Thursday, 8 September 2016

Let's draw Smithfield: Saturday 15 October 2016

Smithfield – “the smooth field” – was the site of a livestock market dating from the medieval era, and of the annual Cloth Fair held around St Bartholomew’s Day.  It is outside the area of the City of London destroyed by the Great Fire of London of 1666, so has some very old buildings, including the oldest church in London.

The nearest Underground station is Barbican.  From Aldersgate, walk along Long Lane and you will soon see Smithfield Market.  We will meet at West Smithfield garden, a small circular city park in front of the market building.

Summary of the day:
  •          Meet at 11 am at West Smithfield garden in front of Smithfield Market
  •          Meet at 1 pm in the same place
  •          Meet at 3.30 pm either at the West Smithfield garden if dry or the Rising Sun pub on Cloth Fair if wet

Smithfield is an area of varied history, and rapid change, and offers a great mix of subjects to draw:

Smithfield Market is a large Victorian building (see top image) completed in 1867 (architect Horace Jones), a wholesale meat market (trading Monday to Friday).  At the southwest end are disused buildings, formerly a general market, which have been acquired for redevelopment as a new location for the Museum of London.  The provisional opening date for this is 2021.

St Bartholomew’s Hospital has stood on this site since 1123, and some of the existing buildings date from the eighteenth century.  The hospital complex includes St Bartholomew the Less church (unlikely to be open), and a courtyard with a fountain and plenty of seats.  The hospital’s Henry Vlll Gate is on West Smithfield.

Memorials: Smithfield was for centuries a site of execution.  Memorials alongside the hospital include one to William Wallace, Scottish leader executed in 1305

St Bartholomew the Great church: the oldest church in London, interesting interior and exterior, admission charge, open 10.30 am to 4 pm

The Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court, down Giltspur Street

Postman’s Park and St Botolph Aldersgate, down Little Britain.  The park includes G. F. Watts’ Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice

The Museum of London on the junction of Aldersgate and London Wall, free admission, open 10 am to 6 pm

I have listed quite a few options as the impact of building work in the area is unpredictable.

Wet weather options include the interior of St Bartholomew the Great, interiors of pubs and cafes, and the Museum of London

Facilities: Old pubs are characteristic of the area, although not all open on Saturday.  The Rising Sun, 38 Cloth Fair, the Old Red Cow, 71 Long Lane, the Fox and Anchor, 115 Charterhouse, should be open, also Carluccio cafĂ© on West Smithfield and cafes near the tube station and the Museum of London

This day is organised by Jo Dungey.


Saturday, 3 September 2016

Drawing Little Venice: Saturday 17 September

We are meeting at Little Venice in west London for our next sketchcrawl on Saturday 17 September. The plan is to meet at Rembrandt Gardens, right next to the canal, at 11am, and again at 1pm. It's a short walk from Warwick Avenue tube station (Bakerloo line) or a longer one from Paddington tube station (Bakerloo, Circle, District, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City). There's a map below.

The area is a quiet, affluent place where the Grand Union and Regent's canals meet, with quiet back streets and occasional passing narrowboats. The more modern Paddington Central development, close to the Westway flyovers, is nearby along the canal.

Meet at 11am, and again at 1pm, at Rembrandt Gardens, where Warwick Avenue crosses over the canal, and overlooks the basin. There are public toilets here.

There is a variety of pubs and cafes around Little Venice, although not too cheap. This is the Warwick Castle pub, easily overlooked down Warwick Place, which looks promising.

There are a variety of subjects from the traditionally leafy, such as these...

... to the more modern developments around Paddington close by.

We will finish at the Shelton Square amphitheatre, which is just along the canal towards Paddington, just past the flyovers. There is a variety of cafes and bars around here.

There aren't a huge number of wet-weather options around Little Venice, apart from drawing in Paddington station or from cafes and bars around. Let's hope it's dry, or even sunny.