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.
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
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.
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.
I have too much stuff (plants, ornaments, paintings, clothes), but I remember how I got every bit of clutter and just find it very hard to let go of them. I have moved things around and chucked some stuff out. But the majority of it remains. I would like to tidy up the place and would start by with living room. That would be my plan if I had to chose a new years resolution, but I can’t suss out how to get rid of more things!
One of the characters in A Christmas Carol is the ghost of Christmas Present. A big, jolly fellow in his robe and Holly crown, he leads Ebenezer Scrooge through the lives of his contemporary characters, we see Scrooges nephew and family enjoying Christmas merriment and wishing his uncle well. Then there is a scene with the Cratchett family, settling down to enjoy a meagre but happy Christmas meal. We see Tiny Tim, there little boy who is possibly destined to die because of the families poverty despite Cratchett working for Scrooge. When Scrooge asks what will happen to the boy Christmas Present says that unless there is a change in their circumstances there will be an empty chair where the boy now sits. He throws Scrooge’s words back at him saying if he is to die then it should happen sooner rather than later and decrease the surplus population!
Work in progress. Needs work on the beach which I think is a bit dark…. I was trying to get a feeling of sand. This is a small commission so I’m trying for a realistic look. It’s based on a drone photo I saw online but it’s not an exact copy, just using it to see how the wavelets ripple onto the shore.
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!