Painting the Toon – John Coatsworth

As I mentioned last year after visiting his exhibition at the Discovery Museum (it’s finished now, so if you missed it, you’ll have to wait for the next one), I’m a big fan of John Coatsworth’s distinctive bendy paintings of Newcastle. I still haven’t got round to getting the prints I’ve been meaning to add to my walls, but I have now got the book. And what a lovely thing it is, too.

It starts with a small selection of John’s earlier, not at all bendy, work, then moves on to the familiar images of the Tyne bridges, Newcastle city centre and so on, as well as some less familiar ones that were painted as private commissions.

And finally, there’s a selection of John’s more recent bending of Paris. It’s interesting to see less familiar locations getting the bendy treatment. In his introduction to the book, John’s friend Torquil McLeod says he’s trying to persuade John to try Italy next, and I have to agree that a bendy version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa would be fun.

This is great as a souvenir of the exhibition or as a cost-effective way of getting a collection of John’s work. If you want some larger or more wall-friendly versions, they’re available from a number of places, including The Picture Framer and More. That’s also a pretty good place to have a look at some of the pictures if you’ve no idea what I’ve just been going on about.