Imagine an Urban Landscape. Do you think of Clean? Probably not. Cities are much cleaner than they used to be but cities and grim go together like pencil and lead. Like many other cities, the clean air act transformed Manchester. As a child I remember lots of very dirty cotton mills. And I mean dirty with black soot. Features hard to determine. Wherever you looked the urban landscape was grim. In fact, I grew up thinking most old buildings in Manchester were made of black stone. That was until they started cleaning them up. After a while I forgot and think my memorywas wrong. I began to question whether things were really that dirty. Then I found this post in the Manchester Evening News which confirms Manchester was a very dirty places. So, when I saw Quarry Bank mill my first thought was… “It’s far too clean!” OK, it is in a rural area but there should be some soot somewhere. So I thought I’d dirty it up a bit. Now, that looks better! Although looking at the photos from the Manchester Evening News, I don’t think it is dirty enough! If you fancy seeing some more urban grim take […]
Some time ago I made a promise to paint St Leonard’s Church in Middleton, Manchester. I have been meaning to paint its Wooden tower for a long time. The Church dominated my childhood, so it’s a personal perspective. We learnt about it’s history at school. It’s unique wooden clock tower on a medieval church. The secret passageways used during the reformation with tales of ghosts still haunting them. Not quite the pristine image of church people like to portray. In short everything that could fire the imagination of a child. I’ve even been to family weddings there. It’s quite a traditional subject matter but think I’ve given it a new perspective. As usual I begin with the initial drawing. Then the painting begins… Once that’s all dry the masking is removed. As you can see in this detail, it all looks very messy at this stage Peeling the masking of large areas requires a considered techique and is one of my favourite stages in the whole process. Due to my heavy use of masking the picture always undergoes a final transformation. I am always surprised by how the painting looks when it’s finished. I love the not knowing, although it […]
And breathe… I’ve spent the last month completing a 30 day blogging challenge which I finished on Wednesday. Now I’ve had a little break it’s time to blog something. Whilst i enjoy the blogging challenge I’m not going to keep up that rate as time spent blogging, while valuable, is time away from painting. Although I valued it, it was time consuming and having decided on a theme and a plan, I realised that what I had chosen to do did not fit in with the challenge plan. It was good because it made me think on my feet, but if I’d have know what I do now after seeing all the emails then I’d have done things differently. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you have to start walking and take each turning as you come to it. It’s nearly 7 years since I started on my artistic journey. I knew what I wanted to do involved creating art but I had absolutely no idea which direction I was heading. I started off with caricatures and portraits I’d been good at them at school ,so they were an obvious starting place. I had no discipline, […]
Do you like heights? I do and if it feels like I’m flying over London, well it’s a bonus. London’s cable car over the Thames is a relatively new addition to the Greenwich skyline and on a clear day the views are impressive. The cable car “flight” itself is eyecatching as well, especially when the sun shines. Then it rises elegantly with those dinky little pods suspended on white supports rising against blue sky. There’s just a hint of colour from the adverts on the pods. London’s Docklands have undergone a massive transformation over the past 20-30 years. Once the heart of goods trade they’re now a centre of commerce and entertainment. A must stop for visitors to the city. Industry still dominates the Docklands but it now homes the Dome, the cable car ride and the Thames with all those boat trips. There was a time when only birds could fly over London. Then man found ways to mimic them. But balloons are slow and hard to control, planes too fast and too high to see. I think I prefer more land linked methods to fly over the London. Like the cable car across the Thames. That or a big wheel!
Are the streets of London Paved with gold? So thought Dick Whittington as the tale of goes. As often happens with stories of historic characters myths have arisen which have nothing to do with the real character. As time goes on these myths are embellished as we enjoy the romance of the tale. London is not short of visible wealth. You only have to look at the architecture. Many buildings are painted with gold, and statues like the albert memorial above have been guilded. But gold on the pavements? I like to think the myth is somehow prophetic in this case. What about Painted gold? Well, maybe not actual gold but yellow road markings can give the appearance of gold if caught in the right light. Could it be escaped Liquid gold? The building is 20 Gracechurch Street originally built for Barclays bank. Maybe some of that gold has seeped up to form the roadmarkings. Fanciful notion perhaps but what are we in life if we have not a little whimsy! Or maybe it’s the Sunlight? The golden rays from the light of the sun streaming onto the streets? That’s why 20 Gracechurch Street glows so brightly. What do you […]