After over a year I finally went out today with my local urban sketchers group to a place called Keele Hall, part of Keele University. Its near Newcastle-Under-Lyme in Staffordshire. The hall was originally the home of Ralph Sneyd and his son a couple of centuries ago. It was then taken over as Stoke-on-Trent University but then was taken over as Keele University, one of the first campus universities in the UK.
Too complicated! I should have been there at 11, but by the time I got there and started it must have been 11.45, then time flew by. The sun was so bright I decided to lurk in a shadow, but even then it was hard to see details.
Enjoyed the virtual sketch out today with #uskstoke ! I drew our house off Google maps, it was too cold and wet to stand outside. Anyone who knows where I live knows my views out of the house are limited so I drew two other places I know from photos too! Oh how I wish I could get out more…. They are Gladstone pottery museum and Penkhull church. Both drawn as snowy scenes so at least they look a bit like the weather today….
17 April 2020 was a day I drew a days diary. The final day of drawing with Stoke-on-Trent urban sketchers. I went on to draw more afterwards. We didn’t know at that time that the virus was just going to keep going. We thought it would soon be over. We thought maybe we could conquer it! There was some optimism still out there. Now things don’t look so good. But you just have to keep going. I haven’t felt much like painting, but I haven’t stopped drawing yet!
I keep finding old photos of my drawings over the last few months. This was day 25 of our Urban Sketchers challenge to draw pictures in lockdown. Over the months I’ve had more drawing practice than I had for several years before.
I notice the tricycle, that had to have new back wheels one of the old ones collapsed and the other one was almost rusted through. And the copper coloured windmill that fell apart in a heavy wind!
The blossom was pink and white cherry and pear blossom. Billowing and beautiful, we had abundant fruit this year. Only five or six months to wait before it comes back.
Today I joined #uskstoke for half an hour and painted this watercolour for the Saturday virtual sketch out. There were only a few of us but it was a nice chatty time. Good to catch up with people. I liked the colours and interesting architecture. Painting the letters was most difficult, trying to add white paint on top did not work brilliantly.
I was just watching an on line lecture about using the new photoshop system and it reminded me of this drawing I did back in August. It was a quick sketch of my desk and drawing tablet. We were disussing about doing loose drawings and I realised thats what this is. Apparently I should be building up layers so I can change and alter them as I draw. I need to learn more… Over ten years of using photoshop and I never got into it! Thats the thing if you dont see information and you try aand learn things just by trial and error!
In the first lockdown , Urban Sketchers was doing a daily drawing. On dat 30 we did a chronicle of the day. This was mine on 17.4.2020. I seem to have spent the day on chores, cooking, eating, drinking watching cats and drawing.
How little we knew then of how long Covid19 would last, everything seemed new and unusual, a challenge, not a problem. An opportunity to be involved in something creative. And all the clapping for the NHS on a Thursday night seemed appropriate. We didn’t know one lockdown would end, and despite people’s efforts we would go into another one this Autumn. I wonder if I should do another Covid diary?
Two sketches in Etruria today. A corner house and the White bridge over the Trent and Mersey canal. Both were done in response to an online virtual sketch out with #uskstoke (Stoke Urban Sketchers). There was a zoom meeting, but I couldn’t join as I was out and about and had no Internet access. These are hopefully going to be included in an online ‘street’ of people’s images that represent the city. They were very quick sketches and I tried to draw the corner house a few times, it was difficult to get it to fit on a small sketchpad page…..
This was fun, I did a quick drawing over twenty minutes because I was late getting to the virtual meeting. The subject was Manchesters China Town. Basically its a rough sketch and I tried to add as much detail as I could in the limited time. I started on the pagoda side then worked over onto the left side, drawing in shapes and trying to get the tones right. I think it came out OK. I wad working off a photo that was only a couple of inches across so it was hard to get much detail.
Just found this from June 2019,i was out sketching with #uskstoke at the national urban sketchers meeting in Stoke-on-Trent. We were due to meet in Leeds this year, but of course it was cancelled. This is a drawing of the Arnold Bennett sculpture in Hanley. This is the city centre of Stoke-on-Trent. I think I must have spent quite a while drawing it. Oh come back 2019!