Meet Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover, aged 17. This saucy little minx kept me company at the National Portrait Gallery whilst I waited for a friend to finish work so we could have a Christmas dinner (but minus the pudding, brussels sprouts, turkey….okay, we just went for dinner and it was Christmas time….ish).
Back to Sophia. I’m not sure about what she was like in real life, but as busts go, she is the one in the gallery who looks like she would know a good time when she found it. I think I’ll have what she’s having.
Today I had a little wait before meeting my friend; we were going to see Ben Miller in “The Duck House”, which we thoroughly recommend by the way. As said friend was a little late (thank you Transport for London) and it was cold, I sat drawing the lamps, railings and windows from a local coffee shop window. Always practicing those lines. Do they look straighter to you?
Being easily distracted, I quite often see things that I think would make a good abstract painting and then have to notate said ideas as quickly as possible before I forget. Sometimes it is obvious things like a sunrise or light on water, but mostly it is weird things, like colour and line on the opposite platform’s camera monitors when I’m awaiting my train home.
More waiting, only just a little for a friend at the Tate Modern where we agreed to meet. I went up to the Energy and Process galleries on the fourth floor, hoping it would be less busy (no such luck) and managed a few pages before my friend joined me for a wander to see what was new. I particularly liked this piece by Chen Zehn called Cocon du Vide. There is something about the piece that I can’t quite put my finger on, an undefined quality that attracts me to it. Still it’s nice to know that I am not a lost cause to all contemporary artworks.
Today I saw the Elizabeth I and Her People at the National Portrait Gallery, whilst I was waiting for a friend to finish work. It was very good, with many beautifully painted portraits and gorgeous personal objects to study. I really love the costumes from that period – not the style mind, but the intricate patterns and lush textures on the fabrics that they used. Simply beautiful.
Afterwards I went upstairs to sketch in the Tudor galleries to pass a little more time. I find the different ways people try to remember those who have died fascinating. And if you’re someone with money you can have all sort of objects created to immortalise that person. Death masks and effigies such as this one for Elizabeth of York being examples, though this is an 1870s electrotype copy of the original.
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"I wish to do nothing for profit. I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am quite happy." —William Blake
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