I had to do a posed photo in front of these paintings this morning, to celebrate the fact that I have finally finished the commission I have been working on since January this year! It’s the third artwork I have been asked to create for Monks Road Records. The first painting I made for them was in 2016 and in 2017 I also created a painting for the cover of The Blow Monkeys album The Wild River.
Monks Road Records is an independent and artisan label specialising in vinyl and analogue, ‘Monks Road is a semi-mythical place where the artists, poets and craftsmen rule the roost’.
I created a street scene, an imagined landscape which is home to a community of artists and musicians. Having moved from London to Glasgow last summer, my new surroundings made their way into the compositions.
I love the architecture in Glasgow. On my daily cycle route to work I see beautiful derelict buildings, crumbling old warehouses and remnants of a once thriving industrial city. The great swathes of empty properties are a stark contrast to London, where every last centimetre of warehouse space has been converted to luxury ‘loft-style’ apartments. For me these spaces represent opportunity for creativity to thrive and flourish.
I was a bit nervous about taking on this commission at a time when we had just relocated our family, I had taken on a full time job and had no studio to paint in, and it was something different from my usual artwork. But it has been a wonderful project to work on during our first year in a new city, and I am very thankful for this opportunity. I’ve also really enjoyed using bright colours to paint miniature versions of album covers such as Blondie’s Parallel Lines and The Beatles Abbey Road, and adding some very mini portraits of Lou Reed and Andy Warhol having a natter on the doorstep.
The other very exciting thing is that I found out that the record label would like to use part of one of these paintings as another album cover! I can’t wait to see how that will pan out.