Today the Manchester Urban Sketching Group met up at the recently reopened Central Library in the centre of Manchester. I don’t think I ever visited it before it was renovated, but the new version is very impressive.
Here is my sketch. I was regretting my choice half way through drawing the books!
The building is circular and I had problems with some of the ceiling features. Here is a photo of ‘the real thing’.
After finishing this sketch I had a wander round the rest of the library. What struck me was the lack of ‘libraryness’. Just to the right of where I was drawing was the cafe. No ‘No food beyond this point’ notices or anything like that. Some members were using water colours. Can you imagine using watercolours in most libraries? I remember not being allowed charcoal at a life drawing session at Whitworth Art Gallery.
There were some interesting finds during the renovations. There was a large photograph on the wall of the foyer of part which was used a shelter during the Second World War. Bombing raids on Germany had been recorded on a wall. This is a detail of the photograph.
In a cabinet, there were some of the ‘treasures’ found by the workmen:
After a couple of hours of sketching we met up for the show and tell. Here are some of the photos I took, both of the work on the ground and some individual pieces. What always interests me is the variety of marks and of subjects – quick sketches of people in pastels, intricately detailed studies of a building outside, and so on.
My first experience sketching with the group in January was a disaster! I was cold; it was outside; it was five hours long; I saw no-one for most of that five hours; I was miserable and I said so. The ones since have been the opposite – warm, inside, shorter, and able to chat to fellow sketchers. I’m looking forward to the next meet! Here we all are at the end (and yes, Phillipa, I am wearing my Flat Cap of Art at the very back!)