Last night, as we walked home from the King’s Arms after a nice dinner of fish and chips chased down with some hearty London Stout, we came across this foggy scene at the Hertford Bridge, which connects two of the Hertford College buildings across New College Lane. I was half expecting Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to come bursting out from the alley leading to the Turf Tavern (which you can see as a thick black vertical line on the left side of the street behind the flyover) shouting, “The game is afoot!” It immediately became necessary for us to go down that alley to have an excellent English Ale at the Turf Tavern, which is one of our favorite pubs in Oxford. This tavern was featured in several episodes of the BBC classic, Inspector Morse, as was another of our watering holes, the White Horse Tavern.
I may come back to paint this scene later before we leave for Wales on Thursday, if the rain lets up. My International Fiber Arts Instructor of Mystery, Miss Cyd, is teaching her Yarnopoly class this evening at the Oxford Yarn Store to a select group of English knitters, so I strolled over to the flyover and started sketching this scene out. I also took some good photos of this street that I can use in the studio later on. Because of packing limitations, I only brought a set of small canvases, but some scenes may be too good to resist putting on a larger canvas in the studio, so many photos are a good thing.
So, over a couple of nice Rebellion IPAs at the Turl Street Kitchen, right around the corner from our B&B at the Tower House, and just a couple of blocks or so from the flyover, I completed my first sketch of the trip tonight. It is quick, dirty, and obviously needs a lot of work, but I think it will help me layout a fairly decent painting of the Hertford Bridge. Although, now that I think about it, I like the lower perspective and the feel of the foggy picture a bit better, so I may have work up something that combines the two approaches.
Joe and Cyd