Friday, August 13, 2010

Tourist pictures

Sunset, August, Florianópolis, oil on card, 12.5 x 10 cm SOLD

When I lived in London I had the idea of doing a series of tourist pictures.

These pictures would, in part, be a homage to Georges Perec's Bartlebooth, from, Life A USer's Manual , and a homage to the place itself (a slightly ironical homage, given the wryness or uninterest that those who live or have lived in London tend to develop toward the touristic places- a general capital city-dwellers attitude, indeed).

The pictures would feature the obvious places:

Tower of London,
Buckingham Palace,
Tower Bridge
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
St Paul's Cathedral
Trafalgar Square/ Nelson's Column/ St Martin in the Fields/ National Gallery
Picadilly Circus
Regent's Park
St Jame's Palace
London Eye
British Museum
The Albert Hall

Have I missed anything?

When I lived in London I didn't have the idea of painting little pochades, each taking a few hours at most, so the concept daunted me, and never got off the ground. Now, with this marvellous working process it is all much more of a possibility, so when I am next in London, in July, I shall pursue it. Ten or twelve pictures is about possible in a week isn't it? Depending on the weather, of course.

I reflect also that I don't actually really like painting in public places, because having to chat to others is often annoying, and this is partly why the run of my pictures are of out-of the way places. It is also because the views of historical sights are very often highly familiar, and it's difficult to add anything to them.

Often the idea of a picture is more satisfactory than the reality: you arrive at a spot and it turns out that the view isn't as good as you hoped- traffic or tourists of road signs obscuring the view. So you end up painting something adjacent, looking in the opposite direction, having been unable to match your idealised image to the scene in front.


  1. Gorgeous painting. I love the colors and composition.

  2. Thanks Diffident...I'm on a good run at the moment, I feel.