I was assembling some paintings for the town’s big exhibition which takes place in the main Art Gallery. I had a few lined up for submission but last Saturday I got a call from my framer who asked if I still had my painting of a wave. This was going to be one of my entries. I took it around to my framer who duly sold the painting to a guy who had seen it when it was displayed there in March and who waited until now to make some enquiries.
It was a nice problem to have and I thought I would do another couple and see how they turned out. Above is the first one. A second is in progress. I included some rocks on this one and really like their warmth against the cool colours of the sea.
It may be a bit over complicated when compared to the one I sold ( and displayed in February on this blog). I certainly liked the first one’s simplicity, which is maybe why it caught the eye of the buyer – see below.
I decided to work up a couple of my sketches into paintings. I used three colours again for this one of the Leeds Liverpool canal at Haskayne. I feel I could make it more dramatic and may well have another go at this one.
I do like the long format and took a sketch I published earlier and narrowed it out and gave the man a dog. He was actually walking along bare chested – but I gave him a red shirt ( I cant stand nudity at such an early hour). Again it was done with three primary colours and again it was of the Leeds Liverpool Canal between Burscough and Parbold.
I have been having more than the normal problems with painting recently particularly where I start a painting and abandon it or complete another version and come out with two paintings I am dissatisfied with. This one is a case in point. I had some images of a pack of Patagonian ponies squeezing through rocks and vegetation. I was taken by the forms of the horses as they tussled to progress and I started a pastel painting of it. To make some narrative of the image I obtained some pictures of horses in motion. However the group of equine forms soon transformed into a brown indulgent mass and I abandoned the enterprise. However the extra horses I had found had movement and strength about them and I decided to focus on these and here is the result. I still have a few reservations, but I do like the flow of the forms.
The heatwave continues -not good news for my garden – forcing me up early to explore the local area. I see these cottages when I travel by train into Liverpool and their shapes always catch my eye, so I set my stool up along the lane which leads to the railway line, As I painted a dog came along and attacked me, knocking over my cup of tea, and water container. It wasnt very big – just a nuisance. The owner followed and kicked the dog away and wanted some info on my website and prices – but as to yet no sales,
The next day I set down by the River Douglas, warily watched by grazing sheep – though none attacked. which meant I could drink my tea
. Wading birds stilted the muddy flats and squabbling ducks caused a heron to fly off for more peaceful fishing.
This is a bit further down the River Douglas . I wanted to get closer to the moored boat, but despite over half an hour of trying I had to settle for this original view. I have a rule where I dont paint things I can barely see, but after all my efforts and the sun getting higher, I let slip this rule, though with my telephoto lens I did get enough should I want to paint it at home.
Yesterday was spent manning an art exhibition I have a few paintings in. The other person scheduled to sit in failed to show, so I was on my own. There were not many callers and I spent my time painting this – so not all was lost. It was from a photo I took last year which I altered considerably, but I loved the figures in the dappled light and the contrast between light and shade. I was quite pleased with the result.
The exhibition is in an unused shop in town we are able to use. I have had some good results in the past, though so far on this exhibition I have only sold one painting – but there are two weeks to go.
You can just see the painting in progress on the easel.
The organiser was away for this session so I got the model to strike a more compact pose. It also helped that the session was not as full, so I was able to move into a better position. Normally at this session you can get there half an hour before the start and you are still having to squeeze yourself into the little space that is left.
The figure above was sparsely done, using the paper as a tone, but I did like the cushion she rested her arms on.
I did this in about 50 minutes in an evening session where they spend most of the time doing quick poses. I dont normally take my pastels to this session, because of the lack of time. Here I just banged in some primary colours and I was quite pleased with the result.
I normally do these charcoal studies at the evening sessions. You have enough time to make a measured drawing, consider your marks and develop tone. I also find the constant rushing of quick poses leaves me skittish and hyper, like I’ve just consumed five cups of coffee. So before I start these longer 50 minute poses I need to pause, slow down and consider, before I start a measured piece.
And sometimes you wonder why you bothered. Well I tried.
Another spell of sunny weather has made me get up early and take the paintbrushes for some exercise. Normally by now our summer has crashed into an indifferent greyness. I suppose this could be the upside of global warming. So back to the Leeds Liverpool Canal for this one by Heaton Bridge. I liked the interplay of light and shade and I could make more of it if I did it in the studio.
Another one by Heaton Bridge on the canal. I even painted my own car in the background. I had to duck in and out of the shade on this one, as I needed the sun to dry the washes before moving on.
And finally one from this morning. I took the bike and cycled around the lanes north of Crosby. Here is one of the many farms. Swallows gathered on the power cables in the dewy morning, but had disappeared by the time I had finished and lapwings made noisy overtures to any encroachers. Apart from that, well away from the road, all I could hear was the occasionally barking dog in the early stillness.