Saturday 23 March 2024

Sketch Crawl : Baltic Front Room

Baltic Front Room
(markers in A5 sketchbook)

My first Sketch Crawl (AKA SketchMeet) with the Urban Sketchers Tyne Wear and Tees in something like three years. It took me a while to find the main body of Sketchers because I wasn't aware of the Front Room. When I was last at the Baltic, that space was a restaurant. I think they made the change when they decided to provide a Warm Space for those unable to afford heat for their own homes. Anyway, a good day out, great to catch up with some old friends and put faces to some of the names encountered on the Facebook Group.

As usual, I found the architecture of the Tyne Quays too much for me and after wandering round the Baltic aimlessly, eventually just sat down and drew what was in front of me. Works every time although it's often necessary to ask people not to sit down across the table from you because they'll block the view.

Friday 22 March 2024


(Acrylic on canvas board, 10x12 in)
I think it was the contrast between the old (the monument in front of St Mary's Heritage Centre)and the new (The Glasshouse International Centre for Music) that attracted me to this composition. It took a while to get the painting to this stage, but I’m happy with it now (although the photograph is a little inaccurate in the colour of the grass in the foreground).

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Bridges of Venice

Bridges of Venice
(Acrylic on canvas board, 12x12 in)

I put this composition together a few years ago, constructing it from several photographs taken slightly different viewpoints. As a consequence, I was left with one or two gaps in the image and in addition there were some figures in the foreground obstructing the view of the buildings. At the time I didn't feel able to make the necessary changes that would make the picture work, so I put it to one side.

Recently, the Programme suggestion at Gateshead Art Society was "Bridges" and the time seemed right to give this image a go. Sometimes I forget that a complex composition takes just as much work at this scale as the same subject at three times the size. The picture took a good deal longer than I thought it might and I found that some of the ideas I had to get over the missing parts and elimination of the foreground figures had to be changed several times.

In the end, I think the effort was worth it and I'm pleased with the end product. I hope you do too.