Monday, 26 November 2018

Pennine Gold painting oil on canvas 100x100cm

Pennine Gold above Clivager Burnley Lancashire 100x100x10cm Oil, acrylic and varnish on canvas

For the last three years this painting has hung on the gallery wall at falcon Mill Bolton as part of the Open Studio event. Every year I've taken to over painting it because I was unhappy about it. All in all its taken about 7 years to get this far with this particular scene each year it becomes a little more removed from present day  realism. To many narratives maybe. I think I'm over it now that I've come to terms with the main narrative.

My Dad cycled along this road from Burnley over to Todmorden in the 1930's. His story of the trip one of many is ingrained on my family memory. A keen hobbyist he recorded many of his adventures in a wonderful copperplate hand. At his time of cycling the scene would have looked very different. An major open cast mine and many pit shafts dominated what was a very industrial  landscape the open stretch of moor covered in a smog that rose from the mill chimneys and engineering works as well as the railway that dominated the straggling towns of Cliviger Bacup Todmorden Cornholme.

I came up here once back in 1976 on my way to a job interview in Bradford. I had just bought a mini which clanged its semi broken exhaust pipe from Liverpool via Blackburn. This was before the M62 was built. Proper Northern that experience was driving through many winding roads. I stopped for a packet of chips and a pint in the Waggon and Horses.  Afterwards I put on my old Army Coat and left the car in Cornholme to walk up Stubley Lane climbing steeply up a brow away from the busy works and smog out onto the open moors. Lapwings and curlew and lark calls and songs vied with the sound of many sheep in the green fields. The slag heaps still black and the land along the road pitted like Flanders fields were chewed into a green turf by the many sheep. The miners were on strike then and Thatchers ruined country was very divided. Jobs were scarce, by the time I got to Bradford the teaching job that I had applied for had been cut.







Monday, 19 November 2018

In the studio South Lakes series work in progress

Studio a three of the medium sized South lakes paintings on the esel
and floor alongside a larger Striding Edge in the 
background and an 
unfinished painting of Iona in the Western Isles

Troutbeck twisting lane and old barn in the midsummer
oil on board linen
Lower Vallery Kentmere in midsummer
oil on linen board

Upper valley Kentmere in mid summer
oil on linen board
Painting  for me is about exploring what I see and about trying new ways of experiencing them. For the South Lakes series I was entranced by the light of both summer and winter and how I could represent them. I had already spent a couple of sunshine days down by the River Leven below Windermere and think with these smaller works in mind I have continued with the study of light captured in individual brush marks. The lake District has its own Lake District Genre developed amongst local painters both alive and dead.It is difficult not to be influenced by them and to plow my own furrow.


Sparkling light River Levens
oil on board 20x30cm

Late Summer colours i a deep pond on the River Leven
oi on board


See this work at studio 11 Falcon Mill Studios Handel Street Bolton 

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Poppy day 2018

Poppy for Armistice Day
acrylic on canvas
70x50cm
I'm not sure if poppy paintings at this time of the year should have a narrative maybe silent respect during its making and showing. My Father and Grandfather fought in both world wars and I have memories of them talking about the experience including the loss of their friends. Both Im sure would be worried, even horrified  at the growing social divide and increasing poverty in Britain. 
What was it all about?