This is the Original Drawing of the Rookery at Norwood Grove, situated adjacent to Streatham Common Southside .
The drawing was developed from an initial Pencil Sketch made on Site and later embellished with Mixed Media, consisting mainly of Fibre Tip coatings and glazes and dappled streaks, backed up with carefully inked in outlines.
I used to love Norwood Grove Park, but especially I loved the Rookery, situated at the far end of Norwood Grove as you go towards Streatham Common. My Mum used to take me there before I even started school.
We’d go from Carolina Road where we used to live in Thornton Heath, on the 159 bus route down Green Lane [B273] as far as Gibsons Hill. We’d then walk up Gibsons Hill and there it was, a little realm of magical wonder.
Encircled by huge leafy trees, we’d sit at one corner of the park while I pointed down through the sweeping green expanse leading towards the park’s entrance, marvelling at the birdsong that echoed around us and occasionally catching sight of their swooping and darting shapes as they wheeled back and forth.
Then we’d stroll up the pathway towards the flower gardens and fountain, past Norwood Grove Mansion and down the long footpath with the allotments to one side, and the line of planted poplars to the other, that led down to the fields and woodland surrounding the Rookery.
After visiting the Rookery, you had only to wander up the pathway to Streatham Common south side and there was a little cafeteria amongst the trees where you could refresh yourself.
Every now and then I’d make sure I found the time to pop back and visit all these wonderful little sanctuaries I’d discovered over the years.
This was the first time I went back to Norwood Grove armed with sketchpad, pencilry and erasers, and I made sure it wasn’t going to be a wasted effort.
Of course, as often happens, this Original Mixed Media representation led on to me taking the subject a stage further and later making a more traditional based rendering. See the ‘Rookery Norwood Grove’ extended view, rendered in acrylic watercolours, also located in the Landscape section of the Art category pulldown menu.
Dave Draper, March 2014