Tuesday 28 April 2015


This - worked up from a photograph that I took just over a year ago - has been a long time in the painting. I started it before Easter, and - because it is such a complex subject - didn't manage to finish it before the school holidays started. I rarely get the chance to paint in the studio during the school holidays. As soon as the children went back to school, I was busy preparing for the Reading Contemporary Art Fair.

The paint was surface-dry when I went back to it today. This isn't really a problem, unless there is a lot of texture that I'm trying to paint over (it's a bit like an acylic knife painting in that respect), and I had been aware that a long interval was a strong possibility, so I had deliberately minimised the impasto.

As it happened, a dry surface was quite useful. I discovered that a colour shaper (effectively a solid silicon paintbrush) would lay down paint very effectively onto a reasonably smooth layer of dry oil; this is how I managed to write the word, "Pickfords" on the roof of the foremost building.

This building and its roof inscription give the painting its name. As far as I can make out, Pickfords no longer occupy this building, which is in Nottingham (the elevated view is from Nottingham Castle). In fact, it appears - from Google's Street View images (dating from September 2014) - to be under development.

Oil on canvas, 55 x 46 cm

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