English Kitchen, Brunswick Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme

No 7 Brunswick Street, The English Kitchen

English Kitchen
No 7 Brunswick Street

I’m back from a wonderful family gathering and one of the first jobs on my list was to MOT my car. I popped the car into the garage but this time, packed my pens and sketchbook as there is a building close by that I have wanted to draw for quite some time.

No 7 Brunswick street stands out as a reminder of what was once a street of elegant town houses. The building next door is shrouded in scaffolding at present but the English Kitchen was just the right size for me to complete in one hit, standing with my back to Jubilee Pool.

First and second floor of 7 Brunswick Street
Look up!

Thanks to my friends who have encouraged me to get out there and draw – I completed the line drawing on the street and applied the colour at home. Here is the final sketch. Thanks for reading!

Pen and ink sketch of 7 Brunswick St
No 7 Brunswick Street in full technicolour!

 

 

Burslem Regenerates

East end of Market Place, Burslem, south side
East end of Market Place, Burslem, south side

Just a short post this time as I am about to head off to a big family gathering. Thought you might like to see a few more drawings which I have completed and posted over on the main website www.drawingthestreet.co.uk.  I would be delighted if you would click over and have a look.

Before you head over, a few words about the Post Office on Market Place, Burslem, below. This was a project which the Burslem Regeneration Company and my former workplace, Horsley Huber Architects had a hand in reshaping together with the owner.

Although the reinstatement of the original window layout is a relatively small job in the building industry, I do have an idea of the background work that has gone on behind the scenes by all parties to make this happen, there is more than meets the eye!

That said, this building now looks so much better and you can really see the overall impact when you look at the street as a whole.

Burslem Post Office, the Leopard, Market Place
Post Office and the Leopard pub, Market Place, Burslem
Burslem Post Office before the conservation work began in June 2011
Burslem Post Office before the conservation work began in June 2011

Moving down towards the west end of Market Place, there is a narrow gap, Market Passage where there is a faded mural.

Burslem Bear Market Place
The Burslem Bear

I would never have noticed the Burslem Bear had I not drawn this! A sign of Burslem’s history…

the Burslem Bear
The Burslem Bear
Market Place, Burslem
Market Place, Burslem

That’s all for now, thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Sketching the Week

Half a Guinness and a Pint of Pale Rider
Half a Guinness and a Pint of Pale Rider

Some years ago, I came across a book called “Everyday Matters” by Danny Gregory. It’s a moving and uplifting book, all sketches and handwritten notes, a jounal of the everyday moments of his life. I’ve since bought several other books of his, noticing each time how his sketching changed as his skill grew from daily practice.

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I have just completed my first week of Danny’s online sketching school, six weeks and six different teachers offering their tips on drawing. Some 800 plus sketchers have signed up from all over the globe, sketching and posting our most ordinary but meaningful moments. I’m hoping that this will give me the practise and discipline to join that wonderful community Urban Sketchers, so I can really get into the ribs of drawing streets on the hoof.

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Let sleeping cats lie

Somehow, capturing our own everyday matters really helps us see our surroundings with fresh eyes, no matter what the subject is….

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Using the other sort of paintbrush

All these sketches took between 5 and 15 minutes.

Nina, our Chesapeake Bay retreiver, sunbathing
Nina, our Chesapeake Bay retreiver, sunbathing
cats on the wheelie bins
Sunbathing cats
Spring Daffodils by the roadside
Spring Daffodils by the roadside
Poundland site on Bridge Street, Newcastle under Lyme
Clearing the former Poundland site on Bridge Street, Newcastle under Lyme
Contour drawing of Norman and Ollie, our Burmese cats.
Five minute contour line drawing of Norman and Ollie, our warring cats.

Thanks for reading and more sensible stuff on the next post…Burslem in technicolour!

 

 

 

Steeton Hall Gatehouse

An old etching of Steeton Hall Gatehouse made in 1982
Steeton Hall Gatehouse eched back in 1982

Hello again!

I recently cleared out the cupboard under-the-stairs to make way for some new plumbing. It meant shifting a battered portfolio from my student days and having a really good clear out – something I should have done years ago.

In amongst the awful stuff (that went straight into recycling) was something I had completely forgotten about – a measured drawing competition which I entered back in 1982. There it was – my tiny etching of Steeton Hall Gatehouse  along with the full set of measured drawings. I can’t honestly remember how exactly I made the etching although  I do recall it was with a small copper plate (approx 3″x 4″) and a metal point together with a pencil drawing…it is over 32 years ago, but there are my old initials to remind me.

It really is mine!
That’s me!

Steeton Hall Gatehouse is in South Milford, south west of York, my former home town. It’s under the care of English Heritage and is a fine example of a small, well preserved manorial gatehouse dating from the 14th century. I entered this competition because I loved drawing old buildings – so not much has changed there though the whole setting seemed a lot more rural back then!

Steeton Hall Gatehouse,  pencil sketch 1982
Steeton Hall Gatehouse, south elevation
pencil sketch 1982

Another thing that is evident is my growing interest in calligraphy. I think I would have drawn these letters with Rotring pens – it would be many years before I tried my hand at a quill! At least it was one step on from ‘Letraset’ applied letters.

Steeton hall Gatehouse plan
Steeton hall Gatehouse plan
Steeton Hall Gatehouse
Steeton Hall Gatehouse 

I will scan the measured drawings, there are six of them in total, plans sections and elevations, all drawn on A1 sheets and copied on to film. They are detailed down to every last 14th century stone. If anyone from English Heritage is reading this blog, please get in touch if you would like them for your records.

Oh, I didn’t win the competition but I did get a really good consolation prize: an A1 sized roll of tracing paper which, to a student architect, was actually worth something!

I didn’t finish clearing out the cupboard either. I got distracted further by an old envelope full of pencil, pen and ink drawings of old Arab architecture dated 1979, our last year in Bahrain. Perhaps I will post one or two of these one day, but I should be concentrating back on Burslem!

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Stoke Artist scores a City Blinder!

Time for something a little different.  I am writing this on the train back to Stoke-on-Trent after attending the RBA’s preview of their 2014 Annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in the heart of London. What treat! Our own Stoke artist David Brammeld’s four selected pieces were on display, but the highlight of the evening was to witness him pick up the Alfred Daniels’ Personal Favourite Award for ‘Empty Corner Shop – Harveys’. Stoke has arrived in the City! I was close to bursting out with a verse of Delilah – Congratulations David! This is terrific recognition and acknowledgement of a person who is dedicated not only to his art but to capturing evocative fragments of Stoke’s fast disappearing architecture.

David Brammeld with selected works for the Mall Galleries RBA Exhibition 2014
David Brammeld with selected works for the Mall Galleries RBA Exhibition 2014

For those of us who attend Dave’s drawing classes in Newcastle-under-Lyme, you should be proud of him! He is far too modest to crow about his work, but when an artist in our midst gets recognition at this level, this exciting news has to be shared!

David Brammeld's four selected artworks, Clockwise top leftWorking mens Club, Derelict newsagent, Empty Corner Shop,- Harveys (Prizewinner), Working Mens Club
David Brammeld’s four selected artworks, Clockwise from top left: Working Mens’ Club, Derelict Newsagent, Empty Corner Shop – Harveys (Award winner), Working Mens Club.

Andrew Marr gave an enthusiastic introduction to the presentation with heartfelt acknowledgement of those artists up and down the country who put so much into their art and in particular drawing. Andrew expressed how drawing is often the best part of his day and indeed is forming an important part of his recovery as he meets life full on through his drawings.

Andrew Marr prior to his presentation
Andrew Marr prior to his presentation

If you are in London between the 5-15th March, I strongly recommend you pop into the Mall Galleries, they are just round the corner from Trafalgar Square. There is a wide range of art on display including my own favourites: drawing, pen and ink, etchings, prints, woodcuts and engravings. These really are fantastic examples from the best of our contemporary artists.

The RBA also give a lot of support to younger artists in partnership with NADFAS and the Dover Federation for the Arts. There is a great display of some remarkable pieces by A Level students.  Go and see!

A great turn out for a fantastic show! Mall Galleries RBA 2014 Exhibition
A great turn out for a fantastic preview!

Burslem’s on the drawing board

Market Place North side small
Market Place, Burslem, North side

I have begun to draw up Market Place in Burslem. I took photographs on the most beautiful day last year and got a great welcome and a complimentary cup of coffee from the good ladies in Silver Coin Amusements, pictured below. As promised, they are on my drawing!

Silver Coin, Market Place, Burslem
Silver Coin, Market Place, Burslem

The black and white drawing above is shown so you can see work in progress. I have begun drawing the opposite side of Market Place and will add colour when both are complete.

I have also been overhauling my website -please do click on the link below to see the fledgling site.  I would welcome any feedback. Just let me know whether you can see the drawings on your computer ok – there  is so much for me to learn with all this.  I hope to get the new site and old name integrated in the next week or so. www.cargocollective.com/drawingthestreet

Mellard Warehouse is looking good!

This post is dedicated to the lads at Miller Heritage – hats off to you gentlemen!

REPAIR OF MELLARD WAREHOUSE, MARKET LANE, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME

From the first floor of ‘Pockets’ you can see a narrow gap on the south side of the Ironmarket. It’s easy to miss but this is Market Lane and it leads down towards the bus station on Hassell Street.

View from Pockets
View from Pockets

Once on Market Lane, it is also quite easy to walk past what has been up until 2013, a tumble-down warehouse, dating from around the late nineteenth century.

Mellards Warehouse before work began photo by Midlands Heritage
Mellards Warehouse before work began
photo by Midlands Heritage
Mellards from Market Lane
Mellards from Market Lane

However, it is worth taking a minute’s detour to take in the transformation, the difference is remarkable.  You can now see that this is a handsome old warehouse, with its subtle mix of Staffordshire red and blue bricks laid in English bond, a pattern favoured industrially during the Victorian period, with blue engineering brick arched lintols and stepped cills.

Mellards Warehouse
Mellards Warehouse

Thanks to the combined efforts of the owner (my apologies, I dont have your name), a grant through the NUL Town Centre Partnership Scheme , CTD Architects Leek and the Main Contractor, Miller Heritage of Wolverhampton, this building has a new lease of life.  The work has been recognised by a Civic Award . Congratulations!

Side view
Side view

Here’s wishing the building and future occupants every success and let’s hope that the view down Market Lane will soon be full of life, colour and activity.

Mellards Warehouse Side elevation
Mellards Warehouse Side elevation
Mellards Warehouse Market Lane
Mellards Warehouse Market Lane
Loading the skip
Loading the skip
'You are having a laugh!'
‘You are having a laugh!’
We won't all fit in there!
We won’t all fit in there!

Take a look at this link to see just how far this building has come. Thanks for reading!

http://www.midlandsheritage.co.uk/industrial/276-disused-warehouse-newcastle-under-lyme.html

For more drawings, visit www.drawingthestreet.co.uk

Bishy Road York

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know, a slow start but I am gradually getting back into my drawing stride.

I have just come back from a weekend in York, visiting family in my old home town and taking a fresh look at some of the York streets that I would like to draw over the course of the coming year. There is one particular street in York which I love to visit, known fondly by the locals as the Bishy Road.

Millies, Pig and Pastry Bishy Road
Millies, Pig and Pastry Bishy Road

It is a good step away from the tourist hot spots but it is always buzzing! Hardly surprising when there are so many great independent outlets such as the Pig and Pastry and Cycle Heaven – the latter is always a big attraction for my husband whenever we visit.

Cycle Heaven Bishy Road
Cycle Heaven Bishy Road

What really strikes me as the key to this thriving street is the great community spirit and the handy, reasonably priced car park alongside.

Park and shop on the Bishy Road
Park and shop on the Bishy Road

It was great this Christmas when we had free car parking here in our town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, more please! Let’s support our local communities wherever we are by providing access to our town centre shops.

So here is a flavour of street drawings to come and if you do visit York, don’t forget to have a look at Bishopthorpe Road, it’s a ten minute walk south of Clifford’s Tower and Skeldergate Bridge. Right, time to sharpen my pencils and get sketching!

Trinacria Sicilian Cafe Bar Feb 2013
Trinacria Sicilian Cafe Bar
Feb 2013

Gift box sets of ‘Ironmarket in Summer’ postcards

We are now into the second week in Advent and here is a suggestion for a Christmas present with a local theme.

A limited edition gift box set of 10 post cards is now available to buy from the Library on the Ironmarket, Newcastle-under-Lyme and from the Borough Museum and Art Gallery.  Images have been taken along the entire length of the prize winning drawing ‘Ironmarket in Summer’ and are printed on fine art quality, satin finished cards. They are a neat A6 size: 165 x 116 x 17mm and are raffia tied with a tag of a mini image of the Ironmarket in summer.

Recommended Retail price is £15 though this may vary according to outlet’s overheads and commission.

Ironmarket gift box ten postcards

Gift box set open, box size is A6 165x116x17mm
Gift box set open, box size is A6 165x116x17mm

Ironmarket ten postcards

There are only 100 sets available so to reserve a set to collect from the library, please let me know by filling in the comment box below.

Ironmarket in Winter is all yours!

If you have been one of the people to visit the Drawing the Street exhibition, my wholehearted thanks! I have been very moved by the continuous flow of positive comments. These drawings have entailed endless hours of work and to read how well they have been received has been a wonderful vote of confidence in what I began a year ago this month. I hope to respond to each of your comments in turn via email or the blog pages.

It is evident that Newcastilians are most enthusiastic about their town and its history! The centrepiece drawing ‘Ironmarket in Winter’ has been enjoyed by so many of you that I have decided to donate the original to the library to keep it in the public domain. I would love to hear any thoughts or memories of the old Ironmarket and town centre so I can build up a living history alongside the drawings. I have come across a strong community spirit here in Newcastle, it would be good to draw some of it together through this website.

Ironmarket in winter - extract
Ironmarket in winter – extract

I will retain the copyright of the drawing and a number of prints (of all my drawings) are being sold through Newcastle Library, the Borough Museum and Art Gallery and directly from me. I will get a price list together in my next web update, but if you are thinking about a print for a Christmas gift, do get in touch with me as soon as you can by email RonnieCruwys@drawingthestreet.co.uk or phone  07966 230909.

Coming soon…. gift box sets of ten best quality postcards of ‘Ironmarket in Summer’. There is a limited pre-Christmas launch of 100 sets, so if you would like me to reserve a set, please drop me an email. 

drawing out the best in our streets