Archaeology: Anglo-Saxon Pots (A4 charcoal and watercolour 2015)

Drawing in a museum can be enormously rewarding, if only because you have access to a range of still life objects so very different to those cups and vases you have at home (unless you’re a member of the Getty family).

It’s also interesting to compare the reactions of other museum visitors in different countries.  In the US – New York at least – people will come right up to you and stare at your drawing, sometimes even offering advice and comment. In Europe, they’re more likely to ignore you, at the most letting it be known through complex body language that you’re somewhat in the way.

In England, dear land of perpetual embarrassment where it is customary to apologise for things you haven’t done, your fellow visitors will stand ostentatiously to one side, staring hard at the object, letting you know that in no way are they looking at your drawing because from this angle it would be nigh on impossible to see it. Even if they wanted to. Which they don’t. Not because it isn’t any good, you understand, but because it’s none of their business. You carry on drawing – I’ll stand over here. Sorry.

These pots – don’t you love a grid? – are developed from some Anglo-Saxon objects in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. I was able to draw them, unhurried and unmolested, over a number of visits and then assemble them in this minimal yet graphic style.


21 thoughts on “Archaeology

  1. Beautifully done. I haven’t visited the Ashmolean for a hundred years. Think I need to pop along for a catch up soon, respecting of course the space of those who are drawing and keeping my eyes well averted from their work, sorry, sorry, sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to smile reading your post. There was a sketchcrawl in a local museum on sunday and yes… Europe… Germany to be precise. And you described the situation well! But there is another species of visitors. Staring at the sketch. Then at the statue (or whatever the sketcher is sketching). Again at the sketch. Shaking heads and leaving :-)))


  3. I meant to write this, when I saw it but ran out of time that day. But I was quite entranced with this.
    the contrasts… the design. the hints of symbolism held within this image that just – makes me Wonder!
    each vessel…. said like you meant it.
    I Loved That!!!


  4. I do like a grid and this arrangement of pots is lovely. And I fully enjoyed your description of drawing in a museum. I haven’t done it in a really long time and now I want to!


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