Sunday, 26 September 2010

Liverpool painting No75. Coleridge Street.

The last days of summer. Distant mowers make their final cut and the ice cream vans wind down for the winter. What ever happened to Vincent's ice cream and Mr Whippy?

By the 1950s, ice cream vans were enjoying their hay day. Many chains of operators sprang up and the chime of an ice cream van was a daily part of life around the streets and on the many new housing estates.

Most homes did not have any facility for storing frozen food so the ices had to be eaten when they were purchased. On Sundays it was a regular treat for a family to have a bowl filled with ice cream and enjoy it with canned fruit - these days over 90% of homes have freezers and we can eat ice cream at any time. Although this also means that we don't have to wait for the ice cream man when we want to enjoy a lolly or basic ice cream.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Liverpool painting No. 74. Lime Street

Lime Street, 21cm x 14cm.

In May of this year I began a year-long journey attempting to capture the city of Liverpool in paint. I’m taking to heart the words of French poet and philosopher, Gaston Bachelard, who said:

“Each of us should make a surveyors map of his lost fields and meadows. . . these drawings need not be exact but they need to be written according to the shapes of our inner landscapes.”

And so, I decided to map my own fields and meadows—metaphorically speaking, of course, since this is a city. Working from life and from the studio, my goal is to finish 15 to 20 small paintings per month. I hope to reach 200, by the end of the project.


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Liverpool painting No.73. William Brown Street.

I seem to remember playing in this when I was a kid and the fountain was drier than South Wales on a Sunday. It was full of dust and leaves back then. Thanks to the Seven Streets site for doing a full page spread about the, 'May I Start, May I Finish', project. Take a look at the site on

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Liverpool painting No. 72. May I Start, May I Finish. William Brown Street

I found a Trevor Chamberlain painting of Liverpool in 1985 called, 'It Rained All Day'. I decided to paint the same view. Nothing much has changed in 25yrs except the street furniture...and the weather.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Liverpool painting No 71. May I Start, May I Finish. Estuary Coastal Park

Acrylic on card 21cm x 14cm.

When the street names run out I followed a path along the coast just above the Liverpool Sailing Club looking towards Wales. Done in better weather a couple of days ago, I've been busy moving my son and his stuff to Leeds University this weekend. I love these spots where the horizon open up and the city seems a million miles away, and it's right on the doorstep.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Liverpool painting No 70. May I Start, May I Finish. Gateacre Brow.

The Wilson Memorial Fountain was built in 1883 by the people of Gateacre in honour of John Hays Wilson, the chairman of the Liverpool Water Authority. It was built in recognition of the development of water supplies in Liverpool, in particular due to the construction of a reservoir at Lake Vyrnwy in North Wales. The open-sided octagonal monument surrounds a drinking fountain and is noted for the sculpted panels that adorn its sides. The intricate designs include many mythical creatures such as dragons, gargoyles, mermaids and the liver bird, the symbol of Liverpool.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Liverpool painting No 67. May I Start May I Finish. Allerton Road

Another one from Woolton village. Worked from a few photographs and colour swatches. I've just read a good article on painting from photos at . For what it's worth personaly I don't see a problem painting from photos, so long as you don't slavish copy them, and don't make a habit of it. I always use my own pics and record colour swatches that the photos would otherwise omit in the shadows and highlights. Sometimes a light effect is so fleeting a picture may be your only chance of recording it no matter how fast you claim to paint. I don't believe however it should replace plein air drawing skills and on site observation, besides, think of the fun your missing outdoors, that can never be replicated.