Tuesday 31 January 2017

The grand canyons of New York

Looking down from the 27th floor
I was back working in New York, lucky me.

Every morning I walk a few blocks down Lexington Avenue, colloquially known as "Lex”. I am on the East Side of Manhattan, mid town. Lexington Avenue became part of a classic cinematic moment in the 1955. In the movie The Seven Year Itch, the scene in which Marilyn Monroe was shot standing on a subway grating, her skirt billows up from the wind underneath.

Entrance Tickets

Into Grand Central Station I walk. And up to the 27th floor of the MetLife Building (formerly the PanAm Building). A remarkable view, that constantly distracts me; looking south on a ‘canyon’ that changes colour almost be the minute as the sky, light and clouds transform buildings, sidewalks and traffic.

Dear Lexington Avenue

More Park Avenue

A small part of a big and exciting city that never fails, since my first visit in 1987, to impress, entertain and enthrall.

Happy New Year - Roland takes centre stage!

Proud Roland roams the yard, he of good cheer 

Roland the Rooster
He of good cheer
For he is the mascot of this Chinese New Year


Friday 27 January 2017

When icicles hang by the wall

All this chilly weather put me in mind of this marvellous poem . . (my scratching in homage)

III. The Seasons
When icicles hang by the wall
William Shakespeare 
From “Love’s Labor ’s Lost,” Act V. Sc. 2.

WHEN icicles hang by the wall,
  And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
  And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,        
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,        
  And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
  And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,        
To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Chapels in High Wycombe 3: Union Baptist

Grand classical: almost baroque and this building shouts ‘we had a bob or two to spend on the building of ours and pushed the boat out’. 

The lovely honey-coloured stone was topping up its tan in the last of the afternoon’s sun. Completing the drawing I peddled up the hill to catch the train back to Beaconsfield.

Interestingly and aside "chapel" is sometimes used as an adjective to describe the members of such churches ("I'm chapel."). I had it mind to draw these three chapels; each of which is by the side of the River Wye. 

This chalk stream rises in the Chiltern Hills. It flows for around 9 miles through High Wycombe on its way down to Bourne End, where it meets the River Thames on the reach above Cookham Lock.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Chapels in High Wycombe 2: Trinity United Reform

Trinity United Reform Chapel High Wycombe

Tall and willowy, like a graceful but seldom-seen aunt, this chapel is on the edge of the town centre. It is faced with warm grey stone and its two beautiful towers with medieval looking roofs. The chapel faces the playing fields and footpaths Wycombe Rye.


Monday 23 January 2017

Chapels in High Wycombe: 1: Wycombe Marsh - a river runs by it

On Boxing Day as the girls headed to the cinema, I asked them to drop me, with my bike, off on the London Road, into High Wycombe.  This is the A40 to Fishguard in North Wales. The A40 follows the route of the M40, passing through both Beaconsfield and High Wycombe. 

Wycombe Marsh Chapel

This church is a delightful flint stone and brick confection. From across the busy road, it looks a cosy place of worship; notwithstanding that it is wedged between a BMW showroom and a row of houses. I was standing in the shade, got cold, so quickly peddled on after completing the drawing.