My Burslem Angel mural

Thank you Sharon Crisp for sending me a photo of my Burslem Angel mural (lost in the fire in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem). It was painted in emulsion directly into a framed area on the wall that had originally been filled with flock wallpaper. I had asked if anyone had images of my murals a few months ago. This one was missing as was on of a woman standing outside a pottery with a row of bottle kilns. I’m really pleased to see this again.

I think it’s interesting how the clouds in the background look like smoke or flames.

Mural in Stoke

Watch out, there’s a Leopard about. Take a walk in the wild side of Stoke, down a side street, off the main road. Strong colours against a black background. Stars shine out from the painting. I want to find out if this is finished or whether there is more to come. What is it painted in? Will it be permanent or will it flake and fade in a few years. It’s painted directly onto the brick so I imagine it will weather and peel.

Destruction

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was destruction. The Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, was destroyed by fire just a few weeks ago. This is a sketch from a photo by Stokie Bloke (I can’t face visiting the Leopard Hotel). Not very accurate. You can see the roof has gone. There were more photos including the room where my murals were. The walls are still standing, but there are just blank ashy grey spaces. So sad.

Changing spots

When I was painting in the Leopard Hotel I designed a coat of arms for the hotel. The hotels ginger cat lies across the top of a shield with garlands of leaves and berries around it. The shield is split into four sections. From the top left there are crossed knives and forks on a blue ground with a gold chevron. The top right is a portrait of Prince Leopold (not sure where he was from) it was possible that the Leopard could have been named after him. Bottom right are three foaming tankards in gold. And bottom left is a painting of a Leopard. The motto on the banner underneath says ‘The Leopard can change its spots’. The idea behind it was that the pub had just been taken over and the landlords Neil Cox and Neil Crisp wanted to turn it into a friendly place to eat great food and wonderful beer. I think they made a great job of it and for a few years it prospered but the changing face of the town, the empty buildings and then covid finally managed to close it. Sorry for the fuzzy photo.

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.

Nostalgia

A Clarice Cliff pottery pattern that I painted as a mural in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. The design is called umbrellas. It’s one I would love to own.

Nostalgia is that warm feeling you get when you see or remember old or ancient images or things. I haven’t looked up the actual definition. But things like this, or even old TV shows like The original series of Star Trek, give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I know somehow I’m safe, like I have gone back in time, as a memory or a thing I learned about in the past.

I get the same thing with the James Stewart film It’s a wonderful life. I think nostalgia and being nostalgic must be good and calming for the mind. The equivalent of a mental sigh.

The Colour Room

Mural of Clarice Cliff umbrella tea set I painted at the leopard Hotel.

I’m excited, a film about the life of Clarice Cliff, the Art Deco pottery painter and designer has just come out on film. I’ve also found out some of my friends are extras in the film! I want to find out if I can go and see it at a local screening.

Clarice Cliff is famous for designs such as “bizzare” and other geometric shaped pots painted in colourful and stylish patterns. She was working in the 1930’s at the same time as other paintresses such as Suzy Cooper. Apologies for my lack of information. If you look her up on Wikipedia or perhaps the museum services at Stoke-on-Trent City Council. She is very famous here. X

Will the Leopard reopen?

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