On the subject of Liverpool – following on from my last blog of Sefton Park – here is my old painting of Hope Street and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. I have posted a view of this street before, but from a lower level. This particular view is from a more elevated vantage point, at the top of the steps of the Catholic Cathedral looking along the street, towards the Anglican Cathedral which lours over the city. The cathedral is set on a hill which looks down at the Mersey and can be seen from many parts of the city.
Hope Street connects the edifices of these two faiths. The Anglican Cathedral is big – the biggest in Britain – and was only completed in the 70s, despite its gothic appearance.The Catholic Cathedral was completed slightly earlier but is a modernist, circular building which the wags have nicknamed Paddy’s Wigwam. The Catholic Cathedral’s construction was delayed as the original design would have made it the second biggest in the world and perhaps was seen as too competitive for the Vatican. So the Anglicans won on size, leastways, in this city.
The tower of the Anglican Cathedral glowers over large parts of the city. Here on the edges of Toxteth it thoroughly dominates the surrounding buildings even though it is set back within its wooded grounds. It is most striking when a sandstone face glows in the sunlight whilst its shadow-side displays a thunderous purple- maybe some ecclesiastical message there for us, the great unwashed. Anyway, because of the dominance of the tower, I pushed the other architecture back. I also placed a taxi, blocking the pavement, at an angle to break the verticals. Perhaps it could do with a few figures?
I went to Durham last week to visit family and also to have a look around in order to paint a city scene for one of the new rooms they have added to their house. I thought that they knew what they wanted, but it was very apparent that they didn’t. We walked around the city rather aimlessly looking for scenes, mainly of the cathedral.
As I approached the cathedral close I saw the light cutting across the courtyard and with the figures coming towards me I thought that here was a great scene. Though I don’t think that they will like it, but it caught my eye and here it is.
Later, as we were passing their church, which is on the bank opposite the cathedral, the light was catching the building. Later my sister in law said she liked that view, so off I went to check it out. Unfortunately when I got there the light had changed and it looked rather flat.
So I didn’t get many images to work off. Looks like this one will be a long time in the making.
I went to Chester the other week primarily to see a contemporary watercolour exhibition, but the person I was with wanted to visit a sculpture exhibition in the cathedral which contained a work by the brother of someone we paint with in a life group. In fact they were dismantling the exhibition when we arrived – I didnt even know it was running – but there were still a good number of exhibits on show by many world class sculptors. Some of the work was displayed in the cathedral grounds and as we were walking through in the sunshine, there were people sitting in the sun, surrounded by the great pillars and walls of the building, taking a lunchtime break. I thought I might paint something from a couple of the pictures I took.
The watercolour painting was also quite interesting, featuring some local artists, two of whom I knew – and the day was glorious for a walk around Chester.