White Bicycle – The story behind the painting

This painting emerged from a moment of inspiration.

I had a meeting in December with Artzu Gallery in Manchester. I took my camera with the intention of getting some new reference images. I didn’t have to go far.
The gallery was in part of the old Granada TV studios where they used to film Coronation Street. They still do but in their new studios in Salford. The old set is open to tourists and, whilst I’m not a fan, I was curious and walked in that direction.
After leaving the gallery I turned the corner down a dark alley, I say dark but it was the buildings that were dark. The sun was shining brightly and illuminated a silver bike in such a way that it glowed.

Here’s the original picture…

Here it is as a work in progress.


I was intrigued by the shape of the steps and railings…

and the ordinariness of the object and position made etherial by light.

Here’s the finished painting.

Painting of a White bicycle glowing in the sunlight propped up against railings in Manchester. White Bicycle- ©2015 - Cathy Read -Watercolour and Acrylic - 40 x 50 cm
White Bicycle- ©2015 – Cathy Read -Watercolour and Acrylic – 40 x 50 cm

I can never tell with a painting how it will actually look until the moment I remove the masking. So I’m particulalry pleased with how the brickwork and the rear wheel/saddlebag came out.

I’ve decided to call it White Bicycle.


Because there’s a song by Nazareth called My White Bicycle and it was going trhough my head the whole time I was painting it.

This painting is now sold but prints are available


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