Cathy Read - Artist - Victorian Destinations Painting

Victorian Destinations Meditation

Glowing Station with exotic signs

In Victorian Destinations the image is a balance of structured masking and expressive ink work, Working from photographs, I often find details are hard to see, especially with photographs taken at night, like this one of Victoria station in Manchester. Sometimes, I’ll admit to frustration, especially if a large area is lost. The opportunity for serendipitous magic, however, is always a possibility. So, I steel myself to let rip and trust that the results will be worthy of the anxiety it induces. In Victorian destinations, I wasn’t disappointed!

About half of the painting is unstructured and organic, as the inks have danced around the page, mingled and gone their separate ways. Even in the more constrained regions, the brickwork is aflame with a fluid flow of colour. Even the windows elude to smoky interiors, but fear not. This is a painted illusion, and the Victorian landmark is safe and sound.

The upper cornicing only appears to be floating above the spindly remains of the upper storey windows. What an impressive sight it is, when you alight a taxi or stroll down from the city centre, to behold the glorious facade! Illuminated and hinting at exotic and not so exotic destinations.

Those leaded-glass, destination signs appear an odd collection, The exotic and mundane in close proximity – Hull, Belgium and Liverpool? There are many others as you continue along the front. Maybe I’ll do them another time? The names are spaced between curls of iron work, painted bright red,, adding to the flame filled effect. Names elegantly defined in black and white, enticing travellers and perhaps influencing the ultimate destination of these weary travellers. So much is present and so much isn’t, speculation is bound to result.

Cathy Read - Artist - Victorian Destinations Painting

Where did the image come from? Walking back to the station after the second day of Manchester Art Fair, I was met with this sight, and had to paint it. One day, I’ll find the full list destinations and add to it. So where else would you include? Take a look through my Portfolio and maybe it will inspire you?

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