Wednesday 23 August 2017

We drew Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens 19 August 2017

[By Nicky Browne in London] Hyde Park had a nip of autumn in the air, but the welcome from the Urban Sketchers was friendly and warming -- and it might have been a record attendance! (Anyone want to count heads?)

Every year the Serpentine Gallery commissions a leading architect to design a new temporary summer pavilion. This year's structure was designed by Francis Kéré, the award-winning architect from Burkina Faso. They've even tucked a coffee bar inside -- what better way to start the day?

There was a wealth of material to hand. We met at the Serpentine Gallery next to the summer pavilion designed by Francis Kéré. Then off to work!

 The Italian Gardens' fountains played against the backdrop of golden grass and dark, late summer trees. The Serpentine Lake bridge, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery designed by Zaha Hadid and the Serpentine Gallery itself appeared in many drawings and paintings.

Several people challenged themselves successfully with the Royal Albert Hall and the famous Albert Memorial. Someone even stood at the traffic lights and drew the Royal Geographical Society (the view was regularly blocked by buses waiting at the lights!). 

There were several renderings of the aptly named equestrian statue Physical Energy by the Victorian painter and sculptor George Fredric Watts. (The original plaster model is located at the very drawable Watts Gallery in the Surrey village of Compton, near Guildford).

There were also sketches of the contemporary bronze sculpture Serenity by Simon Gudgeon, and one or two drawings of The Arch by Henry Moore, a stone sculpture the artist gave to the nation in 1980.

Chickens as wildlife!
Then there was interesting wild life: swans, geese, ducks and people. Someone sat too near a Great Tit's nest and was attacked several times --  and there were some lovely paintings of some rather splendid chickens! 

The day was organised by Jo Dungey with Nicky Browne


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