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Preston in the Picture: A View from Canada

Posted on - 2nd December, 2012 - 9:03am | Author - | Posted in - Photos

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A few weeks ago I received the email from Helen – a Prestonian living in Canada. Helen had seen one of my photographs on Flickr and she wanted to use it as the subject for a painting.

I’d no problem with that at all and as the week’s passed by I wondered how she was getting on but not really expecting to ever see the end result. So, it was a very nice surprise last week to get another email from Helen with a couple of photographs of her paintings. I think they are amazing so I got in touch with Helen to find out more.

Helen explained: “I was born born and raised in Preston, I went to St. Ignatius Primary School and St. Thomas More Secondary School (now Corpus Christi). In 1983, I married and came to Canada, to a city in Ontario called Cornwall, by the St. Lawrence Seaway. I come back to Preston as often as I can, every couple of years or so and visit my family.

“I have drawn and painted from earliest childhood. It’s one of those things that I have always known I had a talent for, but have only ever pursued it on a casual or amateur type basis, because an opportunity for an artistic career never presented itself and I guess I chose a ‘safer’ type of vocation, full-time mum and now part-time secretary.”

What intrigued me was how Helen came across my picture of the red telephone boxes and what made her paint it?

“I chose your phone boxes because I search the internet often for pictures of Preston and your picture was one that came up. Of course, I immediately recognised the phone boxes and where they were. I looked at it and thought about the number of times I had walked past them over the years, both when I lived there and when I go back to visit. The red phone box itself is iconic, it’s very British, it’s colourful, and in your photo, the evening light brings out even more colour than you would see in the daytime. I love it because it seems very personal to me, I know the location, and it’s even a wet evening, so typical of Preston! What else can one say, your photo is brilliant.”

You can see the original photograph on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pjmimages/4805897905/in/set-72157594393129410

I think Helen has done a fantastic job with the picture and I was a bit surprised to hear that Helen doesn’t sell her paintings – it’s just something she loves doing. If you want see more of Helen’s paintings there is a web site that her daughter has just created and this is the link: http://helenjames.weebly.com/

Paul Melling [paulmellingphotography]

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