July 2017 Oxford, England: Summertime in Oxford, England- sketching, painting and learning lots. Last week I spent a few days as a participant of a workshop, with Stephanie Bower, an architect and architectural illustrator from Seattle. (http://www.stephaniebower.com) The premise of the course was to “set up the foundations of a great architectural sketch.” The two and a half days were filled with demos and sketching on site and the introduction to watercolour mixing and technique. We were fifteen from England, Portugual, Canada, United States, the Hague and Switzerland. All were keen to learn and share their skills.
The weather was amazing, not a day of rain. History surrounded us, as we sat and worked on our drawings. The first morning Stephanie found a perfect place to sit. The courtyard was between Bouleian Library and Sheldonian Theatre. The massive stone buildings provided us shade as we worked. The Bouleian Library, first opened in 1602, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and holds more than 12 million items. The Sheldonian Theatre, was built from 1664 to 1669 and is designed by Christopher Wren (St. Paul’s Cathedral, London) and commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As I looked ahead and put pencil to paper I remained in awe of the talent of the architects, designers, and craftsmen of the buildings built in the 1600 and still standing nearly 420 years later.