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 […]
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 […]
Fancy a trip on the Thames? This week’s work in progress is something I’ve been longing to do for some time. Battersea Power station! Although it’s a bit hard to see tucked away on the far bank across from Chelsea Bridge. It was as close as I could get on the day, but I will be back. Nearly forgot to take any WIP shots for this one as it was used in the demo for my talk to Bedford Art Society. It’s a bit blurry but the final photos are lovely and clear for the Saturday reveal. See you then!
Happy New Year! With renewed enthusiasm I bring you The return of the Wednesday Work in Progress It’s a work on canvas and seems to be a popular subject matter as well as a popular exhibition. The poppies exhibition at the Tower of London entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. With the recent announcement that the creators, artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, have been honoured in the New Years honours list it seems a fitting time to share my interpretation on their exhibit. I’ll be sharing the full story in my newsletter and the completed painting here on Saturday. Until then I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks.
Finally I can reveal my latest canvas! It’s taken a little longer than planned but I’ve finally finished the work in progress I started last week. After a hectic but thoroughly enjoyable weekend followed by far too much paperwork I’ve been able to finish a painting! I’m still working on the title so as yet it’s “untitled number whatever I’m up to now”. Although as I write this I’ve a strong urge to call it “The eyes have it” Those circles are the lights but they’re looking distinctly eye like to me and more than a little bit creepy. Do you see what I mean? It’s purely coincidence mind you. I was keen to take it more abstract for this one. Now, what shall I call it?
Sometimes finishing a painting is an effort. Nothing ab0ut the painting is hard or requires any problem solving. It’s just the subject no longer appeals for some reason. Procrastination rears it’s ugly head. When it happens, I find it’s best to plug away until it’s finished, then move onto the next thing. Usually I’m pleasantly surprised… After finally finishing a painting of Lady Margaret Hall I’m still not feeling the love. There’s nothing I can put my finger on, nothing I can find “wrong” with it… It’s just the subject… is not firing any enthusiasm in me. It’s a pleasant enough scene. Maybe that’s the issue? It’s too tranquil… So what do you do when finishing a painting is a major effort? If progressing even in small chunks is an effort? Well then, lots of rewards is the only way to go. Simple things like a tea break, a brisk walk, Trying something new…It’s easy to think of more interesting things to do in these situations. The tricky part is making yourself do something before the reward. Especially when that reward is enticing. And sometimes, after finishing a painting you’re still uninspired. In which case, it’s time to say… NEXT! […]