After Friday’s post about contrasting old photos to new surroundings, I went on a search for vintage London pictures. I was thwarted by the Library’s local studies section ludicrious opening hours, and couldn’t find what I wanted in my own collection. I did however revisit one of my favorite London books, “London Sketchbook, A City Observed“. Good old fashioned watercolour sketches are one of those arts that one day (when fifty hour days become standard) I can improve on. After the 3rd straight holiday of packing up my itty bitty supplies and never unpacking them, I attempted last year when we were travelling through Europe…and although I completely loved the attempt- the final result wasn’t what I had in mind.
This book is a fabulous ‘souvenir book’ of London–so much better than a picture based book because all the ugly bits are removed–and also sums up the effect I’d love to have in my sketchbook. Illustrated by Graham Byfield, the paintings have a fabulous economy of stroke and paint, something I am horrible at. Reworking something to death is pretty much my signature. Look at those fabulous bleeding trees! One swash and done? Ba-rilliant. Plus the book is printed on fantastic watercolour-esque paper and the handwriting was done so convincingly I nearly took my book back to the shop because I thought someone had written in it. Durr.
I picked these shots specifically because they all are ‘local’ to us, whether its near our current flat (images 1-3), our old flat (image 4) or near where I work (image above). I love how colourful and even dare I say, tropical, these pictures look. Which I definitely would never have imagined ‘prim and proper’ London being before I moved here. I can’t believe I had to move closer to the artic to find palm trees!