Tag Archives: Millennium Bridge

Tyne Bridge

Tyne Bridge Alan Reed

Tyne Bridge

It’s not often that I post photographs of my paintings that are unfinished however I’m so pleased with the progress of this new oil painting of the Tyne Bridge that I couldn’t resist sharing the current status.

Last week the Tyne Bridge was deservedly upgraded to Grade II* listed. For many it is symbolic of the North East, representing the industry, design and creativity that the region is known for. Indeed, these are all themes that the Great Exhibition of the North have been showcasing over the summer months around Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside.

I have painted the Tyne Bridge many times since I was an art student in the early 1980’s but this is the first time I’ve tackled it on this scale. The painting is more than 1.5 meters in width and the main points of interest, the Tyne Bridge, the Millennium Bridge and the Sage are coated in 22ct Gold Leaf.   

Although there are still a few areas to complete and details to add, the painting is already starting to take shape. The Gold Leaf means that depending on the lighting conditions of the room, the areas that are gold really add depth and intrigue to the painting.

Last week I posted a photograph on LinkedIn of my first limited edition print of the Tyne Bridge taken from the former Gateshead Multi Storey Car Park. You can read about it here on an older blog post. It received some very kind and complimentary comments so I look forward to hearing what folk have to say.

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Kidney Transplant

Millennium Bridge, Rain's Past

Millennium Bridge, Rain's Past

In the autumn of 2006 Susan and I were filmed by the BBC for Songs of Praise to be shown on bonfire night. The programme was being broadcast from the CastleGate, the home of City Church Newcastle which Susan and I have strong links with. Songs of Praise wanted to interview several people from the church who had interesting life changing stories and they asked if we would share our story about how I gave one of my kidneys to Susan back in 2001. Susan had been going into renal failure through polycystic kidney disease. I was tested along with Susan’s mother,to see if either one of our kidneys would be a match, and remarkably mine was. Usually live donors are family members and because of Susan’s tissue type, the chances of receiving a kidney from a dead donor in the UK would have only been about 3%. A husband/wife donation is much more unusual. The operation took place on 27th June 2001 and has been a total success without any rejection. I commented on the programme the words of Jesus Christ on marriage and what I had said to the surgeon after the operation:

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”? “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate”. Matthew 19:5-6

I said to the surgeon who had operated on me that the kidney would not reject because it became “one flesh” with Susan when we married each other.

Part of the filming took place on Newcastle’s Quayside and they asked me to do some painting on location. I decided to do this view of the Millennium Bridge which I tackled in one of my sketchbooks. The result was quite pleasing so I decided to do this larger 16″ x 12″ studio watercolour which depicts the bridge highlighted against the backdrop of a sky heavy laden with rain clouds. I think we were spared a heavy downpour during the filming, hence the title “Rain’s Past”!

The original watercolour can be seen  at my Spring Exhibition at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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