Thursday, 28 October 2010

Kentish Town West: 28 October 2010

video 

When I got off the train at Kentish Town West the first thing I could see in the distance was the BT Tower formerly the Post Office Tower, one of London's landmarks. It used to have a revolving restaurant so diners could get a 360 degree view of London. It was closed about 30 years ago because of fears about IRA terrorism but is going to reopen in 2011 and I'm sure it is going to be way out of my price range.

I still thought it merited a quick sketch even though I'm not going to dine there so I did this pen drawing of it in the distance. I've included a bit of wobbly hand-held video with this posting because this station more-or-less marks the half way point on my route.

Camden Road: 28 October 210


I found this pencil drawing particularly difficult to do. The perspective was all over the place and I wanted to try and draw some of the Victorian cast iron work that is a feature of this station. Camden Road, close to the famous Camden Markets, is unlike any of the other stations I have visited so far. You can clearly see that it is still a Victorian Station even though it is being painted the same colour as all the other stations on this route which have been refurbished beyond recognition.

Friday, 22 October 2010

La Primera Café: 22 October 2010

I felt a bit lost when I came out of the station so was peering around for a minute or two in search of a café. Initially I saw a bespoke kitchen shop, didn't want that. Next door there was a bathroom shop, didn't want that either. I cast around and then saw what I was after and headed towards La Primera Café - finest Italian coffee.

I've no idea how good the coffee was because I had tea and a slice of cake. It seemed to be the kind of place that doesn't bother with plates but I did get a cup for the tea and I chose a window seat so I could draw the view.

I decided that since the previous sketch had been so tightly drawn I would go for a loose pencil approach for a change and I quite like the result.

Caledonian Road and Barnsbury: 22 October 2010

I can't get used to the stations on this line appearing so new and clean - but I do like it. It's much more pleasant as a paying passenger than the old grit and grime we've been used to.

The only trouble is (from the point of view of an artist) that each station is looking much like the one I was at before. Even so I am managing to find interesting views to draw at each station.

Now it's getting into late October it is getting quite chilly to work outside. I'm putting more layers on now and soon I'll be wearing a hat. Since I was getting cold having sat for long enough I decided to get out of the station and go and look for a café preferably close by. Which leads me to my next drawing.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Highbury Fields: 15 October 2010

This is a view of Highbury Fields which the description on the notice board states is the largest public park in the borough of Islington and pre Victorian times used to be full of dairy farms. I thought it was a bit pokey compared with our local parks and felt a bit sorry for the residents.

Anyway, it was quite cold and I wanted to draw something quickly. I liked this avenue of trees and wanted to try and describe the quantity of leaves against the stark trunks and branches.

Highbury & Islington: 14 October 2010

I was sitting on the west bound platform and looking up at buildings overlooking Highbury & Islington station just after dusk. The days are getting shorter now and chillier.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The old ticket office: 2 October 2010

I approve of the refurbishment of Canonbury station but the ticket office looks like a concrete shed thrown up in the 1950s. I was wondering where the original ticket office had been because the present one clearly isn't it. Anyway it was obvious which building it had been when I left the station and turned to my left.

Here's a somewhat wonky line drawing of it. I think it's a rather handsome building - the three large windows on the ground floor could have been where you bought your train ticket from. And I wondered if there was a waiting room behind the door on the left? Well I can only speculate about its previous use because it's now been turned into a small block of flats (that's handy for the station).

There's birdsong and rain in the air: 2 October 2010

So now I've left Hackney behind and have reached Canonbury in the borough of Islington.

Like the other stations that were part of the North London line Canonbury is being extensively renewed. It was built during the 1860s when London was expanding rapidly but very soon any remaining Victorian features here will have been obliterated and all you will see is a brand new station. It will be much more comfortable to use and there is this wonderful addition of a lift, or elevator, if you prefer.

This drawing shows the old wall backing on to gardens overlooking the railway and I used mostly water soluble pencils plus black pen.