This is a gallery containing paintings by Robert A Oliver. Robert paints a mixture of industrial and coastal landscapes around the North-East of England. The gallery is constructed as a series of small "thumbnail" images accompanied by some background notes. Larger images may be loaded by clicking on these small pictures. Unless stated otherwise all originals are water colours painted on "Half sheet" paper, roughly 22 by 15 inches (550 by 375 mm). These original scans where made from the actual paintings by Bailes Printers of Houghton-le-Spring. The large images presented here are j-pegs coded to a target size of  100 - 150 k. More images will be added to this site as and when we can afford the scans.

All images on this and dependent pages are copyright Robert A Oliver (e-mail "").

Please visit the archive after viewing these images, it contains a further 45 paintings.

Click any of the small images to load a larger version

Disused Co-Operative Wholesale Society Building (Newcastle upon Tyne) 
The disused Co-op building was painted from a notation sketch done on a trip to the quay side market one Sunday about two years ago. There was a lot of activity about with the market stalls and traffic. All the surrounding buildings were in various stages of demolition, lots of scaffolding and rubble. Since then the whole of the quay side has been rebuilt and the Co-op is reopening as a hotel shortly. In this painting counterchallenging and interlocking light and dark shapes was the theme, with lots of verticals to create a busy but run down quay side.
A&P Appledore (North Shields) 
This painting was completed from a small sketch done while crossing from North Shields to South Shields on the Shieldsman ferry. A lot of this shipyard has been demolish over the past few years, the dry dock and surrounding buildings. It was a very soft warm day and I had just enough time to jot down the various shapes of the shipyard before the angle changed. The whole painting was completed wet into wet to keep it in soft focus so the structure of the building would stand out.
Redland Aggregates (Gateshead)
It was on a cool breezy day walking along the quay side when I sketched "Redlands". I had just made a quick notation sketch of the old disused Co-op building (above) when I looked across the river. What caught my eye about Redlands was the amount and combination of straights and curves which make this subject, for me, very interesting. This is an oblique dominancy painting, giving it a great feeling of movement and life.
Tyne mouth Volunteer Life Brigade Building
This painting was drawn on a cold clear morning in January as the frost was just melting. The light was dazzling bright and I loved the contrast of the long dead grass against the white painted wood building. The sky was so deep and so blue it was looking straight into space. The whole painting is that of contrast, the warmth of the grass against the cold of the sky. I love this building because it reminds me of Edgar A. Witney's paintings of  New England (The one in America).
Mick Hanratty 10 by 15 inches (250 by 375 mm) watercolour & acrylic
A mixed media and location painting. Having sketched Mick at home I transported him to the Castle stairs which lead to the 12th century Castle Garth (Newcastle upon Tyne). The location seems to suit his heavy overcoat and Russian style hat. I first painted the overcoat in watercolour, but it wasn't strong enough, so had to over paint in acrylic. I love the time worn steps and the way the building seem to sag and bend. The pessimistic pessimist's favourite saying - I was laughing tea-cakes or, I'd rather juggle hedgehogs. 
The Market, South Shields
Friday market day in South Shields, stuffed full of people looking for bargains, where you can get everything from a spare set of teeth for your grandad to a handy dandy I bought the company record cleaner that never caught on in the seventies. I tried to capture spatial sensations any of us enjoy in a market square. So much of the distant figures is left entirely to the imagination, with only occasional casual hints of distant shapes. The market square monument contrast strongly against the austere sixties flats behind. 
Tall Building, North Shields ferry landing
I've drawn this building many times and every time I see it I'm still amazed at how narrow it is. With a boat repair yard just adjacent and lots of oddments lying around. This makes for an irresistible subject to paint. Mind you, you have to be quick as the only way you can see this scene is from the top deck of the Shieldsman ferry, so I had to make a few passes. Thank God for  "Day-rovers" (a public transport pass).
Victoria Bridge (Railway viaduct,  River Wear in Washington) 
This is the river walk that leads from Fatfield to Cox Green, and then through to South Hylton and Sunderland. It was a cold but still autumn day morning with lots of bright sunshine. The trees were covered in burnt sienna and crimson leafs, shining after the rain. I completed a small watercolour on site to accurately note the colours, from which I completed a larger painting. The first support arches of Victoria Bridge (a railway viaduct) are just visible.
View the quest bookSign the quest book

For more pictures please visit the Archive

Please try the rest of my site by clicking here