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Painting St Paul's

I love painting historic London architecture and usually choose buildings that are in the East End of London and Spitalfields because I have a personal and sentimental connection to them. My family is originally from Custom House, Limehouse and Balham (not the East End I know!) and I have friends I am very fond of who live and work in the Spitalfields area, so I have an emotional connection when painting pictures from these areas.

I have worked in the City of London my whole working life and recently thought why have I never painted scenes from this area? I am interested in old London buildings and investigating the hidden alleyways that hide hidden treasure (not streets paved with gold, but small buildings that must hold a myriad of stories). I am also interested in the people who live and work in the City and I want to start painting scenes that incorporate places that are familiar to me and include the people who inhabit them.

I walk past St Paul's Cathedral several times a week and although it would be easy to hurry past I always admire how beautiful it is. St Paul's is the centre of the City and is one of the most famous and recognisable sights in London. The present structure was completed in 1710 and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the English Baroque style. The last St Paul's Cathedral was gothic in style and was sadly destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

Services held at St Paul's include the funerals of Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher; jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer; the launch of the Festival of Britain; and the thanksgiving services for the Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum Jubilees and the 80th and 90th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth II.

St Paul's has dominated the skyline for over 300 years and is 365 feet high (111m). The nearest underground station is St Paul's (central line). St Paul's is a working church and has hourly prayer and daily services. Tourists can buy tickets, currently priced at £25 with discounts for families and groups available. There is no charge for worshippers attending advertised services. Sightseeing opening times are Monday to Saturday from 08.30am (10.00am on a Wednesday) - 4.00pm.

Painting St Paul's is the most complicated thing I have ever painted, the building has so many beautiful details that I wanted to include and as usual it was busy in the area so there were people walking in various directions, including several on skateboards! This painting sold at the Townhouse Summer Exhibition 2023.


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