Thursday, June 19, 2014

London Eye's Big Ben

London Eye's Big Ben, 5 x 7", watercolor on Arches paper
I'm not very handy with Photoshop and so if I want to tweak a scene, I paintershop. That is what I used for this little watercolor. We had great coach drivers for our London Rhapsody with Fred Child and this driver made a special and slow trip across the Thames so that we could see Big Ben through the London Eye. I wanted to remember it as I saw it, not with all the reflections from the glass and general blurriness. That is the advantage of making art!

Monday, June 16, 2014

6-16-14 Weekly Watercolor

Rainy Day along the Thames, 5 x 7", watercolor on Arches paper
Just a week ago, David and I returned home from a wonderful week in London. We were on a tour organized by MPR Custom Travel: A London Rhapsody with Fred Child. It was a fantastic week filled with lots of music. We enjoyed an informal recital in Handel's house of his music and his contemporary's music on a beautiful reproduction harpsichord; heard music that I had not heard before (Alwyn's Sinfonietta, and Britten's "Les Illuminations") at St Martin-in the Fields performed by the young Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra; an over-the-top entertainment concert of film music performed by the Royal Philharmonic at Royal Albert Hall; perfectly performed (by the London Symphony Orchestra) Beethoven at The Barbican; and an exquisite Evensong at King's College Cambridge (which included Fred Child's special interview beforehand with Dr. Stephen Cleobury. David and I were able to fit in visits to the Tate Britain and The National Gallery to satisfy my need to see art (and visit one of my favorites, Sargent's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.) It was a rich and rewarding experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
     Before we left, the weather forecast predicted rain every day of our trip in London. As it turned out, there were only a couple of rainy days, and they were not too bad. The worst rain fell on us as we departed Westminster Abbey and on another day St. Paul's Cathedral. Perhaps the weather gods and the Church of England got together on this! Rain seems to go with the atmosphere in London and the Thames is a natural organizing factor for Europe's largest city. This painting celebrates the two and gave me the exercise of depicting rain on the coach's window as well as allowing me to revisit a lovely trip.