I love a good memento mori, and this is the most striking one I’ve sketched so far. It’s a decommissioned crematorium oven (!) in the museum at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, found while on a sketchcrawl there with the Bristol/South West Urban Sketchers group last weekend. I also sketched a couple of graveyard statues (below), but the oven was the grimly fascinating highlight. It’s large, rusty, very old, and has obviously seen a lot of use; I started to see it as a gateway to the void, or a final destination, and some other visitors saw it as a face with an open mouth… I’d like to sketch it again, taking more time to do justice to the pipework and rusty textures; maybe I could enter it into James Gurney’s current painting challenge?
Lexington grey in fountain pen and ink brush, watercolour, A5 – 15 mins each for the statues, 30 mins on site for the oven’s line-work and main shading, with another 30 mins at home for the extra shading and colour