Tuesday, 31 March 2009

This station is so devoid of interest I can't find anything to hold my attention

I chose yesterday to carry on with my intermittent drawing project. I noticed that the date of the last sketch was 11 months ago so it's time I got on with it and if I don't get a move on I won't finish it during this lifetime!

For those of you have been reading regularly you will remember that I have awarded myself a travel bursary with the intention of travelling by train along the length of what was, and may still be, known as the North London line from North Woolwich in the east to Richmond in the west making sketches at every station along the way. Since I began this project the line has been truncated and now begins at Stratford which was a bit of a drag. Anyway I decided to stick to the spirit of my original decision and follow as close as possible the route of the old line until I get to Stratford and then all will be simple. Won't it?

So just like a proper train spotter I packed a sandwich and a flask of tea and headed towards the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). This should have been a straightforward journey to West Silvertown but instead proved to be a trek on foot round various building sites. When I was finally on the move the chief thing there was to look at en route were more... building sites. It was so dismal that even though the sun was out and I could see a few yachts sailing on the Thames with the water all sparkly it did nothing to improve my mood.

So I arrived at West Silvertown and it seems to consist of the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery and the Akzo Nobel Nippon Paint factory and a very large road with hardly any traffic. The station is new, enormous and was practically empty and it was so devoid of interest I couldn't find anything to hold my attention. But to fulfil my self imposed task I forced myself to draw something very quickly and that's the result above. I quite like it now I'm away from the subject.

Then I moved onto the delights of Canning Town. Canning Town station is similarly new and uninteresting except there are more people around which was an improvement and it also has a bus station which was also very large and mostly empty. I had the choice on leaving the station of taking the walking route to Excel where the great and the good will be gathering for G20 to sort out the world economy in the next day or two - none of them are going to be distracted by the views that's for sure. Instead I chose to turn left in search of something interesting to draw in downtown Canning Town.

This is a depressing town that appears to have been thrown up during the Victorian era and looks as though it could be blown away by a strong wind. I ended up in a very 21st century branch of Macdonald's nursing a cup of coffee despairing of finding anything of interest. I walked back to the station slowly and then spotted an interesting looking building which might well have been the town hall when it was built. It was more substantial than anything else neighbouring it and chimed with the public library next door to it so that view won my star prize.


Linden said...

I really like your drawing style - I've never mastered the art of "describing" something in a few lines, the few drawings I attempt always end up over full of detail.

I know what you mean about Canning Town, depressing's the right word! But I like the look of that building with the pediment, definitely says "ex town hall". I was in Batley recently, a place I find pretty depressing as there are so many boarded up shops there but in and amongst there are some architectural gems that lift the spirit.

Heather said...

Thank you Linden.