Friday 25 May 2018

Sketching inside the City churches

St Mary le Bow by Cathryn Worrell

(Cathryn Worrell writes)
As the oldest part of London, the City is a great place to sketch. With architecture dating from Roman times to the present day, and pockets of quieter green spaces all within 1 square mile, there's more than enough to keep any urban sketcher very happy (and very busy!).

At almost every turn you will come across one of the 42 City churches, most of which were built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London. Quite a few of Wren's churches were demolished in the 19th century as fewer people were living within the City, and others were damaged or destroyed during the Second World War.

St Dunstan in the East by Cathryn Worrell

Some of the City churches that were damaged still survive as single towers or ruins - one of the prettiest of these ruins being St Dunstan in the East, which is set among tranquil gardens close to the Monument to the Great Fire.

Map by Pete Scully - click to download a full size version

Over the past few years, urban sketcher, Pete Scully has organised two sketchcrawls through the City with the aim of sketching as many of Wren's churches as possible over the course of a day. He made a very useful hand-drawn map which shows the location of most of Wren's City churches.

Read more about 2014 sketchcrawl and the 2016 sketchcrawl on Pete's blog and download his map ready for the next time you're sketching in the City of London by clicking on the image above.

Of course, as great as it is to sketch the outside of the churches, sometimes it would be nice to be able to sketch the interiors. The problem with this can be that the church you choose to visit may well be closed when you arrive.

Although most of the churches (with a few exceptions) are closed at weekends, a group called The Friends of the City Churches work to make them accessible throughout the week. The Friends volunteer as 'church watchers' and work together to make sure that the City churches are preserved and kept open for visitors.

If you want to visit the City churches at a time when you'll be able to go inside, check the church watchers timetable on The Friends of the City Churches home page. Some churches will be open at other times too but this is a good general guide and may help avoid any disappointment if you're making a special journey to the area.

And make sure you have Pete's map to hand so you can find as many of Wren's churches as possible!

Thursday 24 May 2018

East Molesey

[John Webb] Spent a pleasant if chilly few hours last week with a friend beside The River Thames in Hampton. Well actually on the other bank, East Molesey having taken the ferry over to sketch the old boatyards on Platts Eyot known as Port Hampton - once a thriving vibrant leisure boat island. Sadly very much less so now. As ever there's plans to develop it for luxury houses or apartments so it was good to get a good look and a sketch or two.

Sunday 20 May 2018

Fun in the sun in E3

[Evelyn Rowland]
Lovely afternoon near Bow flyover. I gravitated to the familiar sight of a clock tower rather than attack the algae and foliage. Tried a different method of working this time, more paint, less pencil. If I had got there earlier in the day, I probably could have managed another one.