Tag Archives: Lanark

An Unusual Lanimer Day

Roofscapes above the High Street when viewed from inside the Tolbooth.

Today, Thursday 11th June 2020, would have been Lanimer Day, a celebration and a week-long town party that has taken place in Lanark since 1892. You can read more about the history of the activities on the Lanark Lanimers website. It’s a rare day in early June that the streets of Lanark are not filled with one of the UK’s largest processions for the crowning of the Lanimer Queen and many other ceremonial activities to celebrate the Royal Burgh.

I’ve hardly been into Lanark these last 12 weeks of lockdown so urban sketching has been replaced by orchard sketching (more on than another time) but I didn’t want the day to pass without acknowledging this significant week or without giving some acknowledgement to a few of the traders who show up in my sketches and who must also be finding it challenging to adapt and keep going.

View of St Nicholas’s church tower and the side of Jacks Ironmongery shop from Broomgate.

These are simply some examples from my 2019 sketch book where I can show a small taster of the work that goes on in Lanark by others. Let’s start with some of the work by a Scottish potter Richard Price. This one’s for my Stokie Pals; I can’t help but admire potters wherever they are!

Some of Richard Price’s pottery on display at Lanark Tolbooth
Richard Price giving a demonstration at the Tolbooth in 2019

If there is work going on then there has to be a rest in between. Ernie, Tom and Millie sketched whilst on duty during the Tolbooth Christmas exhibition.

Included in the exhibition was a wonderful example of a Yorkshire Ewe by the animal portrait artist Rosie Mark who also works here in the Clyde Valley.

Looking outside the Tolbooth window, the pigeons settle down to roost on the chimney stacks.

Now for someone we all miss – our hairstylists! This is Heather at Nelson’s Hair Salon, which is being redecorated in anticipation of opening sometime soon.

Enjoying a cup of tea whilst I sketch Heather at work

Something else that I miss: being part of an audience at a music event such as this one held at Scottish Wildlife Trust visitor centre, New Lanark.

Feis Rois musicians playing at New Lanark

Finally I’d like to include an acknowledgement of the work put in by Ian Wilson Leitch and the Tolbooth volunteers and Kirsten Harris who all worked tirelessly on behalf of so many artists and creators to set up this shared exhibition open to all working in the area. You did a great job!

Here’s hoping that the pandemic recedes and that we can all pick up some of our most treasure threads of our daily lives with renewed enthusiasm.

Thanks for reading and may you all keep well.

Ronnie

Rainbows of Lanark

Calling all Lanark artists! Lanark Tolbooth Trust and Lanark Community Development Trust have put their heads together and come up with a great idea for artists living within 7 miles of Lanark, by holding a rainbow themed art competition.

lanark under lockdown artwork by ronnie cruwys
YMCA, St Nicholas Church, Tolbooth window ,

The competition is to create rainbow inspired images for an exhibition to be held at the Tolbooth, Lanark when the restrictions are lifted.

lanark under lockdown artwork by ronnie cruwys

They have been inspired by the uplifting colourful pictures of rainbows that children have put in their windows spreading messages of hope and thanks to the NHS and key workers.

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Images from New Lanark

I thought I would do something a little different…

I don’t think I’ve mentioned here yet but since last October (until lockdown) I had been attending a weekly drawing and mixed media class at Paintbox School of Art in East Lothian. I’ll get round to telling you a bit more about the classes on another day (they’re great!) but for now I’ve discovered that preparing your surface makes quite a difference to your work.

lanark under lockdown artwork by ronnie cruwys
New Lanark

There are many ways to do this but for the idea I had in mind, I wanted a lightly textured background, for a mostly monochrome drawing apart from the rainbows.

In my mind’s eye, I had a composition of disordered buildings, interweaving fragments drawn very simply, with the emphasis on windows and the rainbow posters. I’ve only been into Lanark twice since lockdown so it felt apt that it was more dreamlike. The monochrome sums up how things feel at the moment and helps the rainbows pop out.

Rough sketch of one of the compositions. This was a bit too congested so I thinned out the final sketch.

I prepared 4 sheets of A3 paper with a coat of white emulsion paint mixed with a dash of blue grey. It gives a chalky tooth for the graphite and a varied flow to ink. I then worked directly on to the paper, starting with one key building placed off-centre and then placed other buildings in response to that one and so on.

This shows the simplified line drawing and the textured background.

I got carried away doing four sheets but I kept finding parts of buildings that I wanted to include. I now have to decide on which drawing to enter or do another one!

lanark under lockdown artwork by ronnie cruwys
Towers of St Nicholas’s Church and Greyfriars
lanark under lockdown artwork by ronnie cruwys
Finials and chimneys above the High Street

The drawings have been cropped into squares – top and bottom sections so you can have a good look.

lanark under lockdown artwork by ronnie cruwys
St Mary’s Church tower, the Girnin Dug and part of the Tolbooth

If you are a professional or amateur artist living in or near Lanark, there is still time to enter – closing date 1st June 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of colour next month!

Thanks for reading,

Ronnie

lanark under lockdown artwork by ronnie cruwys
Window on corner of Jack’s Ironmonger, Tolbooth and Christ Church

close to Lanark high street

In Yorkshire, they’re called ‘ginnels’ or ‘snickelways’. Here in Lanark, they are called a ‘close’. Lanark High Street has 14 of these narrow openings that weave in and out of the town centre, tracking centuries of movement and trade.

Up until last year, they were dark and run down but the Discover Lanark BID and Lanark Community Development Trust have transformed the High Street’s closes by turning them into features which promote key aspects of Lanark’s history. At least seven closes have been repainted and had new energy efficient light fittings installed.

The next step planned is to install panels explaining the history of each close including information about their names, you can read more about it here.

Six of these closes are featured on my drawing of the High Street, it’s up in full on my website here.

On the opposite side of the street, Wallace Close has been brought to life with artwork depicting key moments of Wallace’s life in Lanark. Perhaps that’s another street drawing for the future!

Prints and cards are available to buy through the Tolbooth Lanark, or from my website.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read,

Ronnie

Lanark Sketches

Girnin Dug Lanark

Sometimes the long street scenes don’t catch all that I want to include. There are countless vignettes here in Lanark which I’ve made a start on sketching as part of my exhibition ‘Streets of Lanark’ in the Tolbooth from Monday 28th Oct for a fortnight.

Coffee outside the Tolbooth

I’ve added all these sketches in a new page in this blog ‘Lanark Sketches’. Click over to see them all including some cropped close ups as I know my other sketching friends reading here like to have a good close look.

pen and ink drawing of girnin dog 2 castlegate lanark
Girnin dog, Castlegate, Lanark

Of course I had to include the real local hero ‘the Girnin Dug/Dog/Doogie’. Couldn’t decide which was his best side, so drew them all, including a close-up!

Close up of the Girnin Doogie
Just the one sketch of New Lanark so far…

Thanks for reading and hoping to see one or two of you at the exhibition.

Ronnie

Fifty Streets 3/3

Dog Groomers and Turkish Barber…not to be confused

This is West Port in Lanark, my new Scottish home town which I’m enjoying getting to know as I draw and share my work online.

Since moving here last summer, I’ve drawn six Lanark streets, all of which had something to catch my eye. How timely that the Tolbooth Lanark is kindly hosting an exhibition of my drawings of these streets just as I’ve reached the milestone of 50 drawings.

It will be on from Mon 28th October to Sat 9th November where I will be showing these as well as Kirk Road in Dalserf and a few originals from York, where I grew up.

West Port, Lanark

You have to keep your eyes on the road whilst driving along West Port but it’s one of the key ancient streets – or ports – in Lanark, steeped in history and legend if you scratch below the surface. The town became a Royal Burgh in 1140 so there was plenty going on before this date to be granted this noble status.

I haven’t had much time to update you on work in progress lately so let me skim over the last few streets which I’ve drawn here. They are on my website now where you can see them in more detail. Broomgate (not to be confused with Bloomgate), runs at a right angle to the High Street.

No 38 Broomgate (middle building)

Broomgate is a street which holds a rich and varied history. To focus on no 38, its past use includes a school, a house for the headmaster of Lanark Grammar School (early 19C), a Poorhouse in the 19-20thC and possibly used as a Drill Hall in WW1.

This isn’t a history blog but I do like to record anything relevant for my archive blog drawingthedetail. If you have any knowledge of the past uses for any of these buildings I would love to hear from you.

Living history happens as I draw and I love it when I can record the people who belong to the street. Here on my Broomgate drawing you can see Ainsley from Nirvana Yoga (being followed by a passing rainbow as I drew) and Kym, who runs the Wallace Tea Rooms, spotted for a moment sitting outside with me this summer.

Heading back along the High Street and around the corner towards Wellgate you will discover another street full of traditional colourful Scottish rendered buildings. Gone are the Staffordshire bricks!

2-62 Wellgate, Lanark

If you look closely at the bottom of the chimney stack you can see the initials DW and a date carved into the masonry – 1893.

Spot the smaller proportions/roof line of these older shops below.

As with all my drawings, I scan them at high resolution and have a small number of signed limited edition giclee prints available.

Three completed drawings ready to scan

These will be available to buy/order during the exhibition at the Tolbooth or get in touch RonnieCruwys@drawingthestreet.co.uk. More information is available on my website Drawing the Street

Small prints by Smith York Fine Art Printers, Ironbridge, of first three Lanark street scenes

Next post I will tell you about my sketches of Lanark that I have drawn just for the exhibition – all being framed at the moment but here is the first one…

My sincere thanks for reading and an extra big thank you to those who have been with me over the last few years!

You keep me going! Ronnie 🙂

St Nicholas Clock tower from The Wallace Tea Rooms

The Sound of the Clyde

From the doorstep

The best thing about our new home here in Scotland, is stepping outside our back door. From here, the rush of the mighty River Clyde is carried up the sides of the valley where it never fails to take my breath away, make me stop whatever I’m doing and drink in the landscape of the Clyde Valley.

Rooftops against the woodland of the Clyde Valley

We overlook the old apple, plum and damson orchards of Hazelbank and beyond towards Crossford, where as the name suggests, there is a bridge over the Clyde. When we moved here it was peak growth season, with mostly rooftops, cables and crows visible above the dense foliage.

‘Broomhouse’ tucked into the foliage

The greenery has all died back now and as we get closer to the year end, I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Christmas and give you a flavour of some streets I plan to draw as next year unfolds.

Before I got stuck into my whisky label project (see previous post), I made a start on a few sketches of places close to our home in Hazelbank, to help anchor me into my new surroundings.

Starting with the back door step

Our nearest town is Lanark, a place full of history which I am looking forward to learning about as my new street drawings come to life.

Rich red local sandstone on the high street
Close up of a traditional Scottish window detail in Lanark town centre
Here’s the window in context (and now featured on a bottle of Speyside Malt)
Part of Bloomgate, Lanark

Much as I love this time of year, it can be very stressful for all sorts of reasons and I hope that whatever you are doing and wherever you are, you can take a few minutes to enjoy some of the beauty of the season.

I’d like to sign off by saying a sincere thank you for bearing with me during this year of our big move and wish you all the best for 2019. Thanks for reading! Ronnie

November dawn over Lanark