Painting the ‘Working Class Heroes’ of my childhood

After years of doing funny scribbles with a watercolour  wash I’ve finally got into painting with oils. As always, it’s people – rather than landscapes or still life – that interest me, and so I’ve set about creating a series of paintings entitled ‘Working Class Heroes’.

This is an attempt to re-create my memories of the working men of my childhood in the back streets of 1950s Birmingham. The cloth-capped men who worked in the factories that churned out goods for the world. The men who clocked on at eight and who worked until 5.30, often doing mind-numbingly tedious repetitive jobs. They were men who smoked like factory chimneys and liked their beer. They’d been through a war (or two) and spoke their mind.

Like the factories they laboured in, these men seem to have all but disappeared. By using old black and white photographs as reference I am trying to bring them back to life. My paintings, I hope, will depict them in their favourite habitat – haunting the smoky old public bars and pubs that have also disappeared.

It’s early days yet – and I’m still trying to find a style I’m happy with – but I’ve done a few paintings that I quite like, and I’ve put them below.

A Painting by Phil Mansell

Old Man in the Corner

A Painting by Phil Mansell

Cheeky Chappy

A Pint after the Day Shift

A Pint After The Day Shift

A Chat Down the Pub 2

A Chat Down The Pub

About philmansell

I'm a writer, photographer, illustrator and film-maker with a Masters degree in Multimedia & Information Design from the University of Wales, Newport. I'm also volunteer PR Officer with Newport Playgoers Society who own and run the city's 400-seater Dolman Theatre. I trained at the London Film School where I specialised in script-writing, directing and animation, and had three films screened at the National Film Theatre. After teaching film-making, photography and art, I moved into the world of advertising and PR and was a professional writer. My play 'According to Claudia' was selected by Newport Playgoers Society to launch their 92nd season. It won the Award for Theatre Show of the Year 2014 presented by lifestyle and entertainment magazine Voice. It has since been published by Silvermoon Publications and is available from Amazon. Other plays I have had published include 'Poor Yorick', 'Bunkered' and 'Caddying for Godot'. Previously my one act play 'Poor Yorick' was a winning entry in a competition run as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project and was performed at both the 400-seat Dolman Theatre and Blackwood Little Theatre. Another play, 'Bunkered', was one of the winning entries in a competition judged by Welsh playwright Frank Vickery.
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1 Response to Painting the ‘Working Class Heroes’ of my childhood

  1. Pingback: All Set to Publish! | Phil Mansell: Words & Pictures

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