Sunday, 28 May 2017

Hammersmith Rooftops

Another for the backs of houses series. I enjoy seeing the massing of building, extensions, alterations, and gardens from the tube train. London is a densely packed city and every inch from basement to sttic is used. Balconies jut out almost to the thundering trains themselves and drilling and hammering announces yet more 'improvement in square footage'.
This view though could almost be Victorian with its red brick, chimney pots and laburnum tree.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Balcony Garden

A brief update on my balcony garden and back garden projects.

On the balcony the fern looks fantastic and grew a new batch of fronds. The sunflowers are budding although they are only a foot high and the borage and nasturtiums are growing fast. The strawberry plants look good and are flowering. The herbs, apart from the sage which went mouldy, are growing strongly. The succulents love the heat and I never water them.

On the minus side the mini salads are feeble, it may be too warm for them. I may replace them with some more strawberries or something.  The tomato is growing well but the flowers keep falling off. Generally I can see greenery and am enjoying the project so that's all good. Pots need lots of watering.

In the back garden the giant boston ivy vine is coming back rampantly and will subsume everything. Two shrubs are doing well, the one in the planter is weak and something seems to be eating anything I put in there. I am amazed any slugs or whatever survive back there it is so dry and concretey. So a mixed success in a very difficult area.

Gardening is both easier and more difficult than you think. Growing vigorous plants from seed or buying and growing small plants in a good area is fine. Trying to grow food or plant an unpromising area is difficult. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Pen Portraits

This week I went to an exhibition of modern portraits at the Mall Gallery. Aside from the usual smug families and bloated plutocrats there were some great pictures which really captured personality. So I thought I would try a portrait based on a photo of a girl in interestingly huge glasses I took on the tube.
I was really pleased with the graphic look of this. 

Friday, 12 May 2017


I love drawing Brutalist buildings. This carpark in Shoreditch is a landmark at the meeting of several streets north of Liverpool Street Station. It is refreshingly ugly and gritty in an area of trendy bars. I go wargaming in a Pizza Express just over the road where the basement smells of drains. This is a very vibrant area at night, a mixture of slick office buildings, old warehouses and hipster eateries.  

Sunday, 7 May 2017

In Chiswick

Afton House dates from the late C18th and was one of the grander houses in Chiswick. As the pressure on land grew in the C19th and mansions were gobbled up by urban sprawl it became a school and then a laundry. It is now the Chiswick Memorial Club where the local history society meet. Due to poor planning development it is not visible from the main road anymore as modern shops were built right in front of it where the garden used to be. However it can be seen from a small side road by the library.