‘Art busker’ puts smiles on faces at busy station

For a typical busker, the tools of the trade are an old guitar, four chords and several poorly rehearsed Bob Dylan covers.

But for artist Rosie Emerson, it was a paint brush, an easel and a life model when she took to the concourse at St Pancras International Station in King’s Cross on Monday to entertain commuters.

The painter, of Dace Road, Hackney, managed to raise �200 for charity by producing live ink and paint works while model Elizabeth Miles posed in a flowing black dress.

She said: “I loved seeing all the surprised looks from people rushing to work. I honestly didn’t expect many people to stop at all, but whenever I looked up there was a small crowd, with people taking photos and filming on their phones.

“One person asked me to draw him, while another one wanted to have a photo taken with the model – although I think that had more to do with Beth than anything else.

“I haven’t really done much live performance before so I was quite nervous, but once I started painting I just got into the zone.

“Beth didn’t mind the crowds – she’s done all kinds of strange work before, so she wasn’t at all phased.”

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Ms Emerson used inks to wow the crowds with quick two-minute pieces, as well as producing more detailed paintings, incorporating a vase of flowers into the work.

She raised more than �205.40 for charities Caring for Courage and Keats Community Library.

The 31-year-old moved to Hackney from Devon after graduating from Kingston University in 2004.

Her work, which explores images of feminine beauty throughout the centuries, will make up part of the Affordable Art Fair, opening in London today (Thursday).

The fair, which organised the performance at St Pancras, sells work valued under �4,000, with pieces by up-and-coming talent like Ms Emerson sitting alongside household names.

The fair runs until Sunday in Battersea Park before moving to Hampstead Heath between Thursday, November 1 and Sunday, November 4.

Director Nicky Wheeler said: “We decided to bring the excitement of the Affordable Art Fair to the streets of London and remind the capital that creativity is all around us every day.

“Rosie brightened up a grey and rainy morning for commuters and we hope she has inspired a few people to pick up a paintbrush or start up an art collection of their own as a result.”