Stratford-upon-Avon Willow Pattern

Stratford-upon-Avon Willow Pattern

Stratford-upon-Avon Willow Pattern

Stratford-upon-Avon Willow Pattern


An original painting in watercolour. Image size 238mm x 255mm on 600gsm Saunders Waterford 100% cotton rag paper size. Price includes P&P to UK addresses. Comes to you unframed.

A digital file of this painting is available for you to print at a format and size of your choice for £35. Read more…

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About Stratford-upon-Avon Willow Pattern

When I was a child we had willow pattern clock in the kitchen. I grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon and I’d often look at the clock wondering where in Stratford it depicted – the river, trees, boats, birds, and bridges were all so familiar to me. Later I learned the willow pattern was a stylised landscape made by 18th century English ceramicists from a Chinese fable, and nothing whatever to do with my home town!

A thought flitted through my mind – what would the willow pattern look like of a familiar Stratford scene in a willow pattern style? I had to paint it to find out. It needed to have all the elements we see in the willow pattern – a pair of birds, a bridge, the boats, a river, and instead of the traditional swallows, I’ve put in a pair of mallard ducks!

I chose a view not of the theatre or the church, but of the old timber yard where my dad would buy wood for his DIY projects, Cox’s Yard, which is now a bar. This is a view I know well – when I was very young we used to feed the ducks and swans on the Avon from this point. I fished for tiddlers here with a net, and in the long, hot summer of 1976, this is the point from where I went swimming. If you know Stratford, you’ll recognise this view – imagine standing on the riverbank on the Rec, next to the Boat Club. People who know Stratford very well will also notice I have put in the line of poplars which I loved so much, but which were (tragically!) felled more than a decade ago.

In the US what we in the UK call the ‘willow pattern’ is called ‘blue willow’.

The blue I have used is a mixture of French ultramarine and cobalt.

I hope you like my painting and it evokes happy memories of teatime at your grandmother’s perhaps?

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