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  • Writer's pictureStuart Jarvis

Concrete Chronicles no.7

Hello and a warm welcome to all my new subscribers! I'm thrilled to have you join this creative journey. I hope you find my musings as intriguing as the artwork I create. Don't forget to check out my previous blogs for more insights into my artistic adventures.

Also, congratulations to the winner of my recent print giveaway! ( I can't give the winner's name out without their consent, sorry) For those who didn't win, you'll have many more opportunities — I'll be hosting another giveaway in the next few weeks, this time featuring an original piece of my work. Stay tuned!

In today's blog, I want to take you on a journey beneath my Spaghetti Junction and give you a first-hand account of the work I create and, more importantly, why I create it. Complete with images from the day, you'll get a real sense of what it's like.

Chaos & Contrasts

I ventured to Salford Circus roundabout, a massive roundabout directing traffic in six or seven directions. Below the road level and supported by towering pillars, it creates a unique and often overlooked urban landscape.

Armed with piles of charcoal, ink, and a giant ream of paper, my mission was to find a method of working that immersed me both physically and mentally, to make the most accurate and honest observation.

Rather than using a traditional easel or drawing board, I chose one of these colossal pillars as my surface to work on. This approach not only posed a physical challenge but also connected me more intimately with the environment. The constant hum of traffic, the occasional blare of horns, and the revving of engines provided a chaotic symphony that contrasted starkly with the solitude beneath the towering structures. This strange, purposeless space was to be my studio for the next three hours.

The Sensory Experience

This was never about creating a polished piece to frame and sell. It was about the experience—the raw, sensory immersion into the space. I picked my spot and began by plotting lines, trying hard not to feel overwhelmed by the scale, discovering an intriguing composition that juxtaposed sweeping roads with dark tonal crevices and complex architectural elements. The massive concrete structures, silhouetted against a slate-grey sky, were punctuated by bright graffiti nearer to the ground.

The Creative Process

I blocked in large swathes of tone with ink, letting it dry before layering expressive strokes of charcoal over the surface. White chalk served to balance the composition, highlighting lighter values against the dark. The process was immersive, and time slipped away unnoticed. It was liberating, and I found the connection I was looking for.

The drawing was a real challenge, not least because of the bumps and hollows on the concrete column but also grappling with the scale and curved surface.

Many people came by to say hello. Spaghetti Junction can feel like a hostile environment at times, but everyone I met was full of enthusiasm, which made the day even more special. One memorable encounter was with Zoe, a prolific graffiti artist whose work adorns many of the columns and the neighbouring towpath.

After three hours, it was time to leave. Frustratingly, I didn’t feel finished. Passers-by suggested leaving the drawing in place for others to enjoy, and perhaps next time, I’ll consider it. For now, the drawing remains a work in progress, much like the environment it seeks to capture.

Thank you for joining me on this journey beneath Spaghetti Junction. I'm definitely returning to create more work.

The t shirt is designed by Punk and Chancers

I hope this glimpse into my creative process inspires you to find beauty in the unexpected and to embrace the sensory experiences that shape our artistic endeavours.

Finally - New Project Announcement

I'm excited to announce my new venture with ThePrintSpace, the best Fine Art Print service I've ever come across, where I'll be doing my first print drop in about a week's time.

Mark your calendars because I have something special for you—a very important signed limited edition print that will be exclusively available to my subscribers for the first 24 hours. Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity, and stay tuned for more updates!

Until next time, stay creative.


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