Fascinated by the base of a particularly old tree one evening a few weeks ago in Queen Square in Bristol I spent some time sketching it. Back home in Liverpool a few days later I decided to apply a more abstract approach to the sketch. And now I’ve started working this up into a painting.
Here it is on the easel and I’m working in mixture of acrylics and emulsion of all things. A long way to go but I thought it might be interesting to record its progress to completion. Watch this space and, as always, your comments are very welcome.
Ever sat in a restaurant and realised that the person sitting opposite you will have had an entirely different view from yours. Maybe you’ve got the view to the street and pavement outside, while your companion can see the hustle and bustle of the kitchens and the serving hatch. Your experience of the restaurant might be qualitatively distinct as a result of the simple matter of perspective and outlook.
Apply this thinking to the cities of the United Kingdom and you might suddenly begin to understand something of the particular character of one of the greatest of those cities – Liverpool.
The picture above was taken last night down by the shore of the wide River Mersey as the sun was starting to set. In the distance, the mouth of the great river is still lit as the sun drops in the West. I’ve been picturing the UK’s cities in my mind and their rivers – London and the Thames, Newcastle and the Tyne, Bristol and the Avon, yet none of these rivers open so clearly onto the oceans beyond like the Mersey as it flows in and out of Liverpool. As a Liverpudlian, your imagination is constantly drawn by this slipway to the rest of the world. To the cities of North America; Montreal, Quebec, New York and San Francisco. To the far shores of the antipodes; Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania. To the Orient; Shanghai, Hong Kong and beyond. If you want a clue to the character, personality and outlook of Liverpool and it’s citizens, look no further than the River Mersey and the seven seas lapping at the city’s shores.
The UK heatwave shows no sign of abating so I took my new chocolate labrador, Henry, down to the waterfront for a walk this morning.
Despite the heat he was full of energy. He’s a feisty individual, too, and wasn’t taking any prisoners when an adult German Shepherd got in his way.
Quite a confident dog I’ve got by all accounts – but I suspect I need to make sure this doesn’t spill over into aggression. He’s actually got a very affectionate nature so hopefully he’ll be fine.
He certainly enjoyed stretching his legs on the shores of Liverpool’s River Mersey which was calm and at very low tide. Meanwhile overhead, transatlantic jets soared across a clear blue sky.
By the end of the walk I was starting to wilt a little in the heat, but this particular chocolate showed no sign of melting.
I saw this fascinating image on the window of the toilets (of all places!) in The Grapes pub in Liverpool’s Roscoe Street.
Couldn’t resist taking a picture as I reckon it might make an interesting painting at some stage in the future.
The Grapes is a great pub – and was once a watering hole for John Lennon in his art school days. Here’s a link for those who fancy checking the pub out –
I’ve been looking for somewhere to sketch and paint and discovered a derelict area of Toxteth in Liverpool. I’m not too sure what the developers’ plans are but this a fantastic area and I’ve driven here to sketch on more than one occasion. Surprising what you see – such as this amazing plot of wildflowers running riot and a blaze of colour against the bluest of summer skies.
Just around the corner is Jermyn Street – I think. Certainly not the Jermyn Street renowned for fine tailoring in London. I only had time for a hasty sketch this morning as I needed to get back to check in on my new chocolate labrador, Henry. But expect many more posts of photographs, sketches and paintings in due course. Here it is below, a curious blend of boarded up properties and hippy havens.
Here’s a watercolour I painted a couple of years ago for my brother’s 40th birthday. This was before it was framed.
It was actually quite heavy and bulky once framed so it was carefully bubblewrapped and taken on board an EasyJet flight from Liverpool’s John Lennon International Airport for the short hop to the Isle of Man.
Hope you like it.
Lunch with Will on Lark Lane then a quick drive into Liverpool. Wet and blustery weather after the recent hot and sunny spell is hard to take.
The colours in this graffiti gallery on the wall of an open air car park on Duke Street quickly takes the blues away.
Some really bold use of colour as you might expect with a mixture of abstract designs and graphic symbols. There was even a simple attempt at recreating the Liverpool skyline – famous the world over.
Yes, that’s the Liver Building, the Anglican Cathedral – and not forgetting the Roman Catholic Cathedral too.
Snapped this from the back of a car sitting at the traffic lights of Slater Street in Liverpool. Almost looks like the building was designed this way.
Colour might just be the perfect antidote to all the snow we’re having at the moment.
And nothing serves up a splash of colour more than graffiti.
These two examples of graffiti are in a skateboard park on Jamaica Street in Liverpool.
No puns in my title for this post because I think these views of Liverpool and the River Mersey speak for themselves.
Quite a conventional shot here taken from the base of the Guinea Gap swimming pool. The world famous seafront is changing fast with the addition of some high rise buildings at the western end of the city and the new Museum of Liverpool alongside the Edwardian Port of Liverpool Building.
This next shot – blurred and with fake stains on it – almost looks like it could be from a previous era in the city’s history. I used my favourite Laplication App for this sepia effect.
Finally, I’d walked down towards the beach – yes, a beach in Liverpool! This unusual shot taken from Egremont on the Wirral shore almost makes it look like Liverpool’s built on a lake.