Mellor artist Carl Longmate captures snapshots of our busy world

Mellor Summer Fair

Mellor Summer Fair - Credit: Archant

When walking through a busy city or town centre, most of us don’t pause to look around and see what is happening. We are focused on where we need to go.


Stockport - Credit: Archant

For Mellor-based artist, Carl Longmate, this isn’t the case. You’ll often find him in a doorway or shelter capturing a snapshot of our busy lives in his colourful oil paintings.

Market Street, Manchester

Market Street, Manchester - Credit: Archant

‘I love working outside, there is always so much going on. I paint quickly, as everything moves so fast. Essentially, whatever comes out of my head transfers to my hand and that is what you see. There is no lengthy thought process or neatness, which is the opposite of what I have been taught!’

Originally from Manchester, Carl trained in art school before going on to become a finished artist working in advertising. ‘My pre-diploma in art school was an excellent grounding. I trained in everything, but it couldn’t have prepared me for the fast-paced workload in advertising. A project in college may have taken 12 weeks; on my first day here I was expected to have five portfolio projects completed by lunchtime. This is where my speed developed.’

A career in advertisement moved to selling corporate interiors as an advanced solutions consultant at major furniture company. ‘I worked around the world, living in America and Europe. I had to hold presentations, draw out ideas with calligraphy pens on windows – which makes you think differently, but I carried on painting.’

Carl has painted full time for two years now. But how did he end up painting on the streets of Cheshire and Manchester? ‘A few summers ago, it rained non-stop. I couldn’t go outside and paint, so I jumped on the train with my paint and headed to Manchester. I got off at Piccadilly Station, and throughout the day made my way down to Market Street. I had so many great views, and I sheltered from the rain in doorways.’

Carl’s paintings vary, from a handful of people in Piccadilly Gardens or outside a shop, up to 50 passer-bys on Market Street all immortally captured in oil paint. His works, influenced by the Scottish Colourists and their hyper-realism style of painting, always have vivid colours bouncing off the canvas, and occupants within them often resemble cartoon characters due to his fast pace.

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‘I am a happy person, so I mainly create happy pictures. My favourite painting is the one I am working on now, but it is a secret. My style is a bit odd, but I like it. I never struggle to think of things to paint, there are a million ideas going on in my head! There’s always a story to tell when looking at people, the sights and streets.’

Where you can see Carl’s work:

- Jarva Gallery in Whaley Bridge

- Gallery 23 in Lancaster

- Entwistle Art and Framing in Macclesfield

- Gallery 23 in Lancaster