Posts in Category: Places

The Hebridean Isles – April 2017

With HTA sketch club looking at one of Edinburgh’s successful incidental spaces.

Rodney Street 30 March 2017After that, island hopping in the Hebrides in the spring sun.

MV Hebridean Isles 04 April 2017The whole thing is great. The islands are beautiful, the weather is dramatic and the ferries that sail between them come in all shapes and sizes.

MV Catriona - 03 April 2017The smallest is on the five minute crossing to remote Jura.

eilean dhura 7 april 2017The biggest on the sail to Arran.
caledonian isles 02 April 2017julie 8 April 2017Most of our time was spent on Islay, which is a much softer variety of the Hebridean harshness I’m familiar with from time on North Uist, and mixed with an astounding world class whisky industry.

ardbeg 5 April 2017Bownore 04 April 2017goose 6 april 2017

It’s a short cycle between Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. Time to look out for the wildlife. Buzzards, stags, golden eagles. And geese.
Port Ellen 7 April 2017Islay came up with this and a few islands further north they invented Harris Tweed. A tiny number of people producing products that are renowned the world over. In beautiful surroundings.

loch ranza 3 April 2017It was a great place for Fraser to recover from his minor, but fairly dramatic, head injury.

fraser 01 April 2017fraser 02 april 2017For contrast, Kings Cross.

kings cross - 170326

Washington & New York – November 2016

Off to Washington and New York to learn a little more about how Americans live.

to-america-30-october-2016

People deserve better places to live and there’s lot’s to learn from America. At it’s best there are bigger flats and a higher standard of lower cost accommodation.

upstairs-at-bethesda-31-october-2016

anthology-1-november-2016Washington to New York.

arsenal-1-november-2016It’s never enough to look at the housing: what else can you do if you live here?

brooklyn-2-november-2016In New York people are leaving Manhattan for ‘neighbourhood living’ in Brooklyn. They are choosing streets, corner shops and cafes rather than specced up apartment blocks. We learned a lot.

rememberance-13-november-2016Back home at the Remembrance Parade in Davidson’s Mains.

 

Vehicles & holidays – 12 October 2016

Waiting in China Town and sketching delivery bikes. You can’t finish them because they keep racing off at the standard speed for ‘L’ plate food deliveries: flat out.

delivery-bbike-6-october-2016

Faster: a turntable ladder at Crewe Toll fire station. This is the highlight of Fraser’s trip with the Beavers.

fire-station-2-11-october-2016

I’m here because he’s been a bit ill, so I’m checking he’s alright.

fire-station-1-11-october-2016They do an entertaining routine, the fireman. “Kids, the more yellow helmets at a fire, the more chance everyone gets out alive. The more white helmets, the more chance it all burns to the ground”. The bosses wear the white helmets.

tube-12-october-2016On the tube,  absentmindedly sketching the guy who happens to be opposite when I realise he’s wrapped his hands in a scarf so I can’t see his big tattoos. Didn’t mean to make it awkward, wish I knew what they said.

soft-play1-10-october-2016

Back in Edinburgh we are moving office. I find myself in kids soft play parties looking at how they’ve done the services install. Time for a break.

donald-campbell-17-october-2016On the Windermere ferry sketching a Mazda MX5 and a Renault. Imagining (well copying) Donald Campbell’s celebrated K7. We went and had a look at Coniston Water where Campbell was killed on 4th January ’67 in an attempt to break his own world water speed record.

borrowdale-16-october-2016The holiday had begun in Borrowdale Youth Hostel. I love youth hostels: we all get in one room, the foods good, the people are friendly and the prices and locations are great. Citizen Rambler.

islas-bike-19-october-2016Next stop, Center Parcs. It shows how you can make the world around you much nicer just by replacing cars with bikes. Everyone seems to go for it.

fi-15-october-2016The boys on the tablet, though most of the action was in the ‘subtropical swimming paradise’. hut-19-october-2016This is the ‘hut’. J & I got ill here. Being ill at Center Parcs is about as expensive as checking in to a BUPA hospital, so we didn’t make a big deal of it.

HTA Paris 2016

To Paris with the office, partners and kids. About 170 of us.

paris-2016

I love Paris, and looking out from our hotel bedroom window, you’d think nothing ever changes here.

paris-hotel-october-2016But it does and we are here to learn. Two ‘Fondations’. The first is the Fondation Le Corbusier in the stripped back austerity of the beautiful Maison La Roche.

le-corbusierThe second, by way of contrast, is the Fondation Louis Vuitton. As excessively opulent as Versaille but anyone can come in and enjoy the spectacular roof terrace views back to Paris, for a few Euros.

louis-vuitton-2-october-2016These are the exceptions. The character comes largely from the distinctive eight storey blocks that line the Haussmann boulevards.

hausman-elevations-3-october-2016Paris might have a bit of catching up to do as a cycle friendly city, but we still did almost all of it by bike. 30 miles and two days of interesting places and buildings.

pompidou-3-october-2016None the less, I’m as happy watching the characters of Paris life as I am looking at the buildings.

cheminade-3-october-2016Two highlights: talking to a smoking portrait artist in brown cord jacket and burgundy roll neck, outside the Pompidou. A Presidential candidate canvassing the Sunday morning Metro goers at Place d’Italie. Street life.

Second Home – 20 August 2016

This is Second Home, in my second home.

second home - 25 August 2016

It describes it’s self as a  ‘carefully curated community’, and a ‘creative accelerator’. It’s certainly an interesting environment to do some sketching in.

leaving do - 18 August 2016

A leaving do for Andrew, Massimo and Cheng, all returning to further their education. This is Massimo’s third leaving do. I pretend to be upset but I’m mostly glad they want to come back.

Alice Fraser - 20 August 2016

“Any story told long enough becomes a tragedy” said Alice Fraser at the start of her emotional ‘comedy’ The Resistance.

LEXI - 17 August 2018Back home, we’ve been sharing with a cat.F&I - 20 August 2016 Isla drawing a (mechanical) dog.

 

Staycation – 3 August 2016

One of my ancestors used to work in Stockbridge Market (1823 – 1906). It’s a very attractive little part of a very attractive place.  I’m here with our sketchclub looking at how buildings hit the ground. This ground floor is related to the upper floors, but not the same.

Stockbridge Market - 4 August 2016This isn’t related at all.

expectation of weight - 3 August 2016

Staycation:

the house - 8 August 2016gardening,


bubble man - 11 August 2016festival shows,

star wars - 11 August 2016films,

Dreams - 6 August 2016new school haircuts.

And eating out. Innes got so bored waiting in Zizzi’s for a pizza that I let him draw in the sketchbook. “I’ll draw Lewis Hamilton”, he promised.Lewis Hamilton - 9 August 2016

“Dad, it was going to be Lewis Hamilton but instead it’s a sheep.”

 

Restart – 20 April 2016

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.

Housing Forum Leeds - 23 March 2016I 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.

Drumsynie - 28 March 2016So here are the sketches from the current book.

Bute - 28 March 2016There’s another sketch book that’s almost entirely missing.

HTA 3rd Birthday - 6 April 2016So getting back up to date there’s lot’s about HTA, which is about right. This includes celebration dinners…

The Bitter Taste of Victory - 12 April 2016

… and fascinating presentations: this one by Lara Feigel on her book ‘The Bitter Taste of Victory’…

WIA @ HTA - 19 April 2016…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.

Land Art Generator Initiative – 20 November 2015

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.

Lagi One - 20 November 2015The combination of designers, artists and engineers makes for amazing submissions and a broad range of questions.

Lagi Two - 20 November 2015I look forward to seeing the ideas for Glasgow in January. Previous submissions are here.

Lagi Three - 20 November 2015

Denis Mason-Jones – 19 November 2015

Thursday: an enjoyable evening looking at the sketches entered in the Denis Mason-Jones sketching competition, in Leeds.

Denis Mason Jones Competition  - 19 November 2015I met Denis’s son and picked the winner.

Tuesday: speaking at the Residential Investment Conference 2015. It was held underground, and the lecture theatre style benches glowed red. I tried not to be too distracted.

Resi Investment - 17 November 2015

Monday night: watching ideas for getting one million more homes into the outer London boroughs, Pecha Kucha style at the NLA.

Pecha Kucha - 16 November 2015

Saturday: more relaxed time spent in Edinburgh.

KMBT_C284-20151120114546KMBT_C284-20151120114614The kids playing sport.

The People I Know – 5 October 2015

Keith napping after lunch. He’s about to retire: all the leaving do’s have left him sleepy.

Keith Bowden  - 4 october 2015

An interesting chat with the guys from DC Thomson, although not the guys who do the drawings. I do want to meet them.

Blair Thomson & Alan Caldwell 5 October 20151

A quick look at a tall, elegant office in London…

179 Tottenham Court Road - 7 October 2015

…and the clock tower of St Pancras, recently framed by the stepped new public space at Kings Cross.

kings cross - 7 October 2015

The kids on the sofa. Watching someone else having a tablet shot seems to be almost as good as having a tablet shot.

me 20 years younger 4 October 2015

The main thing that happens in pubs is you spend time talking to drunk people. Some of them are entertaining. This is Marc, on a fun night at The Pig & Butcher with Kev.

Marc 2 - 14 October 2015

Harry Arora, first class Mortgage fixer at Barclays.

Harry Arora - 14 October 2015

I’ll not be retiring anytime soon.