We had been looking forward to spending some time in Audlem, and the popular Cheshire village didn't disappoint. The Shroppie Fly is the name of the cream canalside pub in this painting alongside Audlem Mill and canal shop. When you walk into the Shroppie you are faced with the awesome bar, a former working 'fly' boat, with the bar staff pulling the pints from inside the boat. I was also taken with some great framed sketches on the wall of some of the live music acts they have had there. I myself, really enjoy and would recommend the challenge of trying to capture a moving live performer on stage.
Some of the other pictures on the walls of the shroppie admittedly made my heart sink, there was at least three paintings or prints from the same viewpoint as I had just started from with this Oil Painting 24. Views become iconic because they have an impact or gut appeal - Should the artist refuse these viewpoints because they have been explored many times before? Or embrace the universal appeal?
A noticeable difference with my painting is the wide angle that allows the inclusion of the wonderful lock keepers cottage. The garden to this cottage was something special with the owners selling bits and bobs to passing boaters from amongst the flowers. We bought a second hand windlass from them. I am really enjoying the amount of tiny independent trade on the towpaths and wish to paint more of them. After being self employed for 5 years now, entrepreneurship is a subject that really appeals. I am embracing this culture myself displaying past Year of the Boat works on easels alongside my current painting to entertain the passers by. One of the passers by on this occasion was the boat 'The Cat's Whiskers', a boat that has already passed me working once in Wrenbury on the Llangollen canal. You can read their experience of the Shroppie on their blog http://thecatswhiskersnb.blogspot.co.uk/