If you walk further towards Liverpool from the Fisherman’s Path – the subject of my previous blog- you get through the pine forest and meet this rutted track which skirts between scrub and farmland and if you turn right at the end  you can get you back to the beach. As I am still building up paintings for my exhibition in April I thought I would play around with  watercolour textures using this scene.

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P1020414(1)Being a sort of  obsessive I do paintings over and over again. This is the latest version of this path which connects the north end of Formby with the sea via the pinewoods and skirting one of the many golf courses here. I am beginning to feel a bit satisfied with the outcome. I initially went in with warm red, blue and yellow and mixed the colours all over the paper, spraying and mixing the quite strong colours. Then, when dry I rewet some of the paper with spray and mixed in the foliage, extending the trunks at the same time. I am pleased with the effect of the light even though I have painted over the whole paper. On a previous edition I deliberately left the area of the sun white, yet it doesn’t have the same impact of lightness – see below.

Also the trees on the right now have more vitality and their warmness complements the colder colours on the left. I feel there is a greater sense of mystery in the new painting.


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I was just playing around with textures using cellophane and scratching to do this sketch of a drainage ditch across the moss where I live. I was also looking at using foreground vegetation  as a point of  focal  interest.


In this second image I have used ink against a couple of washes  that have been applied and allowed to dry. I rewet the top quarter of the paper and ran the ink down so part was against a dry side and part was into the wet paper (the image was turned 90 degrees to that shown here) and I  let the ink do its thing. I think I could add more water to the ink and get some greater tonal variation in it.

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P1020411(1)A local painting club has asked me to demonstrate a floral watercolour next week , so I just tried out this painting of roses which I did from three photos. I need to be able to do it in two hours and probably they’ll stop  for a cup of tea  in the middle so painting time might be reduced to 90 minutes. I like to try it out so I know I can do it in the time. I will use more lemon yellow next time for the flowers and rearrange the leaves a little so I get a better feeling of depth.

I was once asked to paint a landscape for a Rotary Club meeting. Near to the day of the meet the man who arranged it let slip that they gave about 20 minutes for the talk. I then pared down the  demo and on the day did the painting in 19 minutes and they seemed to like the result!

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P1020413(1)I was going to do this as a mixed media piece with pastels, similar to an earlier one of waves I did, but as I started painting I wondered whether it could be all done in watercolour, so this is the result. Using pastels allows a more gestural approach with the mark making which I suppose is more reflective of the restlessness of the sea, so I am wondering if this is a little static. I’ll ponder a little further.

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P1020405(1)From one of the sketches  in my previous post I developed this image of the low lying land behind the town where I live. I wanted to capture the spirit of the place with its expanse of lonely flatness and some of the flora which breaks back into this reclaimed land. I opted for a little more colour in the background washes in this piece  and wonder whether I have overdone it a bit, but I need to move on as exhibitions loom and other paintings need to get painted. So I’ll leave this alone for a while and see what I feel about it in a week or two.

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P1020404(1)This is a subject I’ve done before but I was playing around with watercolour textures and wanted an image to practise on.

P1020403(1)Another sketch, but this time in acrylics. I am needing to get some more landscape paintings of the area and wanted a slightly less traditional approach, but encompassing the feelings of the area. I am having a go at a bigger version of this as I write, so it will be appearing here shortly, for better or for worse.

Other landscapes for sale are available on my website:


p10204001Needing a couple of paintings for another exhibition I decided to do one of the locale. This is part of the main Street here in Southport with its covered walkway and Victorian facades, although some of the buildings down this end have a distinctive art deco feel. The tower belongs to the long defunct railway station that ran a line back down towards Liverpool. I frequently cycle up the path of the old line when out looking for topics to paint. The old station is now yet another hotel. I love the view looking into the light, which you only get in the winter months, here. At other times the sun is too high and sets over the buildings on the right.

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This is my take on the state of football; its emotion, fervour and balance sheets which seem to sidestep the joy of participation and physicality that make it such a good game. I did consider including a group of lads kicking around on a piece of waste ground, but it was already becoming a bit muddled, but for me sport is really only about playing – rather like painting.

Other paintings on a variety of subjects  are available for sale on my website: