Inspired by her love of scooters Tina has produced this very British collection. They say life begins at 40, and on Tina's 40th birthday she had a Quadrotina party encouraging her family and friends to turn up as mods or rockers. Luckily no blood was shed and no deck chairs were harmed." When Vermilion needed a title for Tina's first launch party we didn't have to look too far. The paintings are detailed watercolour depicting scooters in front of some of Tina's favourite destinations.
Brighton Beach. This is my favourite painting from the "Quadrotina" collection as it is very special to me. It was my first painting and it is the painting I sent to Pete Townshend of The Who to thank him for the inspiration. Pete responded by sending me a hand written note which I have framed on my wall. I have consequently had meetings with Trinifold , The Who's management which led to me producing my official Who collection. I adore Brighton. In 2014 I attended " Here by the Sea and Sand ", a Quadrophenia symposium at Brighton and Sussex University. I met Franc Roddam the director of Quadrophenia and had chance to talk to him about my work and ideas. I also joined the guided tour and visited the famous Brighton scenes. And , Yes, of course I wrote my name in the Alley!!
Life is Grand. "I ride a GS scooter with my hair cut neat", Pete Townshend. This line from The Who's Quadrophenia album and film is the inspiration behind my painting. This is also one of my earliest paintings from the Quadrotina collection and one of my favourites. It just makes me smile. I wanted to express the joys of scootering and also to capture the feeling of elegance and class emanating from both the Grand Hotel and the cool iconic GS scooter. Furthermore it is true, "Life is indeed grand!"
Carnaby Street. Perhaps the most famous British street of the swinging 60s was Carnaby Street. The amazing psychedelic wall mural above the Lord John Shop shouted to the rest of the world "Hey! Look at us,we are having so much fun." Opened by entrepreneur John Stephen his cool boutique championed the mod fashion revolution of 1960s London. The Union Flag appeared on a wide variety of products to evoke the anti establishment movement of the era. However the patriotism created with the 1966 World Cup meant that the flag took back its original role in reviving pride in Great Britain. Today the use of the Union Flag capitalises on all things British and of course shouts Mod in no uncertain terms. I had of course to include a Mini in my painting.This very cool classless vehicle was the 60s must have car, nippy around the bustling London streets. The Modded up Lambretta with whip ariel flag completes the painting. This Summer to coincide with The Buckingham Palace Scooter ride out I held my first art exhibition on the hallowed Street. I am so proud to be able to say that Carnaby Street is now part of my own history. So inspired was I that I now have my "Cool BritTina" Carnaby Street Street collection of merchandise including British made cushions, quilt covers, wall art and Limited edition signed prints. Thank you Carnaby Street, I love you!
Granny takes a trip, Kings Road. Granny takes a trip was the first boutique psychedelic clothes shop on Kings Road,Chelsea, London opening its doors in 1966. Untill then this previously unfashionable part of the road was known as Worlds End. The shop quickly acquired worldwide acclaim for its outlandish changing facade.In 1967 this giant pop art mural of Jean Harlow graced the front of the shop at 488 Kings Road. I love the fact that the red sexy mouth was a tiny window,offering a tempting glimpse into the exciting interior, an Aladdin's Cave filled with colourful and exotic wonders. The following year this painting was replaced by the front of a 1948 Dodge Saloon car looking as if it was bursting out of the shop onto the pavement. The slim style scooter in this painting being lovingly admired by Jean Harlow is the hugely popular SX 200 Lambretta. This model was launched in Italy in January 1966 at around the same time of the opening of Granny Takes a Trip.
Ryde, The Isle of Wight. Anyone attending British scooter rallies appreciates the importance of the Isle of Wight in the scootering calendar. Always taking place on the August bank holiday the Isle of Wight custom show is a sight to behold, with thousands of scooters buzzing around the island. Until recently the international custom show took place at the seafront in Ryde. Many memories from this special place brings a smile to my face at any time of the year. I took photographs of this lone SX Lambretta on a Tuesday morning just after the bank holiday rally. Funny to think that just that weekend before, very same spot had been filled to capacity with hundreds of scooters and their riders posing on the green in front of The King Lud pub. Year in, year out we return to the great atmosphere from perhaps the worlds greatest Scooter Rally.
London it's quicker by scooter. Bit of an advert this for scooters being able to nip between the standstill traffic on London's busy streets. The clean red, white and blue Vespa sits perfectly in front of Tower Bridge. With many famous London settings to choose from, Tower Bridge had a clear advantage. I love the black and white publicity shots of The Who stood on the banks of the Thames in the 60's in front of this famous landmark.
London Pride. The initial inspiration for this painting came from the 1946 Frank Mason travel poster of the same name. The great Western Railway travel posters were a long running very popular series of artworks known collectively as "Fantasy Art". These beautiful prints were commissioned to uplift the viewer by offering an idealised version of Britain's tourist landmarks to raise spirits after the depression. I loved this idea and wanted to create a similar experience by suggesting an idealised version of The joys of British Scootering. This particular union flag styled PX Vespa has a special place in my heart. I have treasured photos of my son sitting on this very scooter. I have also memories of our family climbing and sitting on these lions at Trafalgar Square. I thought it would be fun to combine this iconic London landmark with its pride of lions with my patriotism for Great Britain.
Scarborough it's Cooler by Scooter. The double meaning of the hand written text on this painting will not be lost on any adventurous scooterist braving the ice and snow drifts still usually covering the Yorkshire moors on route to the Easter scooter rally at Scarborough. My first ever scooter rally was to Scarborough in 1990.Up until this conjecture I had attended only Mod rallies. My eyes were opened to as very different way of life. The change came about as I left my home town of Birmingham to study art and design in North Wales. The Wrexham scooterists took me under their wing and invited me along to Scarborough. This Northern seaside destination,regardless of the cold, will always hold a special place in my heart. This is my only painting which features both iconic Lambretta and Vespa scooters together.
London . Buckingham Palace. Rather an obvious choice for backdrops, but no collection of scooters around London would have been complete without a picture of Buckingham Palace. When I painted this watercolour in the summer of 2013. Little did I know it would indirectly lead me to have my Carnaby Street exhibition in 2015. I got the idea into my head that I wanted to exhibit my Quadrotina collection in a fabulous London setting to coincide with the Buckingham Palace ride out. I was given the incredible opportunity to showcase my collection at 32 Carnaby Street opposite the Shakespeare Head pub. So on Saturday May 2nd 2015 Carnaby Street was once again filled with the smell of two stroke oil and an electric buzzing atmosphere. I would also like to thank Kate as we had a new Royal baby girl born also that day. Not sure how many scooters actually made it to Buckingham Palace though, I think it was a bit busy! My exhibition ran for four days and I met some amazing people from all over the world.
Brighton, Pier. This is the third illustration from the official Quadrophenia collection. Once again I have used the Ace Faces' Vespa this time posing on the famous Brighton Pier. There is a very famous shot of The Who posing on Brighton Pier, leaning up against the intricate victorian railings. I loved the way that the shadow from the railings made beautiful patterns against the boardwalk.
Bexhill on Sea. On the south coast of England nestled in between Hastings and Eastbourne is the elegant Bexhill on Sea. Bexhill has a mixture of fabulous Victorian and Edwardian architecture as well as one of my favourite British buildings of the Art Deco period. I adore Art Deco and for me the famous iconic De La Warr Pavilion is one of the best examples of British Modernist style. I love the feel of this building with sweeping staircases bathed in light and fantastic views of the English channel. The pavilion has a fabulous dedication to modern and contemporary art always displaying refreshing and exciting new exhibitions. One of my favourites was artist Richard Wilson installing a full sized replica coach teetering over the edge of the roof playing homage to one of my all time favourite classic films The Italian Job. This fun,ambitious project was titled " Hang on a minute lads I've got a great idea!" My own great idea was to pose a shapely L I series 2 Lambretta in front of this majestic modernist iconic building. Admittedly not quite as dramatic but the juxtaposition of these classic beauties makes me smile. Artistically I feel that the rounded curvaceous front mudguard and the waves of the side panels on this gorgeous scooter complement the glory of the De La Warr Pavilion perfectly. It is one of my ambitions to hold my own art exhibition in this fabulous building.
London .Battersea. This was a painting I produced as part of my Official Who collection. The scooter is Jimmy's Lambretta from the film Quadrophenia. The original double album with black and white photography featured a street with Battersea Power Station in the background. Battersea was also the home of The Who's recording studios, so A perfect backdrop for this urban setting . I decided to place the scooter on Chelsea Bridge as this also appears in the film Quadrophenia with scooters driving over it at night.
London Eye. See it by Scooter. I travelled around London in the spring of 2012 to choose my destinations which would be the backdrops to my scooter collection in most cases I opted for the traditional iconic buildings such as Trafalgar Square Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge but I couldn't resist the title London Eye, see it by scooter. The view looking up at the London Eye from my Southbank position was beautiful with the parade of trees in full spring blossom.There were also a few scooters parked here which made this very recognisable piece of modern engineering well deserving of a portrait. This was all before the Queens golden Jubilee and the successes of the British Olympic games.Who knew what joys London was about to showcase to the rest of the world in what proved to be a very exciting year. In this painting I decided to offset the circle of the eye with a dramatic grouping of three classic Lambrettas all posing in style.
London Calling Although I am a "Northern Soul" I do love to pop down to our capital City when ever possible. I became a mod in 1981 towards the end of the 79 revival. Initially gripped by The Jam, Secret Affair and the Mods May Day album I quickly discovered my love of R&B music and original 60s mod sounds. I became obsessed with London groups The Who and the Small Faces. I still get goosebumps everytime I hear the intro to " Tin Soldier "by the Small Faces. As a teenager growing up I remember London feeling a million miles away. I would cherish my rare visits but would always feel disappointed that I had missed the boat . Carnaby street did it's best by having pastel coloured paving slabs but it was a far cry from The Swinging Sixties of my idealised imagination. The song London calling by the Clash 1979 seemed to me to be the anthem of 2012 when the eyes of the world were set firmly on London for the Queen's Coronation Festival. This was followed of course by the incredible Olympics and Paralympics . I will never forget the joyous opening and closing ceremonies, my favourite memories being of course the scooters careering around and The Who performing live. My favourite connections with this painting now are the amazing people I have met through my exhibitions who have purchased this image. I am proud to say this print is hung on walls around the World , Wow!
London Eye 2. When taking photographic reference for my London Eye painting I couldn't decide which angle to use. I quite liked the view from across the Thames and felt this background was more urban than my Southbank painting with the parade of trees in full blossom. I loved this white Lambretta with the simple mod target design on the horn casting and front panels . I think the circular target design mirrored within the circle of The London Eye is quite effective.
The Quadrotina collection of Limited Edition Fine Art Prints are Available from
Vermilion Galleries, Knutsford Cheshire
Vermilion Galleries, Knutsford Cheshire
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