Architecture As Memory

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Drawings, Line Drawing, Monochromatic, Perspective View

Architecture As Memory

Stefan Bleekrode


The drawings in pen and ink, are constructed almost entirely from memory to recreate the places Stefan visited and to capture the ingenuity and creativity of various architectural styles.



Who influences you graphically?

There are many people who influenced my work to a certain degree. A vast number of artists who extensively worked with light, perspective and architecture influence me. Think of people such as Edward Hopper, Canaletto, Turner, Grimshaw, MC Escher, Martin Lewis, Andrew Wyeth, Piranesi, The French impressionists, too many to name really. Architecture wise I love everything I can make use off, be that ancient or modern, doesn’t matter.


What dictates the scenarios you chose to draw?

Very hard to tell, I can pass by a subject ten times without noticing it and then, seen in the right light it will do the trick and trigger more associations and finally lead to a fully worked out drawing. Maybe it’s just stuff which also fascinated me as child, like I said, very hard to tell.


The scenes are also somewhat from an aerial perspective, what is the effect and purpose of this?

It’s purely practical, when I started doing these drawings I wanted to get everything that interested me into these pieces. So I realised as I began doing these drawings that a ground view or panorama with a low horizon wouldn’t offer enough space for all those details and buildings so I figured a bird’s eye perspective would be just fine.


How would colour effect the images and how they are perceived?

I tried working in colour but it doesn’t seem to add anything to the image. But it depends, some time ago I coloured a print and that was all right. Overall I still believe a black/white piece offers more of a focus on the overall image and the architecture and colour just seemed to distract a bit. Probably it’s something to work on in the future.

3 bruggen

How important is the act of drawing the city- what do you take out of it? 

Our urban environment is often used in art but seldom explored as a whole, a functioning organism which evolves and forms in the most literal sense a reflection of human history and activity. Drawing just a place I like is one thing but I also like to get to know each place I draw more intimately, get the whole picture, it’s history, architecture, urban planning you name it. By putting all the effort, time and joy of drawing into each piece, a sense of satisfaction having done a true ‘ portrait’ is what I take out of it.

What is the time frame of a drawing and how is it executed?

Depending on the size it takes from a week up to half a year for a drawing. A small one measures about 20x28cm and a large one 80x125cm. When I’ve established an idea, usually composed of several impressions, I do a large global sketch on paper, to Get the composition right. After that I’ll start inking and now an then I’ll do additional sketching or some research. But of the most part these drawings are done from memory. Slowly I work build each drawing adding shading as I go along. The drawings is done when there’s nothing left to add.

City Park


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