a sense of scale.

Louds

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The choir were there but I decided not to include us in the photo. We have two more meetings of the choir before we break up for August then return in September.

Loud Mouth Women is an a capella choir, who meet at Newcastle Baptist church in Stafford Avenue, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme on a Tuesday evening. It is made up of female singers who don’t audition or have to read music and is open to anyone woman who wants to sing. It improves confidence, allows you to socialise, and gives you the opportunity to learn a new skill of singing in different languages. To do this we learn by repetition, learning songs phonetically.

Tonight we learned an arab song about friendship, sang an old favourite “moonriver” and had the pleasure of being taught by Caroline who was deputising for our normal musical director Kate.

We have also recently had the enormous pleasure of going to a Yoga group run by one of the Louds, which is run an hour and a half before we sing. I was so relaxed tonight I almost fell asleep in the choir.

Balcony

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Wherefore art thou?

High up on the wall of the Brampton museum and art gallery is a lovely balcony. I want to visit the room and look out over the parkland in front of the museum but I think its probably a store room.

I think it’s a sweet little touch to the architecture of the place. I’ve visited before but never noticed it until today. Probably because the strong sunlight and shadows picked it out against the brickwork.

Modern architecture can be startling and revelatory, but details like this should be cherished.

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Unitarian meeting house

In 2018 I sang with three choirs at the Unitarian meeting house at Newcastle-under-Lyme. The original meeting house was built in 1717 but the building was burnt down. I don’t remember everything they told us but I think Josiah Wedgewood whose portrait is carved in wood above the door was a supporter of them.

I was impressed by the tapestries of their history that were on display in the hall. It’s fascinating what history there is in this area. Some of the Methodists first met near Stoke-on-Trent at Mow Cop and also built Bethesda Chapel in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent..

Classy lighting

Having taken a photo of an old gas lamp in Rhyl last year, I came across these today.

The lamps seem to have almost the same design as the lamp in Rhyl. But these are in much better condition because they were protected inside the Guildhall in Newcastle-under-Lyme and seem to have recently been restored.

Each lamp sits at the bottom of a sweeping curved staircase that splits at the top and comes down on either side of an almost circular lobby. Above the upright lamps hangs a formidable, eight branched chandelier with curving arms. Both the lamps and chandelier are lit with electric light bulbs. But looking at them they appear to have had gas mantles in the past.

Presently the guildhall at the ironmarket in Newcastle-under-Lyme is being run by volunteers. They are holding a cake making competition on Saturday 9 March 2019 for the finish of the fair trade fortnight. They are always looking for new volunteers.

As a bit of extra information apparently the hall was once used for grand ballroom dances. With stairs and lamps like this I’m sure it’s true.

Pastel workshop


I was going to have a quiet day today. But I got up and there was a bit of a disaster in our kitchen. My hubby had decided to brew some beer. But he had added some extra sugar to the brew. Then he has put the bung in upside down. Beer had turned into volcano. Half the brew was all over the kitchen. It had hit the ceiling, there were puddles of ale on the cupboard tops, it was all over the cooker. Basically half the kitchen has been inundated with beer….

After about an hour of cleaning up I decided to go to the pastel workshop with the Orme art group. Basically to escape! The workshop was run by Sandra Orme (no relation).

It’s difficult to describe what we learnt, it was complicated. I’ve added a few photos of the two pictures I did. First you lay down colours in soft pastel on fine toothed pastel paper. Once you have enough pastel on you blend them together, then build up layers using smaller more intricate marks, gradually blending and adding. Sometimes only lightly pressing on the pastel, other times blending more. The direction of the marks can make a difference to how it looks. You can use the edge of your hands, your palms, your fingers or blending tools (like a brush but with the bristles replaced with a rubber tip).

Im pleased with the results. I’m even thinking of getting them framed….

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Life drawing with Orme Art

I had the great pleasure of spending the day drawing my friend Eve when she came and modelled for us at Newcastle Fire Station. One of the art groups I’m in, Orme Art group had booked he as a clothed model for the day.

Here are my attempts at drawing her. The red dress was really spectacular and hard to draw! I felt really out of practice but I felt like I was getting into it more as the day wore on.