Orme Art at the New Vic theatre

The one of art groups I am in, Orme art group, is having an exhibition on the theme of ‘Perspectives’. The show is at the New Victoria Theatre in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. The exhibition starts on Monday 30th January 2023, and is on till the 25th of February. As the poster says, we are a diverse group, so it will be interesting to see what other people in the group are putting on display. After over a month of illness I’m really pleased to be involved with this. I’m looking forward to seeing it when it’s up. One of the group members is a volunteer at the theatre and its great to be able to show our work to a wider audience there.

Spode reflected view

Also on the easle today, my Spode reflected painting. I was at the Orme Art Group earlier and I took the painting with me to tidy up for an exhibition at the New Victoria theatre in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire. It is due to be hung on Monday. The painting is from 2019 and had been knocked on the corners so I got my black paint out and covered over the white patches where paint had flaked off. I would like to have the picture framed but as it’s about 2 1/2ft by 3ft I can’t really afford it. It will be for sale at the exhibition.

Finished beach painting?

I think this is done. It’s a beach and sea scene viewed from above. I decided to put some rocks in the bottom right corner, but do they look OK? This had Bern sitting on my easle since before Christmas and I have only just felt well enough to try and finish it. I hope the person who commissioned it likes it.

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

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.

Arnold Bennett suite. The Leopard Hotel.

This was the back room of the Leopard Hotel in Burslem (the Arnold Bennett suite). The hotel burned down last year taking my murals with it. They were painted in emulsion paint directly onto the walls so it would have been impossible to remove them before the hotel caught fire (apparently the empty hotel had someone growing cannabis in it and the fire was from an electrical fault. It had been bought for redevelopment and the local community wanted to take it over to make it work again. Now its gone. You can see the relative sizes of them to the size of the room. I painted them between 2006 and 2007. I miss them.

Ten years ago

This came up on my memories today. I remember this was a cold and sunny day just like today. I was taking part in a craft fair outside Stoke Market. Things were better then, people had a bit more money. I think I sold a few paintings. I have to say they were a bit random… I think I had done a all exhibition earlier in the year so I’d painted all sorts of things, some better than others. I’m trying to be a bit more selective in what I paint these days. I’m also not keen on sitting outside in the cold as much!