the anchor by the thames

the anchor, southwark
And so on I went down the South Bank, until I came to the Anchor pub, decked out for the Jubilee. It was surrounded by a large horde of shaven-headed lager-drinking chain-smoking England football fans, getting a few in before hitting the tube to Wembley for a pre-Euro 2012 warm-up match against Belgium. All good natured, of course, and enjoying the day with all the tourists and Jubilee celebratories. As I sat down in a nice quiet spot to sketch the historic riverside pub, they all moved off, singing about being off to Wembley, leaving only the passing tourists. stoney st southwarkI didn’t drawn any of those, they kept moving, so I focused on the building itself. To be fair most people who milled were milling away from this spot and in the pub’s beer garden to the right. I sat for almost an hour and sketched (I did finish some detailing later, but chose not to colour it). One young lady came up and asked if she could ask a wierd question. Depends on how wierd, I replied. How wierd could it be? Not very wierd in fact. “How do you find time to draw?” She was an artist herself it seemed but never seemed to have time for it. I had struggled to find time to do all the drawing I wanted to do on the trip (you wouldn’t believe it) but still managed to get a lot done, because it is really important to me to have drawing time. I get grumpy if I don’t (quite grumpy indeed) so I make sure I find the time for it, even when I’m ridiculously busy. I told her about Urban Sketchers, and the Drawing London groups, and said that by seeing how other people busier even than me manage to somehow fit art into their lives inspires me.

With this sketch of the Anchor, I wanted to sit and do something detailed and old and full of bricks. With this other sketch on the right, Stoney Street in Southwark (near Borough Market), my time was running low so I did a quick about-ten-minute sketch to capture the scene. When time is short, think what you might be able to get in with that time, and be ok with it. I hate watsing time, even though I do it often, when I could be sketching already something else. I went on to the market and had the most amazing grilled halloumi sandwich, right by London bridge. Even thinking of the smell makes me ravenous for more – I’ll say it again, I love coming to this part of London.

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