Smoke-on-Trent


Acrylic on canvas
2016
Size: 600x500mm

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Above: “Smoke-on-Trent”

Good evening fellow distracted bloggers. Here’s another painting for you to check out, I started this in 2015 but it’s been a slow burner, something to do in-between other paintings I’ve been doing. You’ll instantly notice that – shock, horror – it’s not a comicbook inspired painting!!

“Smoke-on-Trent” is inspired by old photos I’ve seen of Stoke-on-Trent when it was booming and the pottery industry was massive. My painting features a lot of the landscape you would have typically seen; from bottle kilns to industrial factories with their chimneys pumping out thick ribbons of smoke. Another thing Stoke is (a little) famous for is the canal system which runs through the city and connects to other towns, I wanted desperately to bring that into my painting too. I liked the idea of of framing the picture within the picture, as such I’ve got big borders top and bottom, the only thing which goes outside of the border is the canal boat and a few extra chimney stacks at the bottom/front. I considered allowing some of the smoke at the top to escape the border too, but after playing with this a little I opted to omit that to keep it tidy. I’ve stuck to straight forward colours with very little detail because I liked the effectiveness of the simple approach. The canal boat is probably the most detailed aspect of the painting and I’ve called it “William” after a friends houseboat, and my nephew.

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Above: A close up view of ‘William

What does it mean?
Well, like most of my art it hasn’t got hidden meaning or messages, it’s just my interpretation of some pictures I’ve seen which depict Stoke’s famous history.
For the record, I’m not a natural Stoke-on-Trent born native, the city had no choice in adopting me when I moved here in 1997. I thought it was about time that I chronicled something in my surroundings in paint rather than staying siloed to painting things I like or I’m comfortable with. Stoke is a beautiful place and images such as I’ve painted aren’t that common anymore as it’s evolved into a lovely modern city.

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Above: The smoky factories of Stoke during the pottery boom

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my art. I’d love to hear from you and if you want to buy any of my paintings just get in touch and ask, I’m running out of space in my spare room with all the paintings I’ve done and have no use for.

The next paintings I blog about should be back in the comicbook mould.I hope to see you here soon for those.

Thanks for reading this and being distracted for a few minutes. 🙂