Friday, November 8, 2013

The Cups in London: Highlights from the Window

Cup of the Day #127
London Umbrellas by Gwyneth Leech - four views
Mixed media on used paper coffee cup

My regular New York City life has resumed, but recently I have been enjoying again the photos taken while I was drawing in public for the 2013 London Design Festival in September. A riot of umbrellas dominates the scene, as does the parade of red double-decker buses and a constant throng of international visitors engaging me though the plate glass windows of Anthropologie's Regent Street store. It is an additional pleasure to see the faces of friends from other UK cities who came to London and surprised me as I worked! I savor anew the several spectacular afternoon teas I manged to squeeze in, most notably at the Dorcehster and the Charlotte Street Hotel. Many thanks to the friends who braved those multi-tiered cake trays with me!!
My line of porcelain cups, produced in collaboration with Anthropologie and previewed at the London Design Festival, is due to come out in the USA in just a few short weeks. Launch date and details of some special events will follow shortly! I the meantime, one more look at London...

 The first evening - cups are installed and the rain comes on.

View from inside the store - raining cups at dusk.

Into the window to draw. This was my temporary studio for five days.

As soon as I begin, the crowds gather.

 Visitors from all over the world stroll the length 
of Regent Street. Outside, are the daughters of an art collector 
from Kuwait who stepped in to purchase an original cup drawing.

 People are surprised and delighted to see a live artist at work in the window.

I am happy to engage them through the plate glass
and converse with everyone who comes into the store.
Photo credit: Sarah Kerens
Cup drawings from London: Red double-decker buses

 People racing through torrents of rain.

And yet more rain!

 My subject matter driving by.

And a portrait of a girl through the window.

 Finally the sun comes out!

 I have tea with Alice Sykes in the window.

Am delighted by a sumptuous afternoon tea at the Dorchester. 
Note the raspberries tipped with gold!

And on another afternoon, take tea with friends at the Charlotte Street Hotel.
Mine is a "Bloomsbury tea", hence the amazing color of the cakes.
And no, I can't finish it all!!

Back at Anthropologie, the reproduction cups were selling briskly.
And I meet some of the purchasers. Here is Rosalba visiting from Rome.

On my last afternoon, as a viewer puzzles over the cups, I enjoy the reflection 
of Regent Street curving down towards Picadilly Circus. 

All too soon, the week was over. I was very sorry to vacate my chair and leave the window studio behind. The cup installation stayed up for several more weeks after the end of the Design Festival, but is now safely back in my NYC studio awaiting the next exhibition!

For additional photos and cup videos visit me on instagram and twitter(@gwynethleech) or follow me on  Facebook.

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  1. So many cups and so many with umbrellas. Question - did that image resonate with the folks in London? Best, Nancy

  2. Wonderful to see where this cup project has taken you. Congratulations! - Linda

  3. The London cups are wonderful. Glad you are having such success!