A Drawing Day

2013-05-29 22.20.05

A woman at a window was evidently a popular Phoenician theme

This week I’m spending two days with a small group drawing in Museums in London; and as Wednesday is the day for my evening class, it meant that yesterday I spent all day and evening sketching.  I must admit by the time I got to about 8:30, I was on the verge of losing interest, but it was a fun day.

We started the day at the National Gallery looking at the composition of the three Vermeer’s in the collection.  I’ve seen the pictures before, but there’s always something to learn when you sit in front of something for over an hour trying to sketch it.  I’ve always been drawn to the light in Vermeer’s work, but I’d never noticed before how geometric the compositions are.  I will be returning to the Gallery next month when they’re putting on a special exhibition around the Vermeers, which all feature women playing a musical instrument, when I expect I shall be very annoying.

In the afternoon we repaired to the British Museum which was positively heaving with families on half term educational visits and tourists from everywhere imaginable.   We camped down in the rooms dedicated to Mesopotamian artefacts, which comprise all sorts of things, both large and small.  I went for some things which made me smile, as that seems as good a basis of selection as any other.

Even though the room was relatively quiet, it was still necessary on some occasions to be determined and focussed to keep one’s place.  One girl even stepped between me and the vitrine because she ‘had to photograph these things’; sometimes it feels as if the act of standing beside something to draw it, makes it infinitely more interesting to the people passing by…… and some even feel qualified to comment on the work in progress.  I am immune.

2013-05-29 22.19.44

Foundation Pegs circa 2400BC

Leave a comment


  1. Louise

     /  May 31, 2013

    Beautiful work, Rowena. You’re very talented. Do you paint?

    • Thank you Louise. That’s very kind – I don’t paint. I didn’t draw either until a couple of years ago when I decided it was time to overcome a school ‘trauma’ at the age of about 12, which had convinced me never to draw anything, ever. It’s only now that I’m finally beginning to work out how to do it! And I’ve discovered that I really enjoy drawing in museums – even when they’re busy and noisy, sitting looking at one thing for a period of time provides an odd form of meditation.


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