Tag Archives: hospitals

The Waiting Room

22 Jan

radiography 1

Went with a loved one to the local hospital for x-rays and took the opportunity to have a scribble while I waited. It’s very selfish but hospital waiting rooms are good places for sketching as people are often very preoccupied and don’t notice you.

radiography 2

This elderly man was dressed for the winter and kept his fabulous fake fur hat firmly on his head for the duration. I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens, sizes S and F into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook. We weren’t there long. The NHS at its best is fantastic.

Defending The NHS

6 Oct


I’ve been back and forth to the local hospital this past week or so; two relatives have needed emergency treatment and medical investigation. There are problems with the NHS and when things go wrong they should be exposed and put right, but on the whole, we’re so privileged to have it and I feel strongly that we have to defend it. My relatives have had excellent care and attention and it hasn’t cost a penny. They’ve had very expensive procedures and have been treated with kindness, dignity and expertise. The prognosis is good.

Here’s a drawing I did this morning in one of the outpatient waiting rooms. It’s drawn across two pages of my tiny spotty sketchbook, size A6, with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size S. Back to the hospital again tomorrow, I’ll try and do another sketch there. It’s interesting to draw a figure in an unfamiliar place.

Lady In Waiting Room

4 Dec


I did this drawing recently when I accompanied a relative to hospital. They’re not the most cheery of places but they’re very interesting for an artist, with a massive cross section of people who are usually too absorbed in other things to notice the scribbler in the corner.

This lady was quite exhausted and dozed in her chair. The nurses and doctors were lovely. It was incredibly busy but they were cheerful, professional and did their best to see everyone as quickly as possible. Sometimes things go wrong in the NHS and we have to be vigilant and not be afraid to complain when they do, but mostly they seem to get it right and we’re lucky to have a service like this available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

Waiting For Phlebotomy

19 Nov

19 phlebotomy

Back down to the hospital, the first time this year, with a relative, popping into the phlebotomy department for a blood test. Nothing serious but it’s always nice to have company at the clinic and it gave me the chance to do a bit of scribbling. Hospital waiting rooms are good because people tend to be around long enough to get some detail and a reasonable likeness but not long enough generally to notice what you’re doing, scribbling furiously in the corner, trying not to get noticed :).

I used Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens in sizes S and F into my clothbound A5 Laura Ashley sketchbook, prepared with ripped brown parcel paper and Pritt stick.


Last Visit Last Page

31 Dec

31 last page

I haven’t blogged for a few days. My dear Dadinlaw died earlier this week and I haven’t had the heart to do anything much. I had my sketchbook on me on my last visit to the hospital and found some consolation sketching through the window. I wondered why hospitals always seem to have a large chimney. At the top of the hill in the distance is the local psychiatric hospital, also with a large chimney. My final visit to the hospital coincided with the last page in my purple silk recycled sari sketchbook. It’s packed with scribbles from hospital visits; we lost so many people we loved over this past year.

Dadinlaw died peacefully after a long illness and the nursing and medical staff caring for him were so kind to him and our family and treated him with gentleness and dignity. Sometimes things go wrong in the NHS and we shouldn’t shirk from complaining and making sure that problems are confronted, but when things work as they should, and mostly they do, the care is exemplary and we should be proud of what Dadinlaw’s generation set up, for it was they who created the NHS, pensions, free education, all the things we take for granted. They grew up in the poverty of the Great Depression in the 19320’s and ’30’s and made sure that their children and grandchildren didn’t suffer as they did.

And now we’re in danger of losing their marvellous vision through the idiocy of ignorant, overpriviledged politicians who have no idea of the reality of poverty nor the moral compass to want to do something about it. We can’t afford to be complacent; we owe it to the generation that is now dying out to keep their legacy alive.

Nearly finished……….

21 Dec

21 daily mail

Just a quick scribble from a visit to the hospital; it’s a good place for sketching. I got right into her jacket – well not literally, she might have thumped me! Drawn with my Pentel V5 pen into my A5 purple silk recycled sari sketchbook, which is now nearly finished. A few more days……

Drawing Through Tears

20 Dec


Dad-in-law had to go back to hospital today, where we spent some of this afternoon. I sat and sketched a while in the assessment centre’s waiting room, where visitors mixed with patients waiting to be assigned to a ward and their relatives. Opposite me sat a man with his ill wife. He cradled her hand while they sat there, willing her strength, but all the while I could see the fear in his face. I can’t detach from what is in front of me when I draw and sometimes I draw through tears.

The Man In The Next Bed

21 Aug


I’m getting quite pally with the elderly man in the hospital bed next door to my relative. He’s what my Nana would have called, ‘Not Backward In Coming Forward’ and quite right too. He’s worked all his life and he’s entitled to what he needs in order to remain independent. His eyesight is now very poor so he mobilised the relevant people and had a visit from the optician a couple of days ago. He showed me the catalogue they left with him. “I can’t read it though, bach, I think they missed the point“‘ and laughed uproariously. However, he managed to make out a very comprehensive list of what he needed and showed me some of his booty bag this evening. Impressive haul. Here he is listening to one of his new audio books, happy as Larry. 🙂


A Stroppy Fish Out Of Water

8 Feb

Ink sketch: mother to be.

Another drawing from my hospital visit yesterday, accompanying my young relative to the ante-natal clinic. It was a weird place, not somewhere I enjoyed being. I thought it was a bit like a meat market if I’m honest. There wasn’t a problem with the medical staff, who seemed very kind, patient and helpful, but the surroundings and bureaucratic processes made the experience very institutionalised. I’m so glad I’m in rude good health and don’t have much experience of hospitals, clinics and surgeries because with my stroppy and anarchic nature, I’d be an Impatient rather than a Patient. I found it discomfiting and I felt like a fish out of water, but all I had to do was sit down, shut up and sketch which suited me.

This young woman looked exhausted and fed up [in fact all but one of the mothers-to-be looked tired and fed up]. She had her hair pulled up into a very tight ponytail which made her face look rather gaunt, increasing the impression of tiredness. It was freezing outside and she was dressed in many layers and she rested her hand on her baby, like many  mothers-to-be. The sketch is done in a Pilot DR drawing pen [size 0.5] into my lovely little cat-themed sketchbook.

Cosy Couple At The Blood Clinic

7 Feb

Ink sketch: at the blood clinic.

Today I accompanied a young relative to an appointment at a hospital in a nearby town. The whole process took around two hours, shifting around the hospital to different departments, but I had my sketchbook and a couple of pens so I made good use of the time and no-one was safe from my scribbling. This elderly couple sat opposite in the blood clinic, which was packed out with people waiting to have their skin pricked and their blood tested. There was a little machine dispensing numbered tickets like the Deli department in Sainsbury’s supermarket. It seemed a bit odd but I guess it ensures fairness. She was a lot older and I guessed he might have been a relative accompanying her – or her him. The skin on her face was stretched very tightly across her skull. They both kept their rather natty hats on while they waited, despite the hospital being over-heated and he had loads of layers on under his puffa jacket, while she wore a rather nice Duffle coat. I’ve always like Duffle coats, although I haven’t had one since my student Duffle finally fell apart when I was in my ’30’s. It lasted well. In fact, I might get myself a new one; there are some sprauncy ones around this winter – maybe wait for the sales?

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