Being what was once known as a “commercial artist” in my working life I have painted various subjects for many years as a hobby, some with success, others not so, now you can be the judge.

For many years I sold my paintings through the Luvane Gallery in Goodall Street which was housed in a building that I knew well, Walsall School of Art. The gallery was run by Nigel Tonks who later passed the business to his nephew on his retirement but sadly things didn’t go to plan and the gallery closed around 2012.

As much of my working life was spent illustrating technical subjects it will be of no great surprise to see this also crept into my hobby. Currently I enjoy painting steam locomotives and years ago I painted cars and was a member of the Guild of Motoring Artists. The Luvane Gallery sold virtually all I could paint on that subject, when the gallery closed only two automotive paintings remained, sadly they are now in my loft!

Several of the paintings in this category are included in some of the posts written earlier. After looking through many books containing black and white pictures of old Walsall pub scenes I decided to see what they would have looked like in colour, hence these paintings.

All of the images shown are the copyright of John Griffiths

Barley Mow

Above the Barley Mow pub that stood opposite St. Matthews’s Church on Church Hill and is titled “Shove off nipper”, the original hangs in Wetherspoons on the corner of Leicester and Lichfield Streets. Watercolour on Langton watercolour board.

Minerva Inn

The Minerva Inn on the corner of Paddock Lane and Union Street, based on a black and white photograph. Watercolour on Saunders watercolour paper. Original privately owned.

The Woolpack 1890

The original Woolpack Inn c.1890 based on a black and white photograph. Watercolour on Langton watercolour board. Original privately owned.dances-dining-rooms

Dance’s Dining Rooms and the Old Still Hotel, watercolour on Langton board. Original owned privately. This is one painting I always wished I had added figures to make it more interesting, looks very “flat”, some would be honest and say dead!

Bridge painting 2018

April showers on The Bridge c.1950. W&N Griffin Alkyd on board.


High Street in 1988, watercolour on CS2 board. This was painted prior to Asda being built, the only concession to modernity is in the bottom left corner where the canopy of Sainsburys Supermarket can be seen. Again, why oh why didn’t I put some figures in!


Smith’s Flours Mills in 1988. Watercolour on CS2 board. This painting and the one above are two of the largest watercolours I have ever done and both hang in my lounge.


The White Swan and Seven Stars c.1900, Bath Street off to the left and Dudley Street to the right. Watercolour on Langton board.


Mold’s Foundry from and black and white photograph. W&N Griffin Alkyd on board. The original hangs in Wetherspoons.


The premises of John Shannon & Son and in the foreground, Thomas Gameson Limited c.1950. W&N Griffin Alkyd on board.

Bradford St paintingJust fancied having a scribble a few weeks ago and came up with this, Bradford Street, Walsall c.1912, only a small painting measuring 12ins. by 8ins, W&N Griffin Alkyd on canvas. Not the best I’ve ever done but I enjoyed doing it and I don’t think it looks that bad.


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