Bibendum is the name of the iconic symbol for Michelin tyres. There was a large factory near us run by Michelin. Sadly the factory has mostly closed now, its mostly a training facility. The one improvement is that the smell of vulcanising rubber no longer hangs over the city. Like many of the factories and manufacturing in Stoke-on-Trent the jobs have gone. Potteries have been badly affected. Steel manufacturers have gone and other jobs like coal mining went in the 1980’s. Northern areas of the United Kingdom have been badly affected over the years of the late twentieth century and twenty first.
Peat stained stream
Full of life
That hide in pools
How I miss
Ice cream, cool
Sometimes too bright,
Over stepping stones…
Feet to splash
Of times fast dash.
Oil on canvas
Forty years ago I was at college learning how to paint. I had lots of fun and did some painting too! I used to paint in oils until I discovered how fast and clean acrylics were a decade or so later. I’m a fast painter but acrylics go off very fast so my style changed somewhat. Instead of mixing colours wet in wet on the canvas I ended up trying to get my colours right on the palette. I think I probably ended up with a more splodgy style until I learnt to blend layers on the canvas.
In a time when photos
were printed on paper,
were made of cardboard
and silver foil.
Hooped earrings were in fashion,
And bangles jingled.
I wore an eyepatch on my glasses
and pretended to be
Long John Silver,
or Captain Hook,
or some other rapskallion…
Oh what fun!
To be young again,
I think I painted this self portrait in the early 1980’s. It’s disconcerting seeing my younger self. I used to like to hide my face away sometimes and the green face mask was fun to paint, although I remember it cracking as I painted! I did two versions as a friend bought one of them from a little exhibition I held. The other one has red and white earrings if I remember.
I know this was painted in oils on a homemade canvas. I think it was probably about 1ft square. The background was the pink wall in our room. The picture behind me was of a train by Cuneo. (not sure of the spelling). It was a print my mother got my hubby as he loves trains. I think I wore the red beret and yellow jumper to create some contrast to the green mask.
Oh yes I remember it. 1970’s and 80’s. A mad time. Music that rattled roofs, clothes that were crazy combinations of safety pins and plaid. Piercings and mohecan hair cuts.
Bands like Ultravox, Souxi and the banshees, all the other ones I can’t remember, such a long time ago. So many mad parties. Pogo dancing, singing along. Fun.
How the world has changed. X
I have a few images of my old paintings on slides. I would like to get them transferred onto a digital platform before they deteriorate too much. This painting was actually bought by our old MP, Mark Fisher, and I was really proud to have known him. Unfortunately he passed away a few years ago.
It’s funny how you find things and they bring back old memories. This painting was done of a friend. I deliberately tried to alter the angles of the window to make it more atmospheric. I would like to do more portraits if anyone is interested.
This was a painting I must have done in the summer of 1983 or 1984, soon after I finished college I think.
My friend had lots of cats so I did a portrait of her with them.
I wanted to do the painting but didn’t have any stretched canvases to hand so I got some linen canvas and stretched it over a horseshoe shaped chair back with an extra peice of wood nailed in place at the bottom.
The painting was in oils This was before I started using acrylics. After it was finished I gave it to my friend.
A year or two ago it turned up. It had moved house with my friend and she had got it propped up in the kitchen when I visited one day. It was starting to deteriorate because it wasn’t proper canvas and had a couple of holes in it. Bearing in mind it had been painted about 34 years before I guess it has done well. I took photos of it and left.
Sadly the painting got damaged beyond repair when they moved again. But at least I have this photo and I did a small copy which another friend purchased.
It feels like I am letting children go when they go to new homes .You never know if they will survive. At least I know this one’s history.