The 17th February 2018 marks the 20th Birthday for the Angel. Created by Anthony Gormley, the “Gateshead Angel” or “The Angel of the North” has become an icon for the North East, often featured on television when a reference for the region is needed.
Opinions are divided about the Angel but I’m in the camp of those who are in favour of this huge sculpture that welcomes those travelling on the A1 to the north.
I recall painting the Angel for the first time back in the spring of 1998 after visiting it on a very wet and muddy day. The site looked like a scene from the First World War with broken fence posts, large puddles and JCB tracks leading up to the dark, almost forbidding sculpture, silhouetted against the bleak sky.
The scene is now quite different as we are nearing the 20th Birthday for the Angel. The surrounding area has been landscaped and there is a handy car park for visitors.
Since 1998 I’ve painted the Angel on several other occasions at various times of the day, however 2017 saw me receiving one of my largest commissions to date. An exiled Geordie asked me to paint the Angel in oil paint with its wings filling the canvas, coated with 22 carat gold leaf. The result was one of my most dramatic paintings, the Angel standing proudly against a blood red sunset.
We’ve published the painting of the Angel as a limited edition print. Some of the prints are on paper and some are on canvas where I have hand embellished the wings with the same Gold Leaf used on the original oil painting. These hand embellished prints of the Angel also have areas that have been hand painted with oils making them original prints.
I’ve made a short video on YouTube of me applying the Gold Leaf to the wings of the Angel using the same method as on the prints so you can see the process.
You can see all my prints of the Gateshead Angel online at alanreed.com or by visiting our Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.