Sunday, 18 October 2015

A Life's Journey...

In 1945 I returned to London from a carefree childhood as an evacuee in Devon. The resulting culture clash gave rise to my first serious works depicting scenes from war-torn Bermondsey. These were mainly black and white pen and ink drawings on paper and were the first works I made on entering Camberwell School of Art in 1946. These continued throughout my 14th and 15th years.

Also at that time I started to paint the River Thames in watercolours. Since most of the male members of my family worked on the river and living just 2 streets away from the busy Bermondsey Wharves, this was a natural progression. My new city life both fascinated and repelled me but art school supplied the outlet I needed to express these feelings.

'Night Watchman' 1948. 24 x 20". Oil on panel.

Warming his hands over a coke burning brazier a night watchman guards valuable building materials by the Surrey Canal. Whilst much repairing of bombed buildings continued throughout the post war period, night watchmen were a common sight. Painted at the age of 15 while still in the Junior Department of Camberwell School of Art this was my earliest attempt in oils of a riverside subject. It was stolen from a gallery and is the feature of an earlier blog post here and here.

Unloading Casks, Rotherhithe. 14x12" Indian Ink and Watercolour 1947. Private Collection.

The wharves near Cherry Garden Pier stored a great variety of cereals, nuts and Sugar Barley. As a child I would wait for the dockers to go for lunch and receive for my patience a handful of Barley. The shoreline here was my playground, but so many children were drowned the London County Council distributed a poster; 'Keep Death off the River'. The work is my earliest riverside painting in watercolour and Indian Ink. Now in a private collection.

To be continued....

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Blackheath Art Society Autumn Exhibition 2015

Yes it's nearly here our Autumn show. A fantastic opportunity to buy artworks as unique Christmas gifts or just a gift for yourself! A great variety of styles and subjects awaits you at The Paul McPherson Gallery, 77 Lassell Street, Greenwich SE10 9BJ. The exhibition starts 20th October and finishes 30th October. Monday to Friday 12 - 5pm and 10am - 2.30pm Saturdays. We hope you can make it.

The Sailing Barge 'Jock' at Ballast Quay. Oil on panel 14.75" x 14.75". £285

Ballast Quay in Greenwich was a favourite stopping point for sailing barges and small craft as The Cutty Sark public house was adjacent!