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 […]
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!
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?
Although by spaceship I actually mean student union Bar! Confused? I was at first. I’d heard reference to Keble’s Spaceship but couldn’t quite picture how it would look. Until I saw it. And then? Well, it’s kinda obvious isn’t it? I often wonder how many radical ideas for buildings there are out there? Then I realise I may as well ask… How long is a piece of string? So, do you have any suggestions for future projects? I’d love to hear them in the comments!