Eileen Macdonald
Eileen Macdonald


Originally from Glasgow, Eileen now lives in central London where she draws the scenes she sees every day on her walks through the city.

Artist Statement:

I walk the streets of London searching for what I want: a house so bowed with age that it is tilting away from its neighbour; a row of fantastical chimney pots or a cobbled street with shop fronts vying for attention all the way down to Piccadilly.

I’m choosy about what I draw.  I’ve got to love it and I can be fickle, deciding after all that the best view of St Paul’s is not from the other side of the river by Tate Modern but sitting on my tiny stool in a shop front in Fleet Street.  Then the cathedral is seen with other vibrant buildings round it, towers and thin slices of office blocks. I know things are going well when I find myself smiling as I draw. Gotcha, the picture says; it has a life of its own.

‘The Magic of a Line’ as the artist Laura Knight called her autobiography.  She summed up the thrill of pencil going the right way on paper perfectly.

I draw intensively, every day.

I draw in the cold, with heated waistcoat, socks and fingerless mittens.

I draw in the heat (but try to avoid it the worst of it by rising at 6am).

I even have a hands-free umbrella but it’s awkward, not quite hands-free, so rainy days are the bane of my life.

The joy of my life is buildings, the more dilapidated the better.  I love the Tudor stonework of St James’s Palace, I could draw the BT Tower with its spinning-top floors endlessly.  Columns are wonderful too, and fish-scale roofs but I have to own up to a particular favourite, bricks.

I love bricks so much that I could eat them.  Tiny bricks, dark with age, refusing to stay straight any more.

I hope I will draw for the rest of my life.  London will always be there urging me on.