“Wellington Lake, Roundhay Park”
Original watercolour by Glenn Marshall
20” x 16”
Painted on Saunders Waterford 140lb CP paper with Windsor & Newton artists paints
Roundhay Park is one of the largest city parks in Europe. It has more than 700 acres of parkland, woodland, lakes and gardens which are owned by Leeds City Council. It was officially opened in 1872 by Prince Arthur before a crowd of over 100,000 people. To celebrate this great occasion the city fathers commissioned the most famous of all Leeds artists to produce three paintings. This artist was the great John Atkinson Grimshaw. Now Grimshaw is most famous for his magnificent moonlight paintings or ‘nocturnes’. True to form then, he produced three stunning oil paintings but there was a bit of a snag. They were all ‘moonlights’ depicting the park at a time when the public would not be able to see as the gates were closed at dusk! However as paintings themselves, they are undoubted masterpieces. As a Leeds lad myself I have always been inspired by the man and his work. This watercolour is based on one of the oil paintings mentioned. It was called “Waterloo Lake” which is the largest lake in the park and featured a glorious evocation of the magical effects of moonlight on a scene. For my painting I kept fairly closely to the original composition. I painted the background in a single layer just adding colours at different times to get the effects I was after. Masking fluid protected the light on the lake so I could be very free with the washes. Wet in wet is a brilliant technique ideal for watercolour. By adding the same colour at intervals as the paper began to dry I was able to create these tree shapes….and the paint and wet paper did all the work! A few strong details and shadows together with the lady gazing over the lake completed this enigmatic tribute to a great Victorian artist. If you get the chance please visit Leeds City Art Gallery to see the originals and then spend the afternoon in Roundhay Park. Why not?