Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

Mid December and it's been one of the busiest and exciting periods in my painting life.  The exhibtions have exceeeded my expectations and my work is in Cork Street for the fourth time this year.

There are three pastels of the speed walk are in the Medici Christmas show, Art for All - http://www.medicigallery.co.uk/ and runs to the 24th December.

Regent Street Lights 2012

At the moment I am concentrating on London over Christmas at night.  There are some glorious Christmas lights at the moment and I've worked on ones on the Kings Road, Elizabeth Street, Pimlico and Regent Street.  They give such delight.  I think it's important to include shoppers, buses and brake lights.  There is so much bustle and action at the moment. I was very impressed by the generousity of the bank who left their lights on until the cleaner left so that I could see to pastel.  It has been hideously cold though and necessity breeds invention to try and keep the fingers from freezing to my pastel box. All suggestions welcome - I'm trying to track down battery heated socks..

Further projects to the end of this year will include the ice skating rinks and the Christmas markets which abound and more lights.  Plenty of exciting projects lie ahead in 2013 and I plan to produce a series on the Shard as well as more paths into London.  The light at this time of year is so lovely.

Happy Christmas and here's to lots more pastelling! 

Kings Road lights 2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

November Exhibitions and Artist in Residence, Save Cork Street Campaign

The pace has been fast and furious.  The autumn light and the transience of the richly coloured leaves have been magical to pastel.  I’ve also been in the throes of exhibition organising:

Wimbledon Art Studios – my studio show, 22-25th November (Studio 402) www.wimbledonartstudios.co.uk where I will be showing my pastels of the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics

Daggett Gallery, Tite Street Group – Kensington Church St – 20-24th November.  I will showing mainly still life work in oils

My work is also on show at Moorwood Art, Bruton, Somerset and I was invited to participate in Art for All, Medici Gallery, Cork Street 6-23 December 2012 www.medicigallery.co.uk

If you are interested in coming, please either look on the websites above for information or contact me on louisediggle@yahoo.com.

Yesterday I was Artist in Residence for the Save Cork Street Awareness Evening www.savecorkstreet.com.   

I pastelled  Cork Street over 24 hours.  During the day, the weather was largely overcast and the lovely and subtle London greys were pronounced.   I was interested by the volume of traffic hurtling down the road and the reflections on the cars and vans.  Cork Street has a life of its own when it gets dark. The gallery windows, street lights and spotlit buildings and flags have vibrancy, colour and life.   

Please sign the petition!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Olympic/Paralympic work and Autumn Anticipation

Autumn light, evening, Parliament Square

London has quietened down – the brightly covered hoarding that surrounded so much of the capital has been removed as has the loud purple and pinks used to identify Olympic/Paralympic sites in tube stations. It is duller for the lack of them.  Happily autumn is well on its way and trees are beginning to turn .  In between the rain showers the light has been rich and golden. Lots to look forward to., especially since I’ve acquired a collapsible stool to stand on and be above crowd level. New views.

I have been going through my summer games work in preparation for Art for Youth and my studio opening and making adjustments where necessary. I really don’t like to work back in the studio for the risk of losing the spontaneity and experience of the moment.  I try to avoid the specific and feel that it is better to stare and get one’s own impression of the action, be it people, light or mood.   

Excel, Evening light - Olympics
Olympic Park at night

One of the unexpected joys of working outside, are some of people who come up, who don’t intrude but give interesting feedback.  I’ve also had some great photos. This is by James:

Pastelling on the Strand, Olympic Parade

Last week I went to Winsor and Newton to explore acrylic and found more potential in the medium that I had supposed.  I’m going to try it out.  It was an extraordinary experience to tour around the laboratory and reminded me how crucial it is to consider and experiment with materials. On with the new work!

Pastelling the Marathon by St Paul's Cathedral, London Olympics (Andrew Bright)

My work can be seen at:


Art for Youth http://www.artforyouth.com (10-11 Oct) Royal College of Art

Green and Stone, Charity Auction, The Study, Blandford St (10-19 Oct)http://www.greenandstone.com

Open Studio (402)  Wimbledon Art Studios, http://www.wimbledonartstudios.co.uk/

Tite St Group Exhibition, Daggett Gallery, 225 Kensington Church Street, W8 (19-23 Nov) 

Surface ICA at Barossa, New Kings Road SW6, www.surfaceica.com  (10 Sept - 12 Dec)

Athletes and Crowds cheering, Olympic Parade


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Pastels of London during the Olympics and Paralympics

London is slowly getting back to a semblance of normality after one of the most interesting and exciting summers I have experienced in the capital. Boris Johnson promised ‘a summer like no other’ and for once, the hyperbole came up to the mark.

Olympic Rings, Tower Bridge, Early Morning (in progress)

I set up my easel around different corners of London, east and west, and discovered new parts – Stratford, North Greenwich Arena, Potters Fields. Inspiring, vibrant places to paint and new material for my work.  The Thames has always been endlessly fascinating for me with the rapidly changing light and tones.  It has been an adventure to find new stretches, other than the familiar Chelsea bridges.  

Paralympics Marathon, by Temple and Waterloo Bridge
One of the things I have most enjoyed about this summer is seeing the utterly familiar in a completely new way – such as the large Olympic medals hanging in the trees in Leicester Square (medalling in Leicester Square…) or BT Live in Trafalgar Square, where the giant screen provided new and interesting opportunities for light to bounce off.  The bold Olympic/Paralympic colours of pink and purple also jollied up London.  I liked the silhouettes of people as they walked along endless miles of coloured plastic sheeting that wrapped up and surrounded the different sporting locations in the city.

Leicester Square Medals - Pastel on card

BT London Live, Trafalgar Square, Paralympics

Floral Crown, St James' Park

It has been an incredible opportunity.  My work can be seen at the following group shows in October and November.

10 and 11 October, Art for Youth, Royal College of Art, http://www.artforyouth.com/Home.html
10-19 October, The Study, 10A Blandford Street, London W1U 4AZ Green and Stone Charity Auction, http://www.greenandstone.com/v2/p/auction.php
29 October – 3rd November – Consider the Lilies, Gallery 27 Cork St, W1 (11-5pm)

And there will be my solo show at my studio at Wimbledon Art Studios Open, Studio 402

Lunchtime walkers, St James' Park

More Olympic/Paralympic images to follow in the next blog - work still in progress!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Olympic London

London has held 3 great events in the last year or so and getting ready for the next one! What a great party city it has turned out to be! I have found new parts of town I never realised existed.

The Olympics have been compelling to watch and paint.  The crowds, the atmosphere and determination of the athletes to be the best they can.  The feeling has been electric throughout the past fortnight and continues. It's lovely to know there's more to look forward to with the Paralympics.  There was a great sense of the world coming to stay. I was interviewed by Kenyan TV and a variety of projects including http://www.flickr.com/photos/richtee/7768643512/in/photostream/

I have finally invested in foldup steps which has made a great improvement to my work as I can now see over on to the action. Below is a selection of work, pastel on linen board, they are still very much at the easel stage.

Mall - Eve of the London Olympics/testing out the sound system

London Olympics: Elm Park Gardens, Fulham Road, Men's Cycling Race

London Olympics: 50km Speed walk - Constituion Hill
London Olympics: Men's Speed Walking, by Buckingham Palace

London Olympics: Speed walking, end of race!

London Olympics: Marathon by St Paul's Cathedral

On the final day of the Olympics I was approached by a member of Team USA Basketball for 3 sketches of Tower Bridge with the rings. 3 sketches in under 3 hours - it was quite a race in itself!

Tower Bridge with the Olympic Rings

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

London in June

Plunging back into work after the Chelsea Art Society and other shows,  I returned to finish a Jubilee painting off Leicester Square.  The flags were just still up but the street had old chicken bones and broken glass where I had put my easel. I reckon that it is nearly time to put away the bunting and move on to the Olympics and other summer events (my Jubilee work will be on a separate page on my website www.louisediggle.co.uk). I started with sketching at a cricket match, by the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.  I'm still in the dark about what it's all about but the action is wonderful to sketch and pastel is ideal, particularly with the whites against the green.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Jubilee work

Selfridges, Flags, Buses, Oxford Street
What a fantastic couple of weeks to be a painter!  London looked, and continues to look, in party mode - lots of flags, bunting and other decorations for the Golden Jubilee.  I pastelled away in the Mall, Soho, Whitehall, Oxford/Regent streets, street parties and sketched the gun salute at the Tower of London.  I also sketched the Trooping of the Colour rehearsal last week.  The speed of the marching certainly helped me to galvanise myself in to action for Flotilla work.

Trooping of the Colour Rehearsal

Waiting for Flotilla, Blackfriars

The flotilla was extraordinary, one of the grandest sights I have seen. It was not just the view of the boats and barges; it was the crowd, the noise of the cheering, the bells and the rich variety of architecture along the Thames which provided an extraordinary backdrop.  I was fortunate enough to be at the City of London School with about 19 other painters. Many thanks to Ellis Whitcomb - it was an incredible view..
What a memorable and inspiring experience - rain and pastel are not the best of friends though.

Further work will be on my website later on this week.

Waiting for Flotilla - barges going upriver

Crowds waiting for Flotilla (in progress)

Crowds picknicking, St James' Park (before the bad weather!)

I will be showing work at the following:

Chelsea Art Society, Annual Open http://chelseaartsociety.org.uk
(Town Hall, Kings Road SW3, 21-25 June) where I am a member

With Surface ICA at Barossa, New Kings Road, www.surfaceica.com  (Jubilee show 14th June)
St Mary,  The Boltons SW10 - 2012 Art Exhibition  (14th-20 June)

For further details please see my website www.louisediggle.co.uk

Jubilee Party,  Cleaver Square

Waiting for the Procession, Mall - Jubilee

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubileetastic II

Still working away at the Jubilee - flags and bunting still sprouting all over the place - street parties galore too! Four of my Jubilee pastels are in the window of Medici Gallery in Cork Street at the moment.
Lots of projects - gun salute this morning, Flotilla tomorrow by Tate Modern, street parties on monday and procession on tuesday.  Better stock up on some red, white and blue and fingers crossed for the weather! New work will be posted up next week.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday 28th May - Jubileetastic!

I've been lurking in and around the streets of the West End, looking at the extraordinary range of flags and bunting which seem to be mushrooming at the moment for the Jubilee.  I took a bus up and down Regent and Oxford Streets to get a closer look at the vibrant colours of the Union Jack plastered across the streets. It helps to think of Austin Powers!  The wonderful weather has been superb for painting.

Oxford St, Flags

Regent St, Flags and Buses

Buckingham Palace, concert preparation

Also went to the Chelsea Flower Show on Saturday and was impressed by the plant sale at the end of the last day.  People staggered to Sloane Square station laden down with huge plants and flowers. With the late afternoon light behind them and the mass of people and plants, it had a Palm Sunday feel.

Chelsea Flower Show, Route to Sloane Square after plant sale

Off to Horse Guards tomorrow; the Changing of the Guard has been a great exercise in getting the colour 
down as quickly as possible. Only hope the weather continues!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Open Studio at Wimbledon

May 10-13:  Open Studio Show at Wimbledon Art Studios, 402 Blue Building, London, SW17 0BB (www.wimbledonartstudios.co.uk)

Getting myself prepared for the Spring/Summer show and showing my new collection of work - Spring in London and Nice. Contrary to this month's soggy weather, it's been quite sunny in London over march and april.  I've thrown myself into that glorious soft light and colour.  Blossom, deckchairs, commuters and tourists.  This is also in preparation for Jubilee work which is getting underway.  Nice was very colourful, loud and bright and a good contrast to London (after the odd gust and shower!) Great sight of figures dissolving into the light of the med at the top of the chateau.

Spring flowers and light, Buckingham Palace

Tourists and Almond Blossom, St James' Park

 Panorama, Chateau, Nice

My studio show is from tomorrow, 10-13 May, most of the studios are open.  I'm rather excited about designing a QR code, with my website, for my handouts.

Monday, 20 February 2012

St James' Park

21 February - Painting spring light in St James' park (part of project of iconic London).  Sunday free parking a great bonus for my Artmobile.  Became so absorbed did not have enough time to move from my prime position by the traffic lights in the middle of the Mall.  The guard came right past.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

14th February

 From Hungerford Bridge (in progress)
 Chinese New Year, Trafalgar Square (in progress)

 Lanterns, Lisle St (in progress)

Finally grappling with new technology and worked out how to select and crop.  Chores to do on days when the light's not great to paint.  The snow has been spectacular but short lived. Thermal socks are a top tip!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

9 February blog

Towards Royal Hospital, morning light (in progress)
Tedworth Square, Chelsea, Evening Light (in progress)

9 February 2012 - in my studio, completing and photographing work.  The winter light has been magnificent, so clear and colourful; great contrast in tone. I've attached work in progress. Chinese New Year coming up

Friday, 3 February 2012

Beginning of Louise Diggle Blog

This is my first blog.  I want to show examples of current work and where I'm painting.