MAP ArtSecret Artist NW5

Artist's Statement

At the end of 2013 I was made redundant from my publishing job of 30 years. Suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands.

The Forum The Boston, Tufnell Park The Pineapple Map Studio Cafe St Luke's, Osney Cres

Knowing that I like big projects, my husband suggested I paint pictures of all the Grade II-listed buildings in Kentish Town, and I jumped at the idea. My working life has always involved working with words and, apart from a few short drawing and watercolour courses at City Lit, I have never had any formal training in art. But since childhood, I have enjoyed painting as a hobby, and I loved the idea of combining this with my interest in old buildings. The English Heritage website lists over 100 protected buildings in NW5, so I was going to be kept busy.

Apostolic Church Our Lady Help &
Falkland Rd
St Silas the Martyr St Benet's St Dominic's Priory, Southampton Road
Catholic Church,
Lady Margaret Rd
Greek Orthodox Church St Mary Brookfield Vicarage,
Fortess Rd

In January 2014, I began travelling around Kentish Town during the day, either on my bike or on foot with my dog in tow, photographing the listed buildings and monuments. In the evenings, using the photographs for reference, I draw and paint the buildings freehand on my iPad, using an app called Paper53. Keeping it local, I then get the pictures printed by Kallkwik, in Kentish Town Road.

The Bull & Last The Falkland Arms The Assembly House The Assembly House II The Bull & Gate

I have now painted pubs, churches, shops, numerous private houses, railings, gates and miscellaneous monuments of the past, such as the old cherry red telephone boxes.designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, and the green, cast-iron Victorian sewer vent pipe at Gospel Oak. Vent pipes were a common sight once the sewers were built after the Great Stink. Now they are very rare and until I looked for it, I had never noticed this one despite having passed it many times in my life. The same was true for many of the private houses, often so close to the road, that they are easily missed. Now I have been made aware of them and painted them, I hope my pictures will do the same to my fellow kentishtowners.

Blustons Bluston's spotted dress Camden New Journal Everbest Harry's Fine Food
Islip Street Fruit & Veg stall Jayne's Kallkwik The London Bead Co Morgan's Stationery
Thomas Brothers Tolli Patisserie TwoDoorsDown Truffles Delicatessan B&S DIY Homecare
Owl Bookshop Renoir Abba Electronics Ace Sports
I set up a twitter account and, to make people aware of my work, made secret postings of print-outs of the paintings to the private houses, pubs and churches. I liked the idea of being secret so that the focus of the project remained on the buildings, not me.
Kentish Town Sports Centre Zabludowicz Collection, Prince of Wales Road Postmen's Sorting Office, Leighton Road La Sainte Union Convent, Highgate Road The French School, Holmes Road
Rhyl School, Rhyl Street Gate & Wall, La Sainte Union Convent Kentish Town Police Station, Holmes Road Karl Marx's house. 46 Grafton Terrace George Orwell's house, Lawford Road
Kenwood House
Although the long-term project focuses on listed buildings, I have recently started a small project painting the independent shops and businesses in Kentish Town and Camden. This is to record them as the people of Kentish Town and Camden know them today but also to preserve an image for posterity. They will never be listed by English Heritage but they remain popular and well-loved features of our everyday lives.
1-7 Highgate Road Highgate Road Highgate Road 64 Highgate Road Fitzroy Terrace, Highgate Road
Terrace, Prince of Wales Road Terrace, Fortess Road Fortess Road Hawley Road St Albans Villas, Highgate Road
Terrace, Kelly Street Kelly Street Kelly Street Kelly Street II Ivor Street
The project has now taken off and I am getting commissions from people who want me to paint their houses or the houses of their friends. It started as a hobby but it has now become a bit of an obsession. I love these buildings. Most of them built many years before I was born, they will be here for a long time after I’ve gone. I want to honour them while I’m here, and I’m pleased that my work combines the new technology with the buildings and monuments of the past.
Kentish Town, October 2014
Leverton Street 1 Leverton Street Leverton Street Leverton Street 1a Leverton Place
Little Green Street Little Green Street 1b Lady Margaret Road 1b Lady Margaret Road II Hawley Road
20 Leighton Road 66 Leighton Road 22 Leighton Road 24 Leighton Road 26 Leighton Road
27 Leighton Road 37 Leighton Road 64 Leighton Rd 64 Leighton Rd 68 Leighton Road
70 Leighton Road Torriano Avenue 96 Fortess Road
Rebecca’s garden Lilies in June Sewer Vent Pipe, Gospel Oak Telephone box, Highgate Road Telephone box, Prince of Wales Road
Lamp post, St Pancras Almshouses Victorian Gothic bollard, Anglers Lane St Pancras on lamp post, Inverness Street Railings (detail), Leverton Street

For more information, commissions and sales... please call Chris Townsend on: 0044 (0) 207 9160544 or Email: