02 December 2014

Tuesday is drawing day - Museum of London

Last Tuesday I settled down in a quiet, spacious corner of the Museum of London, and that was where Jo and then Jill found me bent over my book, as close to the case as I could get  -
(Thanks for the photo, Jill)
 On my previous visit I'd glimpsed some rich embroidery -

 A closer look - it was the cuff (only) I set out to draw -
 but it rather got away from me, to the point where I was rendering just about every stitch. With a feeble attempt at blue velvet, and just a suggestion of the red on the waistcoat -
Also in the case was the hatbox (and those reflections are of the horses that are part of the State Coach display) -
The postillion's jacket, elsewhere, dates to 1863. "The Lord Mayor's coach is drawn by three pairs of horses. The postillion rides on the left horse of the front pair." -
 Drawing done, we gathered for coffee and out came the books -
 The cafe's sandwich bags were discussed at length -
On the way out we looked at the objects that inspired each of us. For Jill, the "before and after" paintings of soldiers going out to India in the 1850s -
 For Jo, an imaginative view of a carriage on the Underground, by Timo Lehtonen -

And what of the experience of drawing all that goldwork? For the first hour and a half I found it absorbing, seeing how the light hit the threads and how the lie of the threads angled the gleam of the gold. I was mentally stitching it, without the labour of keeping the threads under control. If it took this long to draw, how long would it have taken to stitch! Yet I felt it would be much more satisfying to be stitching it than drawing ... once I'd learned the technique. Same with drawing though - you don't "learn the technique" in an afternoon! I did get very fed up with oak leaves and acorns and clover leaves and roses and elm(?) leaves, but pushed through to the end. My regret is not being able to capture the velvety-ness ... you can do that only by stroking the fabric...

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