Saturday, 8 October 2011

SketchCrawler Swallowed by Train!

It's a bit of a worry when the day has such an inauspicious start...

I recently went back to do an event at Salford Museum and Art Gallery where my illustration exhibition Llamas in Pyjamas is still showing (until Nov 6th). 

By coincidence I met Amy Goodwin, the Curator, on the platform at Manchester, so we continued our journey together. At least that's what we thought we were doing. Instead we became prisoners! 

We boarded our train, but it refused to move. Instead, the automatic doors did a crazy dance. More and more people risked being chopped in half and jumped on. As soon as we were so tightly packed not another person could be squeezed inside, they shut firmly and refused to open for 20 minutes. 

The lights went off. A student next to me began to cry. The internal tannoy told us the doors were malfunctioning (tell us something we don't know...), then asked us to leave the train. The doors remained closed. We sweltered, elbows in kidneys, armpits way too close.

Eventually, the driver's door was opened manually and the train's entire contents slowly filed down the its length. Amy and I were of course at the wrong end...

Thank goodness I had left early and was still in time for the talk I was giving at 10am. I've done various children's events linked to the show, but nothing for the adult audience so far, so was looking forward to it. 

As it happens, half my audience arrived late: bizarrely, it was a morning of unconnected transport chaos all over the region. Ah well. Once we got going it went really well, with everyone really interested, asking loads of good questions.

The day was seriously glorious, so we picnicked outside on the gallery at lunchtime, amongst the beautifully autumnal trees. 

The afternoon was then given over to SketchCrawling. I decided to introduce the idea to Salford. When I'd planned the day, I expected us to be inside, drawing around the museum, but we couldn't have wanted a better day for drawing outside: 

It was so hot, we sometimes found ourselves cuddling up into pockets of shade - at this time of year! The wonderful light which brought out the colours and created great, hard shadows. Both the museum and the university opposite were fabulous, old buildings:  

It was a weekday, so there were lots of students about and one lad was very interested. I asked if he drew too. When he said he did, we found him paper and pencils. Bashful at first, he nevertheless sat with us and sketched for a while.

We said goodbye to him after a bit and walked down into the adjacent park for the final drawing stop of the day. 

The park ran alongside a river and in the photo above I am sketching the image below: 

An hour later, we were on our way back to the gallery when the lad from earlier came up and gave me his drawing - he had finished it off: 

We sat on the grass again to share our sketchbooks. 

I didn't get to join the chat much, as I was photographing all the books, so we could put other people's sketches up for show. I have put them and more photos in the gallery (apart from Manjeet's sketch above, all those here are mine). 

A big thanks to everyone who came along. If you missed the gallery talk but would like to see the exhibition before it closes, you have just a few weeks. 

Email me if you want to take part in any of our future SketchCrawls.


Sainz Design said...

Dear Lynne, I just love the quality of your sketches. They are vibrant, fast paced, full of energy and color. I once lived for a while in Halifax and visited Sheffield once... so when you talk about your activities in the area, I feel a tad blue as I cannot be back there. Thanks for sharing your work with the world out there. Your blog is a great teaching tool for illustrators and other artists. Gabriella

Anonymous said...

A great day out after that inauspicious start! A lovely collection of sketches to remember it by and perhaps you have made a new convert to sketching too in the boy who joined you.

Balaji said...

What a delightful post! I did not want it to end. The sketches (and photographs) are all lovely and the reporting, very absorbing.

Sue Pownall said...

How interesting both the sketches and the tales - how awful about your train!!!

Sheryl C said...

Yikes! The malfunctioning doors would unnerve me too, but looks like you salvaged the day in grand style - enjoyed the sketches and the story. So glad you took the time to encourage/include that student!

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you everyone. Yes - a lovely day in the end. And the student found me on Facebook and tells me he'd quite like to join us next time...