Caledonian artist attempting to paint 100 London pubs

Caledonian-based artist Francisco wants to paint 100 London pubs

Caledonian-based artist Francisco wants to paint 100 London pubs - Credit: Julius Lawless-Master

A Caledonian-based artist whose artwork regularly features locations in Islington is attempting to paint 100 London pubs.

Francisco Gutierrez, 59, has completed 52 paintings of pubs in the capital, with these including establishments in Islington such as The Dame Alice Owen and King's Head Theatre Pub.

He started painting pubs after moving to London from his homeland Chile in 2004 and expects to reach his target “in a few years”.  

Francisco said: “When I arrived in London, I immediately went into the city and I was amazed by the beauty of the pubs, their decorations and architecture.

“It’s a lot different from my country where bars and pubs aren’t very nice places normally.

“All I had with me was my luggage, pens and a notebook so I started sketching them in ink and painted them once I was able to get watercolours.

“I discovered that people liked them so I continued and because I was finding more and more pubs I became fascinated by them.”

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Francisco’s interest in pubs was sparked partly by his career as an architect, however, he found this “quite stressful” and gave up his job in 2019 to focus on painting.

He said: “I never think about time when it comes to painting, unless it’s a commission. I enjoy that, it’s not like when you’re working for a company.

“Being an architect involved a lot of sitting behind a computer which can be boring. Painting is my passion.

In addition to pubs, Francisco paints cityscapes and natural landscapes, with some of this work featuring locations in Islington such as the New River Path and Culpeper Community Garden.

He explained that Islington’s community has been receptive to his artwork, with residents writing to him to recommend pubs and providing historical information about them.

Francisco also receives regular visits to his studio and held a small exhibition in Kentish Town last February. 

The pub he plans to paint next is The Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar on St. Paul’s Road.