interview with Leeds artist Gary Kitchen last year.
Now as is undoubtedly clear from that, both The Other Half and I like Gary's work. And when I wrote that piece, we already had two paintings on our walls.
Well, a third has now arrived.
Because, as a birthday present for The Other Half, I commissioned Gary to paint Wheldon Road – or The Jungle, if you're feeling rather more modern – the home of Rugby League's Castleford Tigers.
The thing is, the Tigers are, in the next few years, either going to leave Wheldon Road for a new home altogether, or going to see Wheldon Road rather drastically redeveloped.
So it struck me that I wanted to find a way, for The Other Half, of preserving it as it is – he has already bought a brick, which will have his name on, for either form of development.
He was – thankfully – happy.
Not that that prevented him from pointing out that Gary – himself a Leeds Rhinos fan – had painted the stadium from an away fan's perspective and that the absence of players was probably because the last time Leeds visited, they were defeated.
But he was rather pleased with it.
There is (remarkably enough) space in our office for this – it's not small.
But I love the way that Gary chose to show the ground under floodlights – and he's captured the light wonderfully – and without players. So before or after a match.
Do check out Gary's website and blog – he does, for instance, do some amazingly good dog portraits for any of you out there who are dog people.
It's been a fascinating process being a commissioner and discussing the piece with him – I'm delighted. I think that he's caught something rather special.
But I really do recommend his work heartily.
Go and look at his website. It's got loads of good stuff.
Here and here.