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Group Critique of Beacon Centre 6ft Canvases. Part 2/3

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

P Picasso

This is a continuation of the critique.

Glen’s work uses what remains of the Lloyds of London Hailing Station which juts out to sea near the North Shields Fish Quay. It was used to asertain each ship’s cargo and destination for the Lloyd’s Register of Shipping. Closing in 1969 the jetty struts are all that remain, provoding a perching place for birds.

Historic photo of Lloyds Hailing Station

Glen has sketched in his layout and explained how he has been working to produce a weathered wood finish on the crumbling jetty struts. He is going to use a collage of sonar readings to create the sky. For the shoreline he is going to collage from a series of photos he has taken of the stones and pebbles surrounding the base of the jetty.

Su informed the group that she took a long time to settle on an image for her canvas. Initially drawn to a well known 1980 photo of a North Shields Fisherman by Nick Hedges, however after trying a reproduction of it in pastel, she decided not to use this for her large canvas. She tried several other ideas including a set of steps that go from the High-light level down to the Fish Quay and old theatres in North Shields, to finally settling on one of the crumbling old mill at Billy Mill next to what would have been a brand new-build house in the 1960’s. Although her source photo shows the new house and the Mill in black and white on a typical sort of day, Su is going to show the sky as a much darker one, where the darkness will envelop the mill, fortelling it’s destruction.

Studio wall showing preliminary ideas.
Sorting out the catch on deck. 1980. by Nick Hedges

Rowena explained that as a girl growing up in Blakelaw in the West End of Newcastle she had happy memories of coming with her family to the Fish Quay to look at the boats, the view and eat fish and chips.

On a more recent trip with her own son, who has recently changed career direction from acting to joining the Police Force, she took some images of him looking out to sea, as if gazing towards his own future. Combining her son and the seascape of the Fish Quay area she decided to extend her collage work to her 6ft canvas. She has used magazine clippings (including one of a policeman’s helmet) on the body of her son, as well as newspaper which she colours by hand.

Rowena cited Robin Brooks, an american artist residing in Maine, as inspiration for the style of collage she is using in this piece. I can appreciate the tonal range used in Brooks sky and the elements of yellow are echo’d in Rowena’s work.

This critique will conclude with 3/3.


Published by stweddle

Living in Newcastle I have access to great landscape; sea, urban, country and city which I am continually inspired by. Starting my artistic qualification in my 50's allows me the benefit of long years admiring others art and a burning need to create my own.

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