This post is dedicated to my new Twitter Buddies: @The Hornsey Road @Holloway Life @RuthRobinsonLon and AmySmith@Art_Press – a lively bunch!
Walking out of our son’s home on Windsor Road one day last year, I turned right to nip to the corner shop. It wasn’t until I stood at the crossing on my return, that I looked up to take in the sight of Albermarle Mansions. These buildings stand on what is the Great North Road, an old coaching route from London to York and up to Edinburgh. Follow this road into York and you will go past my old school on Blossom Street, through Micklegate Bar and down Micklegate, another York street which I have begun to sketch. I went on to University in Edinburgh so I am curious to know the exact route of the Great North Road. I have sent off for a book on this subject by Frank Morley – so more on this another time.
Back to Holloway Road. I began with a few sketches of the windows which I shared on social media. Much to my delight I had some more feedback from @TheHornseyRoad with a glimpse into life here over a century ago. There must be more insights into the former life of these buildings – if you know anything, I would love to hear from you.
One of the reasons that I like to draw full length street scenes is to show buildings in context to illustrate what happens when good but ordinary buildings disappear and they are replaced with buildings of a completely different scale and proportion.
Much as I love old buildings, I do love well designed new buildings too, but know only too well how hard it is for architects to see their great ideas watered down to meet budgets. It is interesting to see how the oldest buildings (Kale Food Centre) have been dwarfed over the course of the century by the most recent bookend ‘Bloomfield Court’.
I will be scanning the drawing and adding it in full to my website next week and will also be running off a limited edition set of fine art prints. Watch this space and thanks for reading!
For anyone on social media, I post more photos of work in progress on Instagram ‘ronniecruwys’ and on twitter @RonnieCruwys.
6 thoughts on “Holloway Road: drawing a section of the Great North Road”
Gorgeous work, Ronnie!
Thank you! Really enjoy seeing the sketches on your blog too.
An old section of the Great North Road runs past my front door in North Yorkshire. The road has always fascinated me because it has played such a major role in our history that it has almost assumed a sort of mythical status. It’s good to see that heritage celebrated in your wonderful pictures.
Cheers, Alen McF
Thanks Alen, I enjoyed reading your blog post about it. You are right about the Great North Road having a sort of mythical status. It feels great to walk along it, wherever it is, and think back on its history. Buildings come and go but the route has remained. I like the name Holloway too, which is a ‘hollow way’, an old route worn down by cattle drovers.
Loved seeing your process – the wonderful quick sketches culminating in this detailed drawing – inspiring!
Thank you Carol! Sketch Book Skool has been so good at helping me become less hung up about sketching on the street. I used to tuck myself into a corner to sketch but now I sketch anywhere I can and it is a great way to get the feel of the building before the more formal drawing. Love seeing your work Carol and your blog is wonderful!