More scenery

Continuing the travel theme for the panto. I finished a picture of the pyramids and the angel of the North.

The photos I’m working from are good because they have lots of contrasting orange and blues.

I’ve got the panels propped up on a chair with a cloth over it. This means it’s hard to get at the bottom of the boards

Anyway 5 down, lots more to go!

2011 mysteries

Ok  so I’ve found some more photos of scenery, this time from 2011. I think I was influenced by Van Gough for these. The harvest scenery was reused in 2013.

I hope the people putting up the scenery, the members of the cast, and my family don’t mind me using their images. I guess they have been shared a lot of times, and as this is 7 years ago they probably don’t look the same anyway!

So why Van Gogh…? It’s the energy in his paintings that I love, the swirl of atmosphere and emotion. Not all art has to be completely figurative or abstract. To me his work sits between the two. I dont know if the phrase magic realism even fits his type of art, but anyway, both he and many other artists from the same era, like Gauguin for instance, had revolutionised the way paintings were made.

I have to say I love the impressionists and the post Impressionists. As the society around them changed, they worked their magic on art. There are other schools of art, like fauvism and expressionism, cubism and surrealism. They all made a difference too. But I still think the Impressionists and post Impressionists are my favourites.

Anyway, perhaps I will stop posting scenery paintings…..

2013 scenery

Looking on Facebook, memories pop up from years ago. These pictures were taken in July 2013. I’m not sure if I did all of them that year. I may have painted over an old one from a year or two before.

As on other occasions harvest was one of the themes. Also the industrialisation of Stoke on Trent, when canals were dug out and bottle ovens and kilns were built. I even had to paint a public house. (With working door!)

I’m not sure how many years I have done this for and its always a bit of a rush job, or my health hasn’t been good. But I feel so much part if my community that I won’t say no.

I would love to do more, make the flats more intricate, more like murals. But at the end of the day they are only on display for a few hours, one day in a year. Just as long as the scenery helps tell the story…..that’s what they are there for.

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Play Day

Penkhull Mystery play day was hot and sunny. I missed the music morning in the church, but managed to watch the flag raised on the village green. The flag was chosen from a competition that was whittled down to 4 combined designs. The flag that won had the cockerel from the weather vane on the church on it, then an oval to to represent the roads up to the  green and around it.

Next came Penkhull village brass bands playing popular and beautiful music to the crowd sitting on the green in front of the church.

There was also Morris dancing by Black Dog Molly, and  a Hurdy Gurdy man playing ancient tunes, and a bower of song where anyone could come along and sing or play music.

It was time to get changed and ready for the play. I snapped a shot of the scenery I have been painting, but couldn’t get photo’s of the mystery play as I was in it!  It went well and we had fun singing and dancing for the entertainment of the crowd. In 20 minutes a group of children were transported back in time, became farmers, were involved in Waterloo, were injured. Had a child,  were evicted and had to live in a hole in the ground. Went through the first world war, then became Suffragettes, and eventually returned to the present.

Once the play was over there was time to get changed and listen to the Penkhull ukulele band, and watch the tug of war competition (only two teams entered from the same place as the other teams were too busy watching England play in the world cup.)

Finally I saw some short playlettes written for Harper’s Titchy theatre. This was performed as readings for two or more voices. It was very entertaining  apart from being drowned out by loud musuc from the pub. (Half time at the England game).

It is a great credit to the people of Penkhull to do this so well each year. I heard up to 400 people help organise and volunteer for this community arts event .

It’s no wonder everyone is so busy at this time of year in Penkhull!

This years mystery

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This afternoon (Saturday 7th July) I will be in the Mystery Play. This is the scenery that I have painted for it. The last photo is the two boards joined, the grey bars of cloud is not the finished effect because I decided to change them to flatter clouds. Unfortunately I could not take another picture because my phone went flat.

I have lost the book I was working from so I just tried painting cumulus and stratus clouds.

I think the looming clouds make it feel more oppressive. The play is about war, family, and woman’s equality. I hope it does work on the day.

Our play starts at 2 pm and only runs for 20 minutes, I think it will be good.

I am still here!

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Just busy at the moment. I’m painting some of the scenery for our local mystery play next Saturday. The theme is the Tittensor Evictions by the Duke of Sutherland, and including two wars and the suffragette movement all in twenty minutes.

The scenery is based on a painting by Corot. I think it’s a landscape in the south of France. I’ve added a thatched cottage and there will be figures in the foreground. This is half of the panel (or flat as they call it in the theatre) its 8ft by 4ft. There will be another panel of the same size attached above it which of sky. I’m also going to add the hall where the Duke lived to this panel.

I’m painting with acrylics and emulsion on hard board. This took me about two hours to paint. I also have a sign to do…. so I will be very busy again!

The Mystery play has been happening for over 10 years now at Penkhull. It started out being purely religious but has taken on different themes over recent years, including one about the river Trent. Apparently it’s the largest community arts event in Stoke-on-Trent and there were 400 people participating in putting it on last year.

It’s on 7th July if you feel like coming along…