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London

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View From the Cloister

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View From the Cloister, A Watercolor of Westminster Abbey By Jenny Armitage

View From The Cloister (watercolor 15 x 23) $600

This is Westminster Abbey as seen through the wrought iron work of the cloister.  It is the view visitors now see just before they exit the abbey complex.   But for hundreds of years it was the view seen by the monks on their way to services.


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Saint Pauls Cathedral

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A Spire of Saint Pauls, Painting the Cathedral by Jenny Armitage

A Spire of Saint Paul's (11 x 15 watercolor) $300

This is one of the twin clock tower spires of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London.  I love Saint Paul’s Cathedral though it is nothing like the Gothic Cathedrals I fell in love with on my first trip the England.  Unlike England’s early cathedrals, Saint Paul’s was designed by a single man, Sir Christopher Wren and built over just thirty years.  The result is a clean coherent building rather unlike the the quirky cathedrals I first admired.

Wren designed and saw built numerous churches in the vicinity to compliment and be complimented by the cathedral.   But in the London Blitz practically the entire neighborhood was bombed and burned to the ground.  The cathedral is now surrounded by modern offices.  The Millennium Bridge now leads directly to it providing a very modern show case for Wren’s jewel.


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Sketch Diary Part One: London

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Title Page

I decided to try to add watercolor sketches to my usual travel diary on our trip to England and Europe this summer.  I bought a little eight half-pan watercolor set and couple of waterproof black markers for the purpose.   I didn’t get more than about  two sketches every three days in because our days were full and no one wanted to drop everything and wait while I sketched.  So I sketched on the fly in pencil and added ink and watercolor in the evenings.

The journal paper while intended for sketching  isn’t really intended for water-media, so I had to work pretty dry.  The results are more whimsical than accurate and the colors are often downright fanciful.  So without further ado, or  apology, here are my sketches of London and surrounding cities:

St. Paul's, London

White Tower with Knight

Canterbury Cathedral

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

Tower Bridge Opening

The London part of our trip was pretty much a WWII extravaganza.   The highlights included The Imperial War Museum, The Churchill War Rooms, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.  St. Paul’s was a symbol of hope during the Blitz, and though everything around it was destroyed by bomb and fire, the Cathedral remained almost unharmed.

In addition to London itself we visited Hampton Court, Oxford, and Canterbury by train.

I took over seven hundred photos during the trip, and I to make many paintings of England, Italy, France, and Switzerland.  In the meantime I will post my travel sketches one city at a time.

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