One of my favourite things about live sketching is seeing new places and although I lived in London for 9 years I’d never visited Brompton Cross or more specifically Walton St.
I recognised the Bibendum building straight away which has always pricked my interest with it’s fantastic Michelin Man stain glass windows – well ahead of their time (designed in 1910). Watch this space for an upcoming Bibendum illustration (insert excited emoji here)… anyway, I hadn’t previously strayed far from my hotel and the Admiral Codrington pub near by!
I ate breakfast in Zefi’s cafe on Walton Street after an intense night of sketching followed by an early start sitting on the cold concrete, catching early commuters and shops starting to show signs of life. I gazed at my left hand, with a strange curiousity, it was shaking wildly and was causing my fork to do the same. I came to the conclusion that holding art pads and ipads continuously had taken it’s toll but as I’d been so focused on the pen in my right hand I hadn’t noticed.
My diary for time spent in Chelsea :
12.30pm Arrived in London and tubed it to South Kensington- soaked up the atmosphere in the neighbourhood. Envied those in the Oyster Cafe and Conran’s. Took some photo’s of local folk out shopping.
2pm Organised art materials and whittled down those most wanted for this expedition.
3pm – Made way to destination. I was to start at ‘Andrew Martin‘s’ which is one of the most unusual department stores I have come across in a while. Given more time I would have liked to investigate it further but it was a great location to draw Walton St from.
4pm -Sketched the street and Derek Rose. The shop opposite and the rest of the street (you’ll see that at the end).
7pm– Drew inside Andrew Martin’s store – see above.
8pm– As it was the first night of late night shopping I walked the length of Walton Street & the Brompton Cross area meeting shop owners and discovering a wonderful variety of products, tasting chocolates, sipping prosecco, trying organic venison stew and sniffing candles. Very aware that I was here to draw so I took a series of photographs. I learnt lots about the farm where the ‘Daylesford’ products originate (tasty food btw). Those who follow my blog will know I wrestle with the use of photography, but as I’ve got some great images of Daylesford I’d like to work from those at a later date. I’ve found that if I took the photo and got to experience what it was like to be there in that moment then there is a sense of honesty… so without getting to deep I feel it gives me a reminder of the location rather than simply a drawing reference.
9pm – As it was getting dark I positioned myself outside a vibrant restaurant called Zefi’s and used the ipad pro to sketch the bar men serving cocktails and waiters offering tapas style food. It looked amazing and as bouncers gathered around me I pushed on. There is a short film of this work out there somewhere !!!
9.30 pm It was too dark to draw at this point to I retired to my hotel to collate drawings. It was hard to get my brain to shut down and I ended up watching some strange TV program into the small hours.
8am – I managed to pack early and get out on the streets before the shops opened. I bumped into Charlotte from ‘Katharine Pooley‘s’ so I sat opposite and drew the lovely boutique as she prepared to open.
9.00am – Caught a glimpse of Jak’s on paper as a smartly dressed lady prepared the fruit ready for the daily onslaught of customers wanting smoothies.
9.30am – Stupidly rather than taking a proper break over breakfast I sketched my surroundings and was starting to feel slightly overwhelmed by how much information my brain was taking in. Observing intently for so long you makes you hyper aware of everything around you and my new love of coffee was making me buzz a little. I noted the signs and decided it was time to leave.
10am – Chanel is opening on Walton St. Yes CHANEL and it looked amazing so rather than catch the tube I stood outside the shiny new shop and sketched the mannequins – reminding me of my days as a fashion student when I had been turned away from shops for doing this.
4pm – Arrived back home in time to get my daughter from school.
The next few days were spent combining my drawings in procreate and photoshop. As Christmas was approaching I pressed fast forward and added a little festive spirit. I replaced the skateboarders with Christmas shoppers – spot the Difference ?!
You can see more on the Brompton Cross Instagram or join me on Dec 1st when I will be sketching once again on location at Walton St… I might even sell a few prints and original sketches from my time here.
Brompton Cross and the Walton Street Association are delighted to present the Walton Street Winter Market in support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
On Saturday December the 1st between 10 AM and 5 PM Walton Street and Draycott Avenue will be closed to traffic as a Winter Market with artisan makers and producers selling food, flowers and gifts takes place down the centre of Walton Street, all adding to the already renowned shopping offering of the area.
2018 also sees the return of a dedicated Christmas lighting scheme to the Walton Street and the surrounding area which will create a beautiful setting for the market.