Spent a great day in London yesterday. I got, for me, an amazing amount done. I saw three exhibitions (usually I have the stamina for one, then I'm tired). After the customary mooch along the South Bank near the BFI, I visited the the Hayward, where there was an Alexander Rodchenko exhibition - a Russian designer and photographer. Then on to the Tate Britain to see the Peter Doig show in the evening. That was fantastic - really fresh. His paintings are layered with all sorts of curious effects and textures. While there, I saw they were showing some of the Tate's amazing collection of drawings: Reynolds, Turner, Spencer, Hockney, Epstein, Freud....
On top of that, I finally conquered my fear of drawing in public and made a sketch near Westminster, in an outdoor cafe. The sketch was demoralisingly poor; I had to stop before it was finished, before I screwed it up even more. I need to practice! It was a very complex subject: a maze of branches and windows. But I'll get better fast if I keep at it. I need to learn how to capture impressions quickly and effectively, and make aesthetic choices, like about what to leave out in the interests of a good composition. I managed to position myself so as to prevent people looking over my shoulder and only one or two people seemed to notice me staring in their direction, so the embarrassment of that was minimal.
All in all, a good day out.
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