Tag Archives: John Martin

Painting of the Angel

Alan Reed

Angel Sunrise

In a previous blog post I described a recent painting commission where I was asked to do an oil Painting of the Angel of the North. As part of the project I decided to do a smaller study to try out some ideas with colours and cloud shapes.

This new Painting of the Angel can now be seen at our Studio & Gallery in Ponteland. As you will see, it is quite different from the larger commission and different in style from all my other paintings. The wings are made up of 22 carat gold leaf. This can cause the painting to look quite different depending on the lighting conditions of the room, whether the room is in natural light or gentle artificial light.

Whilst doing this painting I’ve been asked several times how to paint a straight line. The answer is quite simple, I use a ruler. The find out how you can watch a short video.

On this particular Painting of the Angel I decided to add a solitary figure to provide a sense of scale and heightened drama to the scene.

Although it wasn’t deliberate on my part, these recent works of the Gateshead Angel have reminded me of the stunning painting of the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by north east painter John Martin which can be seen at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. If you are in Newcastle and you have some spare time, the Laing Art Gallery is well worth a visit.

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John Martin Apocalypse

John Martin Apocalypse

This week I went to London to see the Da Vinci Exhibition at the National Gallery, (more on that on another blog post) but I also decided to take in the John Martin “Apocalypse” Exhibition at Tate Britain. This show was actually on last year at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery but I missed it. I almost missed it again as it finishes on the 15th January.

John Martin’s paintings were phenomenally popular. His spectacular paintings of Biblical scenes and vast landscapes attracted great crowds who would flock to exhibitions of his paintings to be enthralled and moved by the scenes and visions he portrayed. They would pay for tickets for the shows as the paintings went on tour, rather like we do today to see concerts or movies. Indeed, John Martin’s work continues to provide inspiration today for science fiction films, Hollywood blockbusters, video games, manga comics, musicians and artists.

I was particularly impressed by The Last Judgement Triptych depicting chilling scenes from the book of Revelation and the promise of eternal life for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The viewing of these three paintings was made even more relevant by a 10 minute light show every half hour with appropriate readings which I assumed were originally read when the paintings were first shown.

Last week I went to see the Turner Prize at the Baltic in Newcastle. The work on show there was about as relevant to 21st Century life as the Easter Bunny. John Martin’s paintings on show at Tate Britain are “right on the nail” today with the message they first communicated back in Victorian times. The exhibition finishes 15th January, so if you can make it, try to make the effort.


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