Moonlight bright

Moonlight like ice, glinting frost, I wish we had cold weather. Walking round a frosty graveyard looking at ice crystals on bushes and grasses. Little pawprints trailing across the lawn, glittering as a stray moonbeam passes through wilting leaves.

A gravestone sits sideways to all the other ones. Because it’s occupant was said to be the local witch, wise woman, healer, giving remedies that were beyond the wit of man? Perhaps that moon shone down on her once, on her cottage surrounded by herbs, witch hazel, foxgloves, woody nightshade.

Don’t move, just listen, hear the rustle of bat’s in the belfry, feel the crunch of ice under your hand. Its All Hallows Eve. Perhaps this is a dream about Molly Leigh, the Burslem witch.

Almost midnight

She stands in front of her cottage. Molly Leigh, the Burslem witch. Notorious and buried in the local churchyard at 90° to the other burials. The painting is based on a peasant woman painting by Theodore Gericault.

This was one of my murals in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem. The pub burnt down at the weekend. I am bereft. I am trying to pass on my memories to keep a feeling of what it was. I painted these on the walls. Emulsion on lining paper directly onto the wall. I’ve had a few comments that they could have been taken down. I don’t think people understand what a mural is.

My mural of Molly Leigh

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 is my painting.

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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.

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My painting – on TV!

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I was just watching TV and saw this! My mural painting of the witch Molly Leigh who lived in Burslem and who is famous in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. The painting is based on a picture of a French peasant by Theodore Gericault. The cottage in the background is based on photos of her home.

It’s not the first time an image of one of my paintings has appeared in the media. A few months ago my painting of the Burslem riot was used in the sentinel paper, again without letting me know.

What can I do? How can I at least get recognition?