Drawings of Poland: Sketchbook from 1991



These drawings are once again from the period when I used to carry a big A3, spiral-bound pad and a huge tray of coloured pencils around with me. These days I prefer a much smaller book and content myself with a selection of 7 or 8 colours held in an elastic band, usually watercolour pencils instead.


This top drawing was a cobbled street in the beautiful city of Gdansk. Gdansk was such a surprise to me: those who were around in the early 1980s like me, probably still associate Gdansk with the TV images of the austere, concrete shipyards (and huge moustaches) from the Solidarnosc uprising. But the city itself is full of old, very ornate buildings that reminded me of Amsterdam.

Just after I finished this drawing in the tiny village of Wodzitki, a stork arrived and circled the spire of the lovely wooden church. I think he was eyeing it up as a possible nesting spot: we spotted several massive nests, always perched precariously atop tiny pinnacles.

I don't remember fully appreciating it at the time, but I was in Poland during a very interesting period - immediately after the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, in the summer of 1991. I was travelling around by train and do recall noticing many people on the move.



I stood in the street in Krakow to sketch this - fortunately devoid of traffic. I was drawn to all the subtle colours in the shadows and the over-stuffed notice board.


I also took my A6 sketchbook for quicker work. This is also Krakow: one of the flower sellers under her market awning in the main square.
I particularly enjoyed getting off the beaten track too, taking local buses out into some of the villages, where time seemed to have largely stood still:

I was also struck by the number of massive churches, even in fairly small towns.


One place that sticks in my mind is Prezmysl, where there were so many huge churches on top of one another, it was astonishing that they still required loudspeakers outside, to relay services to those who couldn't fit inside!


By the way: the name Prezmysl is pronounced something like 'P-shemish'. No wonder locals looks non-plussed when I was asking for the right platform for trains to 'Prez-mizzle'!

You can see all my sketchbooks, past and present, here on my website.

9 comments:

lip said...

beautiful work.. love your sketches.

Happy New Year!

seen in flickr.

CATI said...

Your sketches are so great! either black and coloured!
Thanks for stopping in my blog :-)

Anne Thomson said...

Beautiful sketches! So very inspiring...I especially love your colored pencil drawings.

Ira Robbins said...

these are great. love the use of color and medium.

K. Grace said...

you're just brilliant.

Sugy said...

this is excelent !!

Lynne Chapman said...

Thanks Sugy!

Lenka Tricky said...

I'm so happy to see your drawings of my country :)They are great!

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thanks Lenka - I loved drawing in Poland. So interesting and beautiful in so may ways. Glad you like them x