I’ve recently been busy sketching around Oxford, including some larger drawings, but this post is about a more modest drawing – that of the back of Market Street in Oxford. Over the weekend I visited Exeter College and attempted to do a drawing of one of their distinctive Quads. However, with a constant stream of visitors this was more difficult than anticipated and I gave up the attempt – maybe to return when things are quieter? It was also interesting to see their brand new buildings behind the old college which now front directly onto a busy Cornmarket Street. These buildings are all stone and glass but also have a quieter internal roof-top courtyard where you could almost forget you are in central Oxford, not far from the busy crowds passing by. Also of interest to me is how these building integrate into what’s around them. Here I think someone has been paying attention to these details, particularly on the Market Street frontage. There is also a bit more room here, instead of a boarded off building site that we have become used to over the past couple of years.
It is here that I chose to sit and do a drawing of the back of the Oxford Covered Market. It’s an area of quite a jangle of different angles and materials with a contrast between the wooden roof lines of the market opposite the older stonework of Exeter College. To complicate things further there is usually a haphazard mixture of vans and cars parked or jostling for space outside the market. Sitting on the street amongst this melee I though I might be asking for trouble but the footfall drops off steeply as soon as you turn off of Cornmarket or maybe I just had my Harry Potter cloak of invisibility with me!
Anyway, here are a couple of views of Market Street and my sketch in progress.
And here is my sketch – quite a jumble…