DEJA VU IN THE LIFEROOM – MIXED MEDIA

On Saturday I attended one of my, now rare, life sessions. I did the above painting in acrylic. I wasnt firing on all cylinders having had little sleep the night before. My sleep badly disturbed by the effects of two glasses of wine – and they werent big ones at that. Another of the displeasures of getting old.

Roy, who runs the session – mainly for pupils of his – announced the day before that we were going to have two models. My heart sank. I think this format rarely works, especially when you have quite tight posing times.

So I started the session with these pencil sketches. They were all I could manage in the 12 minutes allowed for each pose. The hurry in their completion didnt help my jangling, sleep deprived nerves and set me in the opposite direction to the calm meditative state I need to to paint and draw.

The acrylic painting at the top was done after the pencil sketches, in a longer session before lunch. The fellah, Ian, disappeared and started doing some drawing himself. The reason for him posing was never explained and we were left with Emma, which was a small step in the right direction.

After lunch I decided to stick with acrylics and found myself struggling, despite the almost identical pose. Perhaps my tiredness was getting the upperhand. The pose was set purportedly to allow some of the group to try their hand at portraits.

I asked Roy to get Emma to twist a little, but, later, looking back over the poses I realised she is sat in almost the same way for all of the poses – even her legs are set identically.

Well, it was a bit of practice and having a time limit does force you into working differently and focuses your mind , though on Saturday most of my mind had taken the day off.

Other figurative work is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

LORD STREET VIEW – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another in the mad scramble to get some paintings ready for a local show. This one is of the main street in Southport where I live. I think I have mentioned this before, that the low winter evening sun ( on the rare occasions when we see it) casts a golden glow over the shopfronts and lends a dreamlike feel to the street. I think I have captured that feel down the end of the street. I also liked the long shadows cast by the pedestrian and cars. In the past I have perhaps got a little dark with the buildings but hopefully, this time, have dodged that particular pitfall.

Yesterday I put this in our pop-up gallery off this very street, but I will probably move it to my solo exhibition at my framers, if and when he lets me start. I want a body of paintings of local scenes and this really fits the bill. Normally I would have high hopes for it, but slow sales at our pop-up gallery have dented my confidence of late.

Other townscapes and local views are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

DAY’S END AT THE END OF THE PIER – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This was the subject of my second ever post. It is a view of part of our pier at Southport. As the beach faces in a westerly direction you can get some great sunsets like this one.

With our pop up gallery suddenly and unexpectedly being given a months extension and a planned solo show looming at my framers I am in need of more paintings of local interest. This view is an image I have had for a while and I thought that it might make a popular subject. I love mixing the colours on the paper for the reflections and then tempering them with dry-brush darks. The only issue I had were the supports under the pier which always seem to look awkward.

The painting above followed my image, but I wondered whether I could display the painting at both venues and so set about doing a second version.

This time I thought that I would introduce the sun as it dipped towards the horizon and introduced the resulting reflections off the wet sand.

You can but try – they made for some satisfying painting, without too much detail -I’m just hoping that I have enough frames left for both exhibitions.

Other seaside paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MORNING’S WALK BY THE SARACEN’S HEAD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Back to the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Halsall for my subject. The view from the bridge over the canal by the old pub, The Saracen’s Head – which is out of sight, directly to the left.

With the light coming in from the left it almost silhouettes the narrowboats and other craft moored close to the pub.

I have posted views of this scene painted further along the canal from where the man is taking his morning constitutional. I did a sketch on the spot and then worked it up into a painting. I posted this painting in early 2020: Approaching the Saracen’s Head – Watercolour Painting In this view you can see the bridge peeping from behind the foliage in the background, along with the roof of the pub.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUN SPRINKLED CLEARING IN AINSDALE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A familiar scene in my local woods which run behind the beach. Instead of pushing the tonal range, as I normally do, I wasn’t as aggressive with the darks, particularly the background. I also restricted the palette to a violet/yellow scheme and nearly succeeded, before dropping in muted reds to further enliven the foreground.

I did this painting sitting in our pop-up gallery in the arcade last Friday. The shopping arcade now has few operating shops and footfall is low. I wonder how long we will have the opportunity to exhibit here. We sold a few cards and , I’m glad to say, one painting, though not one of mine. I was also in another exhibition as well, last weekend, but sold nothing. It dampens your enthusiasm when you see little return from your efforts.

Last Sunday was the final day for our exhibition in the arcade, but suddenly the group who were due to take over from us have apparently found greener pastures, in the local art gallery. I’m not sure if they are that green as I am about to retrieve two paintings from this gallery which have done nothing for the past couple of months. I will be collecting them on Monday – presumably to make way for this group. So the upshot is, we can remain in our venue until Christmas which means I will be sitting painting in the gallery for a while longer.

Other woodland scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE BRIDGE ON PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another painting for the upcoming exhibition and one worked up from a sketch made on site, along with photographs. This scene is from further down the same lane that I showed in my previous post, but it wasnt done on the same day. The day here was much brighter and showed off the emerging leaves in their spring colour. I loved the reflections and shadows in the ditch water, and the winter skeletons of the trees before they get clothed in dense summer greenery.

Also, there was a good place to sit off the lane. The road is only wide enough for one car and sitting painting on the verge risks you having to move all your gear when a tractor comes bouncing along, normally pulling an even wider trailer.

It maybe isnt the kind of thing for many people, but it was something I enjoyed doing.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SPRING ON PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another painting worked up from my sketchbook and photos in readiness for an exhibition at my framer’s shop. I posted the sketch earlier in the year after doing it. This lane is so typical of the roads which crisscross the moss behind Southport where I live. Rich agricultural land is divided up between deep ditches. I’ve seen a few cars in them, due to driver inattention or intoxication. You dont get out without a crane – always assuming you survive.

The roads – one of which you see here – tend to sink over the years resulting in roller-coaster ride as you drive along them. As I worked on the original sketch a couple of fellows came along on their bikes, past the houses you see, and up towards me. They were also taking advantage of the first good day of spring we had this year. They paused to see what I was up to and I showed them what I was working on. Apparently they had spotted me earlier on a similar lane, as I was painting another view. Now they were now on their way home when our paths crossed again.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE FOOTPATH TO HASKAYNE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another in the series for an upcoming exhibition. I’m not sure of the painting’s commercial potential, though I love the subject. Again it was worked up from my sketchbook and some photos and I took the opportunity to rotate the footbridge to reveal the opening at the far end. When I originally painted it, the view was more side on.

These splayed bridges are designed to prevent livestock moving out of the field , but give free passage to walkers. I like the light and shade on the footbridge. I used tinted gouache, dry brushed onto the foreground grasses to imitate seedheads.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A MISTY START ON CLIEVES’ HILLS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have an exhibition planned at my framers in December and so I have been going through my sketchbooks for scenes of local interest that I can show. Here is one I sketched back in the summer which I worked up into a painting. The colours were very muted given the mistiness that prevailed, and I have added more to the foreground to push the background back. I might darken the clouds slightly to bring out the sun breaking through the mirk. It certainly did that, as by the time I finished painting that morning, the sun was out and there wasnt a cloud in the sky.

Landscapes atre available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE VIEW FROM PARBOLD HILL – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This is another version of a painting I did and posted in January. January’s painting was part of a group of eight that I had entered for an exhibition that is about to start in two weeks time. Last Friday a lady from Scotland contacted me, wanting to buy this painting and four others. Having already submitted my selection for the catalogue, I had to get my skates on and paint another version. Unfortunately it was one of my bigger ones, on a half imperial sheet. This time I did it in portrait format. The first one, the one the lady has purchased, which I did in January, is in landscape format.

So today I will take down my eight paintings to the exhibition venue in readiness for them to hang and yesterday I sent off the five paintings to the lady in Scotland. Fortunately I was able to talk her out of receiving the paintings framed. I always dread sending framed and glazed paintings by post. Four of these were watercolours and sending four glazed paintings was just a recipe for disaster.

So after a busy few days I can relax a bit.

Other landscape paintings can be purchased from my website: grahammcquadefineart.com