In about 2006 and 2007 I painted several murals in the Arnold Bennett suite of the Leopard Hotel. It has appeared on Britain’s most Haunted on TV and until a couple of years ago was still open. Now no one seems to know what is happening with it. I’m sure it still needs a lot of work doing on it. No doubt my murals will get painted over if it is refurbished. It’s sad, because for a few years the place thrived. But there was also bad luck there. I wish things coukd be better for it. X
I went on a walk today with a group called closer to home. I couldn’t keep up all the way round their five mile walk but I did my best. You know a city is linked by main roads, but we went up old pathways, along the old track bed of a railway, the potteries loop line, and back along the canal.
Towards the end I found I was struggling, it was like I’d hit the wall, but I ket going and finished only a few hundred yards to the rear of the group. A friend walked along with me so it wasn’t too bad.
After having my phone for a couple of years I’ve almost learnt how to add a layer. So I decided to add a Bernie to a photo… Welcome to Burslem Bernie!
He’s a bit ghostly as I had to draw free hand round him to select his image and my hand shakes to much to do a line drawn with a finger…
In the snow. Someone is burning rubbish there and the structure isnt safe enough for that. I took the image off the Internet and added texture because I didn’t want to use someone else’s picture but they look amazing in the snow. The caravan at the side may be where the man looking after the site is living.
The trike is restored! Very pleased, my hubbies tricycle was damaged last week when he turned. One of the back wheels had buckled! The tyre and tube had come off but the tube was still inflated.
We rang a couple of bike shops and were advised to contact Brian Rourke Hand-built Bikes in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.
We gave them a ring and were told to bring the trike in. When we got there, there was a lot of sucking of teeth and questioning if they could do it? But yes, they would see what they could do. Then on Monday they rang, they couldn’t source the right size wheels, (26″), so they suggested it might not be worth fixing, which was understandable. But I argued that it was a historic machine. It had been ridden in time trials and my hubby had come third in a 25 mile time trial about thirty years ago. It would be a challenge. Also they could maybe use 700c wheel rims and spokes instead? Cue chat with the mechanic. Yes they would order them in.
Yesterday we had a phone call, the trike was done! It’s got 700c rear wheels built onto the original hubs, 32 spokes per wheel. The other back wheel was eaten away with rust so they replaced that too. Also a new 26″ wheel on the front (it has less spokes than the back wheels so they could source that). The wheels are all Mavic. New white walled tyres and tubes on 1 3/4″ rims. Also a new front side pull brake. It cost a lot, but it was worth the money. Call it my anniversary present to him.
Its aa little thing, but my painting of the Burslem Riot is on the back of a friends book. She’s in the newspaper today and you can clearly see my image on the back of her book. The problem is the article is about the local dialect which she writes about, not about my painting. So I guess I can’t complain. But my images do crop up and I don’t get recognition. I should have put something up where they are on display (in the now closed Leopard Hotel in Burslem), but I didn’t think about it, and then I didn’t organise it, and now it’s all locked up. Thinking if putting a letter through the front door infroducing myself as the artist who painted them. I hope they don’t get ripped out!
Molly Leigh was said to be the Burslem witch. She lived in a small cottage, a photo of which I based this picture on. There are no photos of her so I tried to find a painting of an elderly woman from about that time and chose a picture of a French peasant by Theodore Gericault as an inspiration. The plants in the background are meant to be foxgloves and different herbs in a garden I imagined to be full of things you could use for remedies. I didn’t find much out about her life, except she is meant to be buried in a local church yard with the grave orientated East West, instead of the normal North South way. We went for a walk and ended up in the graveyard, only to get told off by someone from the church who kept getting people messing about round Mollys grave. When we explained we were on a photo walk of Burslem and we didn’t want to do any strange rituals he was OK. The painting is set on a night of the full moon and I tried to make the sky atmospheric and spooky. I’m sorry people won’t be able to see my murals in the Leopard anymore. No doubt they will be painted over or removed.
This the mural I painted at the Leopard of Clarice Cliffs Umbrella design. It is one of several murals I did. They were painted directly onto the walls, but as the original room had several large squares and oblong of flock wallpaper surrounded by wooden framing, the owners stripped the flock paper and covered the patches with lining paper. I then painted on that. For some reason people think the pictures are painted on canvas. They will get a shock if they try and take them down. They would have to remove a layer of plaster probably too…!
I was painting this a couple of years ago. It came out really well. I have a photo of the finished painting somewhere. It was called Ivy jug.
It’s not very often that you get paintings of pottery, I don’t know why, I guess it’s a strange type of still life….
I have also done murals of pottery…
It’s turning into a collection!
Continuing the point about copyright, this is my painting of the Burslem witch, Molly Leigh.
Our local TV programme, Midlands today used the image of the elderly woman, (I based it on a painting by Theodore Gericault, of an elderly French peasant woman). I emailed them twice to point out it was my mural, but have not had any response back.
Last Friday I was interviewed by the Sentinel newspaper about this and a photo of my Burslem riot painting that the paper had used without crediting me. I don’t know when it’s du to be published, do it might already have come out.
Anyway. I keep painting.