I'm a lassie from lancashire....
I was born in Wigan, Lancashire, 5 minutes walk from Wigan Pier, made famous by George Orwell in his dark memoir, 'The Road To Wigan Pier'. Many of the people he wrote about could have been my own family that lived and work in the shadows of those "...dark, satanic mills." My grandfather Ball worked 36 years in the mines, then on the canals, when all the while his heart was with the cowboys in Texas (he read 1-2 western books per week.) In fact, my love of John Wayne and all things western were cultivated while sitting 'watchin't telly' with my grandfather while drawing on every scrap of paper I could find. We lived at my grandparent's house until I was two, in a 'Lowry-esque' two-up and two-down coal mining cottage. You may think it was cold and inconvenient, but in truth, I never felt so warm and safe as in the arms of these frugal, strong people.
Blackpool Beach was our day out; the piers, the ice cream, donkey and pony rides, bucket and spade, seagulls....Those were the days.
(This painting is my homage to the good old days when you used to be able to smoke wherever you wanted (i.e., last year.)