London, December 2010. The rain had come like an old friend and washed away the snow; no more dreaming of White Christmases after this one, more like dreading. I took a ‘sketching day’ and got on the tube to Islington. I like Islington a lot, and would happily live there and vote New Labour and read the Guardian and go to the theatre and all the other things Islington people do (except support Arsenal of course). We lived for a few years not far away on the edge of the borough at Hornsey Lane (I love steep hills! so now I live in Davis). This is Camden Passage, an interesting little street just off Upper Street (not in Camden at all), full of charming antique stores and little cafes (trendy or otherwise). I sketched it while listening to people speak French (and German occasionally) all around me, which was nice.
I was on my way to Cass Arts’ flagship store (it’s very big, but has exactly the same products as the smaller store in Soho, just more of them) and I whipped my sketchbook out to draw some of the interesting things being laid out in the street in front of one such antique store (‘Decorext’ I believe it was called). They had a pair of these interesting Union Jack chairs, and I had to draw one of them, being the foreign tourist that I am. This would make a fine seat for anyone watching the Royal Wedding this April. Pass the Battenburg.
One of the other buildings I really couldn’t resist sketching was the Screen on the Green cinema. I’ve only been in there once (I think I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 there) but it’s historic and Islington. For some reason I chose to use my coloured micron pens for the neon signs. Drawing old movie theatres is fun. After this, I jumped onto a double-decker bus and went to Piccadilly.