Friday 8 February 2019

Let's draw Spitalfields - Saturday 30 March 2019

In March we meet to sketch in Spitalfields. The Spitalfields area is bursting with a wide range of subjects to draw and to gaze at.  Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christchurch is the striking and important landmark in the area, sitting opposite Spitalfields Market itself.  The area has some of London's most complete Georgian streets. The market is surrounded by shops and cafes, and a modern pedestrianised area with sculptures.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points for the day

11am: Meet at the side entrance to Old Spitalfield Market in Brushfield Street.  This does provide cover and is between 63 and 67 Brushfield Street.  

On your right, No 67, as you go in is Blixen, a restaurant bar in a former bank building, which opens at 10am.

1pm: Meet at the same side entrance to Old Spitalfields Market, to look at sketches done so far.

3.30pm: Meet at the same place to look at sketches done, and to take group photographs.

At the end of the day, there are a range of cafes and pubs in the area for refreshments and relaxation.

Options for drawing

The Spitalfields area is bursting with subjects to draw.  Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christchurch was built between 1714 and 1729, and sits opposite Spitalfields Market.  The church is unlikely to be open but there is a quiet coffee shop in the crypt.  The church is shown in Steve Kidd’s notebook biro drawing:

Spitalfields Market is housed in a vast, rather simple late Victorian building and is a treasure house of busy shops and stalls. The interior is spacious with corners and spaces for sitting and drawing, particularly useful if the weather is wet.

Spitalfields architecture reflects the passage of groups of refugees and migrants over centuries, from the French Protestant Huguenots of the seventeenth century, through Irish, Jewish and Bangladeshi settlers, all of whom work or worked in the silk and textile trades.

The area has some of London's most complete Georgian streets, particularly in Folgate Street (north of Spitalfields Market) where the Denis Severs House at No 18, is a beautiful reconstruction of a seventeenth century house.  This is not open during our visit but it can be booked and visited.
Streets between Spitalfields and Brick Lane have Georgian houses where the exquisitely renovated sit next door to houses in need of attention. Tracy Emin and Gilbert & George have houses in Fournier Street, which leads down to Brick Lane. This area has a mosque and support services, a lot of vivid and interesting graffiti, small bars and Bangladeshi shops and restaurants.

The most famous pub is the Golden Hart at 110 Commercial Road, just north of the market itself.  The small Ten Bells on the corner of Fournier Street is a good drawing opportunity.
Practical information
The nearest station is Liverpool Street, for mainline and underground services (Circle, Hammersmith and City, and Metropolitan lines).  There are plenty of cafes and food shops in the area.  There are toilets in the market building.
For this day, we have negotiated a 20% discount with Great Art, the comprehensive art shop (and on-line store: ) which is ten minutes away at 41-49 Kingsland Rd E2 8AG.  Turn up on the day and say “urbansketcherslondon”!
This day is run by Nicky Browne and Helen Hayhoe