Monday, 29 October 2012

Oil Painting 53 - View from the oldest building in Oxford

I emailed a few different spots on arrival to try and get a vantage point up high so I could really see those dreamy spires of Oxford. St Michael of the Northgate were really friendly and open to the idea from the offset. Their viewing area on the top of the Saxon tower (the oldest building in Oxford) made a perfect studio space, which although open to the public I had largely to myself during the four afternoons it took to complete the piece. There was an initial visit which was a complete failure where after lugging all the gear to the top of the bell tower and getting everything set up the wind caught the painting and somehow the easel collapsed ripping through the canvas. I have never had that before. I thought it might have been Divine Intervention from the big man on home turf stating he wanted a bigger canvas for this glorious view provided.

I felt like Quasimodo with my own space up amongst the pigeons in a bell tower, you walk up and up the tower on stairs that circle the bells. The pigeons rule the roost here though, plenty of artistic expression from them in and around the tower. Put it like this, I wasn't worried about the odd splash of white paint being noticed. 

The strange thing about the painting of this piece was the utterly different weather conditions on each of the 4 visits, I had a dull day, a rainy day, a glorious sunny afternoon and finally a foggy day. The painting is a combination of these different weathers.

The crowd painting returns again in this piece although now we are onlooking from afar. The dark shapes reminding me of LS Lowry and a french national day painting by Claude Monet I have always adored -

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