Oil Painting 53 – View from the oldest building in Oxford

By Rob Pointon

View from the oldest building in Oxford

I emailed a few different spots on arrival to try and get a vantage point up high so I could really see those dreaming spires of Oxford. St Michael of the Northgate were really friendly and open to the idea from the offset. Their viewing area on the top of the Saxon tower (the oldest building in Oxford) made a perfect studio space, which although open to the public I had largely to myself during the four afternoons it took to complete the piece. There was an initial visit which was a complete failure where after lugging all the gear to the top of the bell tower and getting everything set up the wind caught the painting and somehow the easel collapsed ripping through the canvas. I have never had that before. I thought it might have been Divine Intervention from the big man on home turf stating he wanted a bigger canvas for this glorious view provided. I felt like Quasimodo with my own space up amongst the pigeons in a bell tower, you walk up and up the tower on stairs that circle the bells. The pigeons rule the roost here though, plenty of artistic expression from them in and around the tower. Put it like this, I wasn’t worried about the odd splash of white paint being noticed.

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