There are so many variables in horse racing I’m amazed anyone can pick a winner.
After a sunny afternoon at Perth Races with engineer TUV SUD I came out ahead on the strength of a horse that hadn’t won for about a year picking up a win. My system was ‘bet on the jockey wearing black and white’ so it was all about luck rather than insight. I reckon this was true for almost everyone there.
Over the last few months when I wasn’t putting sketches on the blog I produced some illustrations for the ULI (Urban Land Institute) guide to the professionally managed residential sector. Here’s one of East Village (formerly the Olympic Village), Stratford.
I’ve fallen out of the habit of keeping the sketch diary up to date, the online version anyway. I’ve kept the sketch books just the same but painting the six portraits I did recently used up all my spare time. Then I cycled across France.
I had an idea that I’d go back and colour up the old sketches and up load them all here: do a catch up blog. But of course I won’t. The thing about a diary is that the keeper is only interested in recording today, not writing up the past.
… and fascinating presentations: this one by Lara Feigel on her book ‘The Bitter Taste of Victory’…
…and this one on Women in Architecture and women in HTA. In the non architectural areas of our business: planning, graphics, sustainability and landscape design the genders are balanced throughout the grades. In architecture they aren’t. Something to sort.
As noted a couple of blogs ago, I’m cycling from London to Cannes as part of a 100 strong fundraising peloton. I’m raising some of the money by painting the clients, collaborators and influencers who shape my working life.
The funds are for children’s charity Coram.
Harry Downes and Peter Murray were kind enough to accept my offer to tackle their portrait, for charity.
Peter is the chair of New London Architecture.
Harry is Managing Director of Fizzy Living.
Excellent organisations both. Many thanks to them for their generous donations to Coram.
My fundraising page is here and I would be delighted if you were able to donate. Either way, I hope that you enjoy the portraits and please accept my apologies that, what with all the painting and training for a 900 mile cycling event, there isn’t much sketching going on!
In the Lighthouse in Glasgow sitting in on Architecture & Design Scotland’s review of planning guidance for Port Dundas, by others.
I spent the next day with HTA looking at what the future might hold, from a marketing perspective. It’s eight years since the last recession started and, crudely, it’s an eight year cycle, so I worry about what might be next.
This is Ben Derbyshire, there’s a sketch of him in the last post. Here he is in oils. Ben has kindly donated to my fundraising for children’s charity Coram. I’m raising money for them as part of cycling from London to Cannes in March, on my way to the MIPIM property conference.
I’ve also painted Dave Bullock, MD of Compendium. Dave has also generously sponsored me.
If you’d like to sponsor me the fundraising page is here.
Many thanks to Ben and Dave and for all other contributions.
We spend a lot of time in each others’ company so it’s nice to draw them from time to time, just to see them in a different way.
The last event of the break, my dad’s 88th birthday.
New years day, a brass band in the livingroom.
Angus visited from France.
Catching up with old school pals in Dunfermline. The same as we were, a little more tired but a little better at communication.
Innes hid behind the sofa for the Queen’s speech.
Fun box was fun.
The only person on a plane to London City the week before Christmas.
Actually these are the things I did in between riding the bike and painting portraits, in preparation for cycling from London to Cannes in March. I’ll show you the portraits next time.
Over the last year, we’ve had Mike Hopkins coming in to train our management team in a few useful techniques. We’re a business run by designers so it’s good to hear how the professionals do it. Contrary to popular perception (big egos/ sensitive souls) designers don’t really need to be treated all that carefully but they are good at questioning the conventional route. Mike has a straightforward style, telling our creative team what he thinks, and this is going down well.
Getting a great guided tour around the first bespoke build-to-rent building in the UK, for be:here.
Fraser and Isla have expertise too. Here they are showing two year old Ellan some advanced present unwrapping skills.
A man in a stripy jersey watching his kid at swimming lessons.
Julie watching the tennis and working out how we’ll get the boiler fixed. We moved into a house in the winter and the boiler burst. It now appears this happens to pretty much everyone.
Maybe the 25% of the population who’d consider buying a new house have got it right?
Fraser is learning to play tennis. I drew Isla watching him, then she drew him, and titled it.
At an office CPD, on lighting. Not a bad one. You learn more, obviously, from seeing the things skilled designers (and their visionary clients) have actually built than you do from watching Powerpoint.
Edinburgh has an extensive stock of ageing bungalows with big back gardens and they’re gradually being bought up by young families. A roster of talented local architects can transform them by taking a bit of back garden and building the kind of bright and open living space people are after these days. Few are as lofty and light as friends Asa & Daniel’s one, by David Blaikie.
Innes (and me), learning to be gardeners.
The Land Art Generator Initiative combines art, urban design and sustainable energy. We are working on a site in Glasgow that is the subject of a current LAGI competition so I went along to see if I could answer any of the queries for the competing teams and their advisors.
I look forward to seeing the ideas for Glasgow in January. Previous submissions are here.