Archive | English Scenes, Football and Rugby Prints RSS feed for this section

The Shambles, York

The Shambles Print

The Shambles, York

Figures can play an important part of a street scene, helping to bring life and movement to the painting. The original watercolour of The Shambles, York from which this limited edition print of the Shambles in York was taken was actually one of the finalists in the Sunday Times Watercolour competition back 1994 and sold from the Mall Galleries.

I deliberately chose to paint the scene looking into the light to heighten the sense of mood and drama. This meant that the figures produced long shadows which helped to make them feel even more enclosed by the old timber framed buildings hanging over the street. Some of the buildings date back to the 14th Century and are the home to shops selling gifts and such like to the many tourists which flock to York. However, up until as late as 1872, the Shambles was the home to 25 butchers. Today there are none.

Sketching figures on location is very important when painting this kind of subject as it helps you to keep your brush marks loose and fresh. If you rely totally on photography, you run the risk of making the people look too statuesque. I also published a watercolour of York Minster to partner this painting which has lots of figures too. This time though, they are smaller to provide a sense of scale to the cathedral in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments { 0 }

#SBS Winner Alan Reed Art

Painting of Pump Room, Bath in Snow

Pump Room, Bath in the Snow

Theo Paphitis, one of the “dragons” in the BBC television series Dragons Den, has developed an innovative way of giving publicity to small business in the UK. Businesses are required to tweet a description of what they do to @TheoPaphitis on Twitter between 5pm-7:30pm on a Sunday with the all important hash-tag #SBS (Small Business Sunday). Theo will then review the multitude of tweets that qualify and choose 6 each week who are then re-tweeted. The lucky business owners become an #SBS Winner.

As Theo Paphitis has over 250,000 followers and a special website www.theopaphitissbs.com dedicated to the winners, this provides a great opportunity for the winners to increase their profile on twitter and connect with other businesses. I first found out about this through a business colleague and friend Jules Phair who has her own cleaning business TLC Totally Love Cleaning and was one of the lucky winners in January this year. You can follow Jules on Twitter @TLClean Since then I have been tweeting my business to Theo most Sundays and my persistence paid off. On 11th June 2012 my tweet “painting is my passion come rain or shine” with a picture of my watercolour “Pump Room in the Snow” a scene in Bath, was one of the 6 businesses chosen by Theo. We’ve now published the painting as a limited edition print available from alanreed.com for only £149 unframed.

This week my twitter feed has been very busy with lots of congratulations and mentions from other folk on twitter and around 150 new followers, so a special thank you to Mr Theo Paphitis, Ryman Stationary and to Jules Phair for making me aware of #SBS so that I am now an #SBS Winner.

 

 

Comments { 0 }

Diamond Jubilee shows Holkham Beach

Holkham Beach Painting

Holkham Beach, Incoming Tide

On the eve of the Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, I watched a couple of lovely documentaries about Queen Elizabeth. The first on BBC 1 featured some home cine film of Royal Family life starting from when the Queen was first married. It was wonderfully narrated by Prince Charles who recalled with affection, his own childhood memories as he played through the old reels of footage.

One particular sequence showed himself, Princess Anne and their father Prince Philip jumping off the sand dunes at Holkham Beach in Norfolk, not for from Sandringham where they spent family holidays together. The scene triggered off my own memories of recent holidays with our daughter Louise and her children and our times together on this vast, deserted beach. On one occasion I took a short break from playing with the grandchildren to paint the watercolour above of the incoming tide.

The second Diamond Jubilee documentary was equally engaging with some great interviews with members of the Royal Family. It also showed some letters between the Queen and her mother not long after she married the Duke of Edinburgh, some of which were read out loud by Alan Titchmarsh. For some reason he missed out “I do pray….”  from one of the letters, which I thought was such a pity as it showed a personal display of the Queen Mother’s faith. At least we were able to read the hand written words for ourselves.

Comments { 0 }

Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend

Buckingham Palace from Green Park, Painting

Buckingham Palace from Green Park

This Bank Holiday Weekend marks the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. I thought it appropriate to feature this watercolour of Buckingham Palace from Green Park which I have reproduced as a limited edition print. It depicts the Palace seen in low autumnal light which is filtering through the golden leaves, many of which have fallen to the ground. It was quite a tricky painting to do as I wanted the warmth and translucency of the yellow pigment to glow and contrast against the cool blue of the sky and understated Palace in shadow. This has been achieved by carefully masking off the leaves before doing any painting. An exercise worth doing to create the desired effect.

I suppose the painting is more about the beauty of creation than the monarch, but there are still sufficient elements in the composition to celebrate the year of Jubilee. May we all have an enjoyable Bank Holiday Weekend.

Comments { 0 }

Chelsea, Centenary Champions

Stamford Bridge

Chelsea, Centenary Champions

After watching on television Papiss Cisse’s two wonder goals last night against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, I was reminded of my one and only visit to Chelsea’s ground.

In 2006 two of my clients who are Chelsea fans, commissioned me to do a watercolour painting of Stamford Bridge where they are season ticket holders. They invited me to a match so that I could get suitable reference of the fans going to the ground on match day to enable me to produce a painting similar to my successful Toon Army print. I arrived at the ground a couple of hours before kick off so I could do some sketchbook studies and take suitable photos to use as reference.

Chelsea are known for playing in blue, so it was important to repeat the colour throughout the painting, not just in the tops that the fans were wearing but also in the sky and elements of the stadium. It was a bright, sunny day, so I began the studio painting with a gentle warm wash of Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Lemon to set the tone and mood for the painting. I deliberately kept the brush marks crisp and sharp to keep the architectural elements of the stadium defined and strong. This provided a contrast to the more fluid rendering of the figures making their way to the ground.

The clients decided to reproduce the original watercolour as a limited edition print titled Chelsea, Centenary Champions which is available on line with only 95 copies in the edition. Papiss Cisse describes his second goal against Chelsea as his best ever. It has to be of the contenders for goal of the season.

Comments { 0 }

Manchester in the Snow

Manchester in the Snow

Manchester in the Snow

In 2009 I was exhibiting at Manchester’s Buy Art Fair. I decided to do an original watercolour of one of Manchester’s famous architectural landmarks, the Printworks that overlooked the venue of the Art Fair that year, the Urbis building. A number of weeks before the fair I spent a weekend in Manchester when it rained for much of the time. I managed to do a very “wet on wet” study of the Printworks which helped to capture something of the mood and atmosphere of the city. Along with the reference photographs, I was able to start on the studio painting.

Before embalming on the finished painting, I did an A5 study of one of the figures I planned to place in the painting, a rather portly gentleman sheltering under an umbrella. To make sure the painting was going to work, I then did an A4 watercolour on hand made paper with a deckled edge which I used to refer to for colour and composition.

You will notice of the photograph of what’s on my drawing board, a book on Adolphe Valette, a French Impressionist who lived in Manchester for several years and is best known as L.S. Lowry’s tutor. I went to see some of his stunning paintings at the Manchester Art Gallery which I have to say were a real inspiration. The moody, foggy scenes that Valette painted helped me to decide the palate which I ended up using which involved a greater use of Lamp Black than usual.

The small painting of the large man sold almost straight away when on display at the Buy Art Fair and a few weeks later I sold the large studio watercolour to a customer in Manchester which is also available as a limited edition print. The A4 original watercolour study, however is available online.

Comments { 0 }

Thames Sunrise

Thames Sunrise

Thames Sunrise

On Saturday evening I watched an interesting documentary on BBC 2 about the impressionists. I enjoyed it because it was refreshingly light and informative, not just about the artists themselves but about their working methods, techniques and influences. Towards the end of the programme, the presenter, Waldemar Januszczak went to London where Monet and Pissarro spent part of their lives painting different aspects of the city. Monet’s moody paintings of the Thames are well known, particularly those which capture low sunlight and I was reminded of my own paintings of the City of London.

The painting above depicting a Thames Sunrise was painted in 2005. I wanted a painting of contrasts, the linear form and structure of the skyline, contrasting against the fluid, loose washes of the sky and water. Also I wanted the painting to be full of light, not just from the sun breaking through the low lying clouds, but also the last remnants of the artificial light being produced by the city itself before being switched off to be taken over by the full light of day.

This giclee limited edition print has been faithfully reproduced from the original watercolour which was painted on Fabriano Esportazione, a very expensive hand made paper from Italy.

Comments { 0 }

London Eye

London Eye

London Eye

London is full of incredible architecture from so many different periods in history. The London Eye has taken it’s rightful place as an iconic symbol of the Thames amongst other famous landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge. It was opened in March 2000 to bring closure to the 20th Century and to herald in the new millennium.

For this particular painting I wanted to combine the new with the old and to create a strong visual contrast between the sharp, straight vertical lines of past architecture against the smooth, gentle curve of the giant wheel. By looking into the low afternoon sunlight, most of the shapes became silhouetted which gave me the opportunity to produce some intense golden colours for the sky.

The London Eye is one of two paintings I have reproduced as limited edition prints, the other being Thames Sunrise. The original will be one of the watercolours I will be exhibiting 4-9th July at the CastleGate in Newcastle as part of the charity exhibition titled “INDEPENDENCE” to raise money for OWN IT.

Comments { 0 }

Durham School v Rugby School

English Scenes, Football and Rugby

Durham School v Rugby School

My latest limited edition print is this scene of Durham School v Rugby School playing in the final of a mini rugby tournament. The inaugural Veterrimi IV Rugby Tournament, hosted by Durham School, took place on Saturday 23 October and despite the unrelenting rain, rugby fans turned out in their hundreds to be part of this special day. Durham School and Rugby School battled it out in the final, with the A J Dingle Trophy finally going to Rugby School.

Already 9 of these prints have sold out of an edition of only 25 signed and numbered, to parents of some of the boys who played that day, together with some being sold to the schools and members of staff. The print is available online, either unframed, mounted in a deep edged mount (seen above) or framed. It can also be seen at my studio & gallery in Ponteland.

If you have one of my prints of Durham School v Rugby School which evokes special memories which you would like to share, then please feel free to post a comment below.

Comments { 0 }