Tag Archives: London

Gentle Reminder

"Goodnight Moon", acrylic, by Kerry McFall

I painted this from a sketch I made in one of my life drawing sessions at Battersea Art Centre in London. I donated it to a local fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness.  I hope the nudity doesn’t offend anyone, but how can you be aware of your breasts if you don’t look at them?  Now, go stand in front of your mirror and do your self check.  Thanks.


"Tangled?" colored pencil sketch by Kerry McFall

Tangled?  Yes… but not so much the yarn as the emotions.  Back from what everyone has dubbed “the trip of a lifetime”, we are attempting to untangle the  threads.  Some will never unravel; they are tightly knit into the essence of our beings now – those are the threads that go back years, even decades, the threads that led us to open our homes and hearts to the people who became dear friends over the years and were our hosts for this adventure.  Some are wound into the ball of the future, waiting to be unleashed when a cat’s paw – or an earthquake, or the wind – sets them rolling again.  Some of the threads are loose ends, bits that came undone when no one was paying attention, or appeared out of nowhere – those are the “now what?” threads.  And those are the most difficult to untangle. It’s good to be home,  it’s important to be home… but to be honest, taking out the garbage and recycling on Tuesday night is way less glamourous than racing to catch a bus for the next performance of “Mama Mia” in London.  Ah, but Life’s Rich Pageant Marches On!

Moving Right Along!

As we said goodbye to London, I put together some of my mental “snapshots” into this:

Farewell to London by Kerry McFall

We will miss the thrill of the Big City, the different flavors of the neighborhoods, the people we got to know.  Thanks to everyone who helped us have such a marvelous couple of months!  Here are a few of my London sketches that didn’t get posted in the rush of heading to Botswana:

"Coyote's Doppelganger" mixed media by Kerry McFall

I have been closely examining my impressions from  these last few months, in terms of art specifically, and in terms of life, the universe, and everything.  (Have I left anything out?)

The art I have studied has been humbling, overwhelming, and inspiring.  More than once I was sure my head and my heart would explode.  The Victoria and Albert was my favorite museum, and I barely scratched the surface there.

The art I have made has been exhilarating, satisfying, and I remain very humble.  More than once I considered investing in companies that make erasers.

"Close but no Cigar," pencil and chalk, by Kerry McFall

Sketching in the many places we have explored,  I gained an appreciation of the value of the classical Western methods of learning art – here is the technique, here is the masterpiece, look, draw, repeat, look, draw, repeat.   Just like a young athlete repeats the critical motions over and over, until muscle memory takes over, then begins to experiment with variations, tweaks, and subtleties, so a middle age artist repeats and experiments.   Some of the motions are already second nature, and some of those must even be unlearned.  But the exhilaration of learning is almost enough in and of itself.  The going is as good as the getting there.  The joy is in the process.  I haven’t been able to post many sketches recently, but for every one I’ve posted I have a dozen others that I like and two that I don’t like and one I have jettisoned.  Here are a few more.

"Marble Feet," by Kerry McFall"Fiona's Roses" mixed media by Kerry McFall


London, we will miss you. 

Last week we flew in to Botswana , where we are finally thrilled to meet our Botswana “grandchildren”, Wedu and Masego, and are enjoying a very warm welcome (not just the weather)!  We have seen “the Lands”, where the family has started a farm with avocados, mangos, and oranges, and where the sound of cowbells drifted in from the bush.  We made a quick car tour of Lily’s home village, where a child on the street pointed at us and laughed the Botswana equivalent of, “Gringos!”  So far the major “wildlife” visible as we travel through this capital city of Gabarone are the random herds of donkeys, goats, and brahma cattle that wander along the shoulders of the four lane highways, thoughtfully munching on thorn bushes as traffic mostly manages to avoid them.  Thus does village life get overtaken by urban development – eventually the livestock will disappear from the highways, but for now they are tolerated or at least ignored.  It’s too hot to bother chasing them down, and I suspect they provide a good income for the auto body repair folks!

We leave in a couple of days for a week long safari….  Looking forward to drawing elephants…– and lions… – and maybe even the crocodiles of the great green Limpopo River!