The ink has just dried on The Square, the third drawing in the Audlem series. The Square is in fact more of a triangle which is formed around the T junction between the Nantwich Road (A529) and the A525 (Stafford and Shropshire St). This is the oldest part of the village and its heart. You can read more about the history of the village on Audlem Online
Looking back two years, the first drawing (seen below) stretched from the Post Office to the Methodist Church.
You can just see the southern side of ‘The Square’ in the middle.
A year later and Cheshire Street appeared. This shows the ribbon of buildings lining the side of the A529 from the edge of St James’s Church up to No 17.
Now I can share the latest drawing which although relatively short, contains the third side of the Square.
My thanks again to Judy of ‘Williams of Audlem’ who is stocking signed limited edition prints of the drawing. I’m only doing a very small print run of 20 from this drawing, available to order in one size 500mm x 200mm. Unframed prints are £54 each.
There are two framed prints in stock at Williams, one in matt black and the other in mahogany, for £125. If you are in Audlem for the festival over the Bank Holiday, call in and have a look – all prints can be seen together as a set. If you can’t get to Williams and would like to buy any of the Audlem series, drop me an email (RonnieCruwys@drawingthstreet.co.uk).
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 have been drawn back to the Great North Road, this time up in York. The Roman road from London can be traced closely beneath the present day A64, entering York just a little north of Blossom Street and Micklegate and neatly illustrated on the British History Online website (scroll down on the link site for the map).
I mentioned in an earlier post that I went to school in York and Micklegate was my cycle route into town. Of course, much has changed and I see that the first building on the street is now occupied by Bike Shed, hopefully ready to greet the forthcoming Tour de Yorkshire. Brilliant! I will be there in the crowds again this year.
Micklegate is a long street and this drawing is only about a third of one side but I have discovered that there are seven Grade I, 26 Grade II* and 117 Grade II listed buildings in Micklegate alone!
Having made a great journey north himself, my father would often speak of the ancient roads in and around the city and how in the past, convicts would have been taken from York Castle prison along Micklegate, then Blossom Street and out along what is now the A64 to Tyburn, on the Knavesmire. Dad had been given a very old book ‘the Criminal Chronology of York Castle‘ which is a register of all those unfortunate souls executed at Tyburn since 1379 with many awful insights into life and death within the city. Dad passed the book on to me and it’s a sobering read.
Events don’t seem so long ago when I think that most of these buildings would have been extant on ‘Saturday 6th March 1761, when Ann Richmond, a fine young girl, was executed at Tyburn Without Micklegate Bar, for setting fire to a stack and barn belonging to her mistress’. The buildings on Micklegate would have been some of the last that she saw.
I got lost in thought whilst drawing Micklegate. I kept thinking of my parents, John and Mary Sharp (nee O’Donoghue), who lived in York for over 50 years and I took the liberty of drawing them in, looking into Brigantes window – which incidentally is the name of a Celtic Romano tribe – apt for my English dad and Irish mum. Our much loved old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Arran is included, no shadows of course!
Micklegate holds many names which have gone – the Blake Head is one that I really do miss when I visit York. I don’t like seeing buildings unused so it is great to hear that this is now home to the BlueBird Bakery and the Rattle Owl. With great names like that, I hope they go a long way – best of luck to you!
I gather from the York Press that ‘Plans have also been submitted to the council to excavate the cellar of the property which is believed to be sitting on top of a Roman road, with hopes of incorporating it into the current building design and allowing it to be displayed.’ Exciting! Look forward to hearing more of this!
Micklegate House (c1752) below, was the former town house of the Bourchiers of Beningbrough.
The drawing stops at the point where it meets Barker Lane, hopefully to be continued. To see all the drawing scanned in full length, please visit www.drawingthestreet.co.uk
Limited edition prints will soon be available at Blossom Street Gallery and Framing. Please email me directly and I will happily reserve one for you. A small number will be available to buy from me directly.
Thanks to my Holloway twitter buddies, @RuthRobinsonLon, @TheHornseyRoad, @HollowayLife and in particular Mark Perronet @AtomGalleryN4, prints of some of my Holloway Road drawings are now up on display in the Atom Gallery, Stroud Green Road, London N4. It’s a five minute walk from Finsbury Park tube station.
The exhibition opens tonight and runs until 4th April 2015. I really wish I could be there but I am grounded with three pelvic fractures, a fractured drawing arm and a chipped elbow. All my own doing as I fell on our own doorsteps, in broad daylight and stone cold sober!
Good luck to everyone showing at the Atom Gallery and thanks Mark, for this wonderful opportunity.
Over the past year, I have been regularly posting sketches and work-in-progress photos on social media. It has been a bit of a slog understanding how it all works but it has gradually paid off as I get a real buzz when people who live or work in the buildings respond positively to my sketches and a conversation kicks off.
I was delighted when @TheHornseyRoad got in touch to ask if they could use my sketches of Bathurst Mansions on a blog post. Of course I said yes – I was intrigued to discover a little more about the building.
It turns out that on 2 Feb 1903, Bathurst Mansions was the birthplace of Hilton Edwards, who went on to direct Orson Welles in his first and last role on stage: ‘Few men of the present day theatre have sought so consistently to throw off the shackles of conventional drama as Hilton Edwards and Orson Welles have done’. There is more to read about this fascinating insight into the life of these buildings on The Hornsey Road blog post.
I draw these street scenes and sketch buildings because they mean something to me and I would miss them if they disappeared. Bathurst Mansions are quite a show stopper, standing proud on the corner of this busy crossroad. If you pause for a moment and look up, you will notice the care and skill that has gone into crafting the masonry, it really is a work of art.
Discovering insights into the life of buildings is one of the main reasons I draw streets – to record them as moments of living history; the drawings are brought to life with such nuggets of memory.Thank you @TheHornseyRoad.
Thanks for reading and keep in touch with me on Twitter @RonnieCruwys
PS Watch out for those Stokies playing Arsenal at the weekend, my husband and son will be there hopefully singing Delilahs and shouting ‘Go Stoke!’
I have been having some fun with blue and red ink lately. Judy of Williams of Audlem has been doing a fine job of retailing the limited edition prints of the Audlem street scene so when asked about a tea towel design, I took it as an opportunity to play!
I like tea towels to have fresh cheery colours, so picked up my inks and sketched some of the local landmarks and features. Audlem has a strong identity linked to the Shropshire Union Canal flowing alongside the village and there is plenty of subject material – enough perhaps for a second tea towel next year!
Here are the images which appear on the tea towel, now on sale through Williams of Audlem. They make a practical gift as well as being easy to post overseas.
More Audlem drawings in my next post – Christmas cards!
Our son John was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 14. At the time we had no real idea of what that meant other than the leaflets published by the charity now known as Crohns and Colitis UK and from support by medical staff.
John had two operations during his teens to manage symptoms and it gradually dawned on us just how debilitating this illness can be. It is an ongoing condition that occurs in painful ‘flare-ups’ but in spite of this, John has dealt with it, gone on to study Architecture at UCL and has just graduated with First Class Honours. We are incredibly proud of him and wish him all the best as he embarks on his year in practice.
So, to share our delight at this news, I am donating all proceeds from the framed Bishy Road Limited Edition fine art print 2/199 to Crohn’s and Colitis UK as a small tribute to the courage of youngsters having to deal with this disease.
Further limited edition fine art giclee signed prints are available to order through myself or Blossom Street Gallery and Framing, York, YO24 1A. The gallery is offering a special 10% discount on framing Bishy Road prints.
Unframed print no’s 1 – 12 are 1550mm long (£195 RRP), print no’s 13-100 are 1200mm (£119 unframed) and no’s 101-199 are 600mm (£48).
Thanks for reading!
Crohn’s and Colitis UK is the working name of the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (NACC) which is a registered charity – Number 1117148 (England and Wales) and SC038632 (Scotland)
Taking a slightly different view of the street here, but still drawing! The Bishy Road has a thriving and active community which knows how to greet the Tour de France and throw a street party. I am quite pleased that I have discovered one tiny corner which speaks volumes about the secret of this community’s success – a noticeboard tucked away deep in the heart of the heart of the Bishy Road where everyone can see what’s on – without ever needing to go online. I will leave it to you to guess where it is!
The cards and notices give a cross section of life in Clementhorpe: life drawing, yoga for adults and kids, piano lessons, playgroup, spanish lessons, gutters cleared, theatre shows, garden services, plumbing, counselling, kids coaching, kids creative workshops, acupuncture, reflexology, music nights, photography, events organiser, fish and chips – all the bases covered!
I will leave you with a flavour of the Bishy Road dressed up for the Tour de France and their street party which followed.
Whenever I finish a drawing, I scan it as soon as possible as the original often represents over a hundred hours work. Given the size of the drawings (the Audlem drawing is 2 metres long), the scanned file sizes are huge as I scan with a high resolution for the best quality prints and so that enlargements on to canvas can be made for festival banners.
The street drawings are non-standard sizes so there are not many printing firms that can handle this combination. That said, Smith York in Ironbridge is a place where Simon not only can scan, but he also makes adjustments to the scanned image in order to reproduce the best quality giclee prints on heavy watercolour paper.
The first few limited edition prints are now ready and for sale. I took the first framed large colour print along to Jane and Andy who have been running the Old Priest House in Audlem for almost twenty years. As Jane herself has been included on the drawing, it’s a great keepsake for friends and family of the part they have played in Audlem life. Thanks to you both for providing us with a top destination for many a sturdy breakfast!
When I set out to draw a street, I make thumbnail sketches and take photos. Inevitably, I photograph a few passers-by and I like to draw them too as they are an important part of the streetscape. It crossed my mind that people may wonder if they have been included on a drawing so here are a few photographed faces and the corresponding sketches.
Set within the lovely group of buildings known as ‘The Square’, there is a shop which has been in the same family since 1862 – it’s Williams of Audlem. I particularly like the sign-writing on the awnings and doorway – and the attractive flower baskets and flags all add up to it looking very elegant indeed.
Audlem is a cycling hub! Cyclists are hard to catch on the move but I managed to snatch a few taking off. The slow start can only be the result of a big breakfast…
Williams of Audlem and the Old Priest House are stocking limited edition (100 total) prints. If you would like to buy an unframed colour print, prices are as follows: small (800mm long) £95, medium (1200mm) £135 and large (1500mm) £175.
The prices reflect the quality of the print, the work involved in the drawing and include a commission to the trader. So, if you buy a print, you also support your local high street! There are also a selection of postcards from the drawing avaiable for sale. Please dont hesitate to contact me if you would like to reserve a print.