Up to London to meet an old friend today - sketching from the train window and later as I watched Londoners cross the Farringdon road.
To Farringdon and back
W is for Wellington
Pax hill: May trees
I is for Interchange retail park
A stump of dead tree, a parched shrub, and the territorial song of the jackhammer destroying a new shop to put up an even more spanking new shop: no wonder the world's in a mess.
The interchange retail park is a soulless place, a materialist's shrine designed to welcome hundreds of fossil-fuel-burning pilgrims with bank accounts.
The few surviving trees and the grass between the paving slabs remind shoppers of the natural world which their behaviour is destroying. Strangely the pilgrims all looked tired and fed up - despite the invitations to drink coffee, vape, and munch fast food. I wonder why.
Two quick sketches
The first, a few days ago, is of the old railway cutting - the Old Warden Tunnel Nature Reserve - just off the Southill Road above Cardington. The second, today, is of the old 'Lincoln Arms', now a private residence off Goldington Green.
Sometimes it's hard to keep going - overwhelmed, tired, losing confidence. But these sketches come out of such a time, when I've just been pressing on, keeping going. I wish I had a good waterproof ink pen.
Today I adjusted a previous sketch of Sharpenhoe Clappers, the dramatic Chiltern escarpment just north of Luton.
The photos look pretty similar but I worked on defining the clouds, and pulling the sunlight over the hill to touch the tree-tops. It struck me that I had inadvertently painted three worlds - field, hill and sky. Trees are the overlap, and since those on the hill are planted in memory of two sons killed in war, that seems appropriate. The solitary sunlit tree starkly confronts with its new life. Larkin - 'begin afresh, afresh, afresh'.
Q is for Queen's
May 19th, 2023