When I saw the subject of the ‘Time at the bar please’ exhibition at Yellow Edge Gallery, about pubs in Gosport, I got a clear picture in my mind of what I would paint. However, I had no concept at the time of how the painting would end up! One of my earliest memories of moving to Gosport, aged 6, in the 60’s was the glass canopy of the Royal Arms in Stoke Road. It was so different to a normal building and seemed very magical to me. So my initial idea was that I would abstract the canopy, the wonderful colours, the stained glass, the ceramic tiles….
My practice involves adding layers of marks, paint, ink and collage and I added layers of maps and text that meant something about the history of the building. It was famous as the submariners pub, who would visit after a tour of duty and that went in there. Slowly the painting came together. As it developed, using my intuitive approach to painting, a new picture began to emerge. Figures started appearing (see montage below) and I realised that THIS was the painting that wanted to be created.
As I added the text from the canopy, I realised that “And Spirits” was the painting, these are the spirits of all the owners, landlords, landladies, bar staff and customers over hundreds of years.
It’s all in the layers, in the colours and the items I used including a pint glass to make some of the marks!
Below is a slide show of the painting at various stages, some of these layers I really loved, but they were not the finished painting so I had to keep going.
The painting will be on exhibition at Yellow Edge Gallery, Stoke Road Gosport from 17 – 29 August as part of Hampshire Open Studios. It’s my largest painting so far and I am very proud of it, do come along and take a look at the exhibition. Take the link for details of opening hours etc.
Royal Arms, Gosport
Originally established in 1810, it was in the 20th century that it became known as the ‘Submariners Pub’ as it was regular haunt of submariners returning to Gosport after a tour of duty.
Glass and iron canopy was added in 1910 and was Grade II listed in 1983.