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Share a Story Month: May 30th: "My First Bike Ride"

May 30, 2022 1 Comment

my first bike ride, a painting by stella tooth of herself in a 60s red dress riding her bike

May is "Share a Story Month" and this Friday, 3rd June will be World Bicycle Day. People artist, Stella Tooth, shares the story of how she learned to ride a bike in the 1960s, and the painting she made to celebrate the event several decades later.

my first bike ride, a girl in red 60s dress riding a bike, painting by stella tooth

Some of Stella’s work, as a people artist, is autobiographical. She looks back reportage-style at her childhood with the hope of evoking shared memories in the viewer.  This large oil on canvas painting ‘My first bike ride’ is inspired by a transparency from the 1960s and eternalises a milestone in any child’s life. 

Stella says, “‘My first bike ride’ is set on the council estate where I lived, where a gentle slope ran past a green from our garden gate. My dad spent some time showing me how to move off from a stationary pedal start or mount the bike from a running start.  And, of course, we talked brakes!  Then, when the big moment came, he held the back of the saddle and began running alongside me, with me shouting for him not to let go!

“I sped down the hill and, exhilarated, at the end of the slope, stopped, turned and realised he was still outside our house!  I was incensed and turned the bike to race up and tell him off for letting go - and realised I was cycling!”

If you grew up in the 60s are there things in the picture that strike a chord with you?  What about the Triumph bike, the green car in the background - or the red Clarkes’ shoes that Stella’s wearing?  Do you remember your first bike ride?

Please do leave your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Stella’s oil on canvas portrait is available to purchase online here for collection from her Ealing home studio (Northfields tube, Piccadilly line Heathrow bound or parking available) or she can meet you with it at a central London location. It’s also available to purchase online here as a Fine Art Print.

Click Here to see more of Stella's artworks

Five other Skylark artists have shared stories this May.
Go to our news page to read them.

1 Response


May 30, 2022

I love this painting, you have captured the 1960s perfectly and it has such a happy, carefree feel.

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