‘Paddington Sunday’

Oils by Michael Tracey - 1970.


The painting was completed in Windsor and Newton oils media and taken from ‘real life’. Several pen and ink with water colour wash studies were done prior to completing the painting (as shown below).


The view point was the balcony from Flat 11 at 21 Duxford Street, Paddington, Sydney, NSW. Duxford Street is the central roadway seen as bottom right to top left. Moore’s Lane is the small laneway leading to the Paddington Fiveways on Glenmoore Road. The Fiveways was a compilation of specialty book shops, art galleries, coffee shops etc before the redevelopment of the area. Redevelopment of the terraces houses and road infrastructure totally destroyed the sense of place, simplicity and dignity that the Fiveways once enjoyed. Afternoon storms gathered to the west of Sydney forming the skyscape for the work.


Figure 1: 'Paddington Sunday'


Figure 2: Pen and ink with watercolour wash studies for ‘Paddington Sunday’ - looking west along Duxford Street from 11/21



Figure 3: Corner of Moore’s Lane and Duxford Street from 11/21.


The painting was done on the ANZAC day weekend in 1970. Jen, Helenè and I lived in flat 11 on the fifth floor at number 21. I worked in the Town Planning Department of Botany Municipal Council, Botany and Jen nursed at the Scottish Hospital in Rushcutters Bay. Helenè was three and a bit years old


The painting survived the house fire at 11 Lerida Street, Heatley, Townsville in 1973. ‘Paddington Sunday’ won the ‘Best of Show’ award at the Charters Towers Annual Art Exhibition in 1974. All artwork had to be for sale at the exhibition and the price agreed set at $500. A similar oil painting I completed, ‘Venus Battery’, won the open award and was sold at the exhibition. The frame on 'Paddington Sunday' was about 100 years old when it was given to me by family member in 2008. The frame and the painting were restored in Brisbane in 2009.