Recently, I was lucky enough to  feature in Maida Unveiled magazine, based in Maida Vale, London.

The article begins:

“Liam O’Farrell has generously allowed us to include two of his beautiful artworks, representing the Regent’s Canal (as reproduced on our front cover) and Avalon Flowers, a local flower shop on Lauderdale Road.

Liam is a professional artist, originally from Portsmouth though he spent almost a quarter of a century living and working all over London. These days he resides in the quieter corners of Somerset though visits London to paint and exhibit on a regular basis.

He has exhibited at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on several occasions. Also, annual open exhibitions at The Mall Galleries for The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, The New English Art Club, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, The Royal Society of British Artist, and The Royal Society of Marine Artists.”

Maida Vale and Me

Maida Unveiled Liam Ofarrell

There is something about Maida Vale that has always attracted me, and I can never quite pin down what it is. It feels modest and diminutive and quite self-contained. You just ‘know’ when you have drifted over the border into Maida Vale. Added to that, the path of the canals evokes a welcome piece of rural England ploughing through the metropolis. It’s almost magical.

To me, the contrast between the canal-based and land-based communities is one of the things that makes Little Venice so compelling. When I decided to produce a painting that evokes both communities within a single image the gods of art must have been on my side because not only was it not raining, I also found exactly the scene I wanted. The view across the Regents Canal over to Blomfield Road.

A scene of the Regent’s Canal

Maida Unveiled Spread

You can buy this painting here
You can buy a limited edition print of this painting here

In my painting blog “A walking and painting video tour of Maida Vale in London”, I describe the scenes of Maida Vale that I have painted over the years.

This part of the Canal is known as Little Venice. There is a bit of a mystery about who first named it Little Venice, but I have a canny idea it might have been a smart estate agent.

My aim for this painting was to capture two communities: the ever-moving canal community and the community of houses that populate its banks…

…This scene had everything I needed: the canal, the canal boats, some lovely buildings and some fine trees.”

You can see more about my walking and painting tour of Maida Vale here:

Avalon Flowers and Le Cochonnet

Maida Unveiled Avalon flowersYou can buy a limited edition print of this painting here

I also took a walk along Elgin Avenue, looking for a bite to eat.
A short walk away, I came across a lovely Italian place behind a flower shop named Avalon Flowers. I was intrigued as to why an Italian restaurant would have the French Name – Le Cochonnet (The Piglet). I never did find out.

It was a lovely spot, just right for a sunny afternoon. I sat outside to read through the menu and eventually chose the ‘ Social Grazing Platter’. It has loads of salami, vegetables and buffalo mozzarella with plenty of other goodies. I think it is meant for two people, but I had the lot to myself, washing it down with a bottle of sparking water.

Once done, I noticed there were a few hours left before I needed to head back, but, being too full to move, I lumped myself onto a nearby bench and painted the architectural wedge that is Le Cochonnet to the left, with Avalon flowers sitting in front. It ended a fine day.


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