31 March 2015

Tuesday is drawing day - at Museum of London

Last week we met "downstairs" at the Museum of London - a place with lots of audiovisuals, hence lots of noise - and some rather gloomy, dim lighting. All this augmented my somewhat grumpy mood, so I was relieved to find somewhere quiet - the City Gallery, the one with the Lord Mayor's coach and the six horses. At that point I was ready to sit down in front of anything just to get away from the noise and chose this aiguilette, or it chose me -
Well it was shiny (made of wire) and loopy and woven-ish and ... strange ... why would anyone wear this? It's ceremonial wear, and lower-ranking officers wear it on the left shoulder, whereas senior officers wear it on the right shoulder. It references lacing that once held armour together, and is one of those strange historical survivals that become fossilised in uniforms. It's the pointy tips that are the "aiguilles" - needles - and these distinguish it from a lanyard.

Hidden in the photograph is a police whistle, made by J Hudson & Co in Birmingham - it says so on the whistle. What's more, it also says "City of London" and "Police Reserve". The whistles, says the label, were attached by a brass chain to the second button on the officer's tunic.

I spent some time figuring out the way the aiguillette was made - a simple crochet chain, but oh how wonderful it looks in that 16-strand (or maybe it was 24-strand?) gold wire!

In between, however, my other notebook was filling up with an effort to "write away" the grumpiness ... who knows why these moods afflict us? During my torrential writing, some very young children came to see the horses, and I quickly drew the one in the hooded parka, and after that, more of the visitors -
They further obscured the writing, indeed changed its bad temper to something more positive. At the end of the day I quite enjoyed the drawing experience (among which is a horse in blinders) -
And of course I enjoyed the coffee and chat, and seeing the others' drawings.

Having drawn the back leg of a horse previously, Jo now tackled the front leg - "it's not too often you find a horse that will stay still for that long" -
then wandered into the street of Victorian shops and started drawing a  display of biscuits -

Sue, meanwhile, had settled in front of the doors of the lift in Selfridges, designed in 1928 by ... goodness knows who ... info on labels was scanty - though an online search finds they were designed by Edgar William Brandt. They were removed in the 1970s "when escalators became popular" -
In the museum, the panels are lit from behind, and appear yellow with silhouettes -
Sue drew the personified wind from the top left, and Aquarius, top right (other panels had other horoscope figures).

Later we got out a few drawing implements - Sue has been using these coloured pencils for quite some time -
along with Jo's sepia felt pen and "colorkilla", and my 50p-each-on-sale watersoluble, chunky Stabilo crayons -
The chunky crayons relate to my totally erroneous theory that if you use a clumsy implement, the result doesn't have to be exact - which is obviously entirely wrong thinking - if you want to be exact, why chose an implement that starts out by defeating that purpose?

Maybe that's why I so enjoyed the inexactness, the freedom, of the drawing-over-writing today. Throwing accuracy out the window. Going for ... expression ...

1 comment:

Felicity said...

Am very envious of your lovely drawing Tuesdays! One day in my future....

I turn very grumpy in noisy places and have murderous thoughts. It's an excellent idea to put it all in a notebook.