Brindley and Wedgewood mural

Here is another one of my murals from the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. It shows the four creators of the Trent and Mersey canal. I remember two of them are James Brindley , standing, and Josiah Wedgwood, seated on the right. It’s a long time since I painted it, so I can’t remember the names of the other two. It was painted in 2007? I think. This popped up on my Facebook memories today. Sadly it and all the others I painted were destroyed in a fire when the Leopard burnt down early last year.

Perspectives

The Orme Art Group Exhibition is on from the 30th of January at The New Victoria Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme. The theme is Perspectives, the members of the group all have different views and ideas about what we want to create. In this case we are producing two dimensional pieces for this exhibition. If you are in the area please come along and enjoy our work. X

Film theatre

I just read a post on Instagram about the problems the Film Theatre at Staffordshire University is having to deal with before it can reopen after covid. I wrote a response because this independent cinema had a great impact on my understanding and appreciation of films. Here is what I said.

I used to love coming to the film theatre. You could see films that made you question your beliefs, challenged your thoughts, tickled your imagination! It seems mad that it’s not open. I first saw a film there in 1979 and it was also used for the film studies part of the Fine Art Ba(hons). My hubby came to a projectionist course and learned how to project the reels and know when to change them. It’s sad you are having these problems.

Mike the snail

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was snail. I remember Brian the snail from the Magic Roundabout children’s TV programme, which I watched in the 1970’s. But this is Mike the snail. I decided to write a limerick for him.
“There was a snail called Mike,
Who decided to go for a hike!
He slid cross the table
To see his friend Mable
I saw him and shouted out YIKES!

Milk on the pavement?

My arrangement with the milkman is to put the milk in the basket over our gate. It means it is safe and doesn’t disappear ( sometimes one bottle gets taken, other times more). But for the last week it’s been left on the pavement (it’s delivered every other day), so I’ve been trying to get up early to bring it in. Today I was late (eight am). There it was, not on our step, but a foot away on the pavement. I’ve left a note, asking them to put it over the gate, which was ignored. I think I need to email the dairy, but I’ve lost my password. Maybe our regular milkman is on holiday? We will see. I like having it delivered in glass bottles because they are reused and recycled and are not plastic!

Reflected

Digital abstract in ArtRage oils that I did five years ago. The centres is meant to be a metallic, shiny egg shaped object, and the outside the pattern that is seen on the object. It doesn’t quite work but I think you can see a contrast between the sharp lines of the centre, and the softer outer lines. I saw this today as a memory on my Facebook page.

Leopard Hotel may be restored

About a year ago, the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. was destroyed in a fire. I was distraught because I had painted several murals in the Arnold Bennett suite at the back of the hotel. I had also been an extra in a horror film called Humanus which was partly filmed there. I would love it to be restored. It was old and quirky, and episodes of ‘most haunted’ were recorded around the building. But now? It’s a shell of its former glory.

The Leopard had fallen on hard times when it was taken over by Neil Cox and Neil Crisp in the early 2000’s. They started to pull the business round and bought out the essential quirkiness of the building, organising ghost tours and revising ad improving the good and drink. It was soon a venue people loved to go in. During that time they wanted some murals painting in the back room. I spent a couple of years between 2006 and 2007 painting ten or eleven of them. Why can’t I remember?

I loved doing it, and the figures in the paintings were often based on the locals, I even gave a talk to the local history group about what I had painted and the sources I used to decide on the subjects.

Now? I will definitely visit if its rebuilt. But I don’t think I could physically paint those murals again. And as I was only paid £75 per picture, for two years of work, it was never going to make me a profit, but I did it for the love of Art and the Leopard.

Cat, a digital sketch

A digital drawing of a black and white cat, then which I then digitally manipulated to add textures and tilt the image. I used artrage oils free for the original drawing using a stylus on my phone screen, then photodirector to add texture and finally the editing tools including a sharpness option and tilting option on my Instagram account. I have also duplicated this image as four seperated cats, but that was done after I did this.

Car saga

The garage we took our car to is closing down! The owner is retiring apparently. We didn’t know when we left our car on the forecourt. I’m trying to find his mobile number so I rang another business that knows him. They might be able to get his mobile number for me but apparently he will be going there later today so all I can hope is that they tell him we have been trying to contact him or that he goes to the garage and sees the car!

We tried other garages, but I would need to take the keys to the one who could help and they are seven or eight miles away, or the local garage but they can’t collect it until the third of February!

All we can do is hope the mechanic gets in touch for now. I would go and bump start the car but I don’t know if we have the strength to push it as its on the flat.