A few months ago, I met up with a couple enjoying a quiet drink outside Merckx Bar on the High Street in Eccleshall. I had just dropped off some prints of Eccleshall High Street into Gallery at 12 and was taking a few photos for the second drawing of the High Street, so I could add some real people to the benches outside Mercks.
From this enjoyable but momentary meeting, I was asked if I might draw the Old Vicarage. I hadn’t seen this building before, but possibly because it was hidden away behind a very tall hedge, with only a glimpse through the gate.
The hedge has since been thinned out so that this handsome, Staffordshire red brick building with rusticated brick quoins, is a little more visible from Church Street. It was built in the Queen Anne style and is listed grade 2.
It’s good to look at buildings from a different angle. It has made a pleasant change to draw the Old Vicarage as a one-off perspective, and I’m pleased to have recorded another of Eccleshall’s listed buildings.
The drawing of 1-35 High Street is also finished, here’s part of it. Limited edition signed giclee prints are on sale at Gallery at 12, the Arcade, High Street, Eccleshall.
It has been quite a month. Apart from finishing off a few more drawings in between a few fun family events, quite a lot has been happening.
First of all, a big thank you to Paul at the Stone and Eccleshall Gazette who found my work on the web and then gave me a fab introduction to Eccleshall with his generous write up. This has been so timely and I really appreciate this vote of confidence. It was published just as I had placed the first framed print of Eccleshall High Street on the wall of Gallery at 12.
Just before this happened, my Instagram site (@ronniecruwys) took off. I have been posting work-in-progress photos for the last 9 months and have been using hashtags to connect with other artists interested in the same subjects, for instance #Eccleshall or #Drawing #Architecture. It has been great to connect with people all over the world and share stages of my work in progress. One drawing (of Audlem) got reposted on to another site and within 2 days had over 30,000 likes. Crikey. Meanwhile, Stone Road Eccleshall is getting a respectable response too.
I would also like to give a big vote of thanks to my new Instagram buddies @carolineiam @daveh500 @eddequincey for pointing me in the direction of Gallery at 12, where I have since become a member, and for giving me such enthusiastic support!
What’s more, I actually met @carolineiam last night in Eccleshall, in one of those wonderful moments of serendipity!
Starting with the grade 2 listed building home to Wyn’s and the old Sweet Shoppe:
No 2, on the corner is early C19.
Next along is the Arcade, home of Eccleshall’s artists’ co-operative, Gallery at 12 and the lovley coffee shop The Artisan.
British Listed Buildings Online is a great resource for the history of our streets. The building to the right of London House is listed grade 2, early C19. London House is also listed grade 2, and probably late C17 or early C18.
I do plan to continue with drawings of Eccleshall so please follow this blog if you would like to be kept up to date – or over on Instagram. Thanks for reading.
I am gradually picking up from where I left off before my recent accident. I am much more mobile now and keen to get back to normal activities so settling down to draw the second stage of Eccleshall has been a tonic.
This is a wonderful street to draw as it is full of life, colour and history.
As an example, London House was once the shop and home of a ‘mercer’ – a dealer in textiles, built for £50, and is now home to a restaurant.
Eccleshall High Street lies in the heart of the conservation area where there are 61 listed buildings. Further descriptions of these buildings can be found on British Listed Buildings Online. The timber framed building now occupied by Wines Etc was originally built as a market hall in 1884, and is now listed grade 2 along with the others in this cluster.
The 1.6m long drawing is almost complete with some finishing touches to add along with the lettering. Once finished, I will scan and load the finished image on to the website Drawing the Street.
Limited edition, (set of 60) signed, fine art quality giclee prints will soon be available to buy at three different sizes: 30 small prints (60 cm) at £65 each, 20 medium (1.2 mm) at £125 and 10 large (1.5m) at £195, including postage and packing. Please contact me at RonnieCruwys@drawingthestreet.co.uk if you would like to reserve a print. If you are a trader who would like to stock these prints, or licence parts of the image for merchandise, I would be delighted to hear from you. Last of all, something for Cherry of Mercian Scribes: