Sketching London is a deliberate attempt to recreate a photomontage, so often a favourite of the souvenir. These things often focus on the historic architecture. This one celebrates the new. Have you ever wondered what the impact the Capital has on a first time visitor?
I remember my first London Visit vividly. A school outing, umpteen years ago. It was an art trip to the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition and included a whirlwind tour of Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace with a picnic lunch on the grass in St James’ Park. There was some chance to sketch while we were there. It was hot, hectic and exhausting with a long train journey from and to Manchester either side. Along with the art, that bitty sense of history stuck with me. Like so many visitors I bought tacky souvenirs. I was 15, it had to be done.
Recently I’ve been up to London twice, one was for a talk, I wandered into one of the souvenir shops in search for a thank you gift for a friend, very little has changed. The second time I went to London Art Fair. I spent much time looking around but, when I felt saturated, I found a quiet spot and did some sketching. Looking back, I know which I remember more. With photographs so easy to take, we forget much about a place, but with sketches you remember. Memories of how you felt when creating them, people passing by or little details that catch your eye.
Sketching London was created with that thought in mind. A chance to sketch my favourite parts and include some of the shiny new building, along with a few old stalwarts. Like an array of sketches pinned as a collage on a notice board. My own personal souvenir of London.
Most of these buildings are now featured in larger paintings, as well as many others which aren’t here. You can see them in my London Portfolio.