Market Street by Martin Whittam

You don’t have to be a Lancashirean to enjoy Martin Whittam’s quirky paintings featuring wonky houses and busy streets that we absolutely love here at Art2Arts HQ. After studying Fine Art at Liverpool Art School, Martin Whittam pursued a career in education, teaching for thirty-three years in inner-city Manchester, working for The Bahamas Ministry of Education and eventually becoming the Head of Art and Design at an independent Grammar School in Cheshire. He has now retired from teaching and paints full time, exploring every aspect of watercolours and acrylic painting. “Market Street” is our artwork of the week and we asked Martin a few questions about this artwork:


Martin Whittam
Martin Whittam’s artwork

Where did the inspiration come from for this piece?

I get my inspiration from visiting Lancashire towns and observing the people going about their daily lives. I also like to visit the local markets, enjoying the sights and sounds. Last year I started my own market stall at Makers Markets around Manchester and this is what inspired this painting

What is the creative process when creating your quirky colourful art?

Let’s face it, Lancashire towns can be pretty grim places, despite this, the people are friendly and cheerful and with good humour so I cheer up most of the scenes with bright colours and quirky people. I work from sketches of the scenes and people combining bits from lots of different places into one generic scene.

How long would this work have taken you?

The big advantage of watercolour is that it dries quickly so each painting is on the drawing board for about 2 days. The most time-consuming part is all the small details.

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