Well, I did say I might do it. A couple of blogs ago I showed the mouth of the Mersey from Formby where last weekend we sat in the sun and ate our sandwiches with our French friends. This was the next day, in south Liverpool, looking across the river ( as opposed to the estuary, the day before). The weather was also different: the rain forcing us to eat our sandwiches in the car. Still, we had a walk and returning to the car the sun was breaking through the clouds in the late afternoon, highlighting the tops of the water’s ripples and contours of the exposed mud.
I wanted to do a townscape with a little more edge. This is based on Hope Street in Liverpool with a lot of paring away and more reliance on colour. I did the same scene in 2014 in a more conventional way when I started to do a set of Liverpool nightscenes. I exhibited a few but didnt get much response, though this one sold.
I feel the new version still lacks presence and I need to let go looser when building up the backdrop – so back to the drawing board, or in this case, canvas.
We had some French people staying with us at the weekend and on Saturday we all set off for a walk along the woodlands, dunes and coastline to the north of Liverpool. It was a warm, glorious day and at lunch time we descended the dunes and had a picnic on Formby beach. Probably the last opportunity this year to do such a thing. This was the view as we searched for somewhere to settle down to eat.
The next day the weather was markedly different as we walked along the Mersey in south Liverpool. We had to find shelter from the rain and had our lunch in the car. Though later in the day, as we were leaving, the sun broke the clouds and the exposed Mersey mud glistened, allowing the Oystercatchers to find their evening meal. I might have a go at that view in the coming days.
I went to a couple of life groups this week where we had just over an hour on each session, so I took my acrylics. The first two were done on Wednesday evening.
I think the first one was the stronger – maybe I was getting tired as the evening wore on. Also the lighting wasnt as good on the second pose.
On Thutsday morning, the next day, I turned up at a different group and set up. In came the same model from the previous night. I had a bit longer on this last sketch, about and hour and a half, as they have a need to do quick sketches first.
More paintings for the exhibition. I thought one of the canal might be worth a punt, so I need to chose between these two.
Though I may do a series of canal scenes for later in the year so I could always use the one left over, but – and here’s the good news – I will need a few more to make up a series. That’ll cheer the troll up if nothing else.
Back to the task of getting some paintings for the exhibition at Little Crosby. The Alt is a small tributary to the Mersey, opening out into its estuary, not far from Little Crosby. A number of boats moor up there. This one was done at sunset and is a subject I have painted before. I love the trail of buoys and markers down the watercourse and the reflections and patterns in the vast expanse of wet sand out to the Mersey and Irish sea. At present you can hear the sounds of migrating Canada geese as they feed way out in the distance on the sands. Looking the other way in the morning you get the view below.
The block of flats on the right is an eyesore and I blended it out in the morning sunlight. The houses dont do much either, so I kept them as simple as possible. Hopefully they will appeal to someone, as this is a well visited spot of wildness in a built up area at the north end of Liverpool.
Taking a break from my series of watercolours, I thought that I would do something with acrylics. I have to give an acrylic painting demonstration in Blackpool next week and decided to feature this piece which I posted on my blog some years ago. It is done with square brushes to block in colour and, hopefully, encourages looseness and produces a more painterly piece, which some people prefer. I like to have a run through of a demonstration to ensure that I can complete it in the allotted time and this one is a bit bigger than the normal size I demonstrate.
I warned you – another view of Little Crosby in readiness for my exhibition in the old manor hall there next month. This view is further back than the painting in the previous blog and is, as you can see, in a long format. At first I was going to leave out the modern house on the right, but the sun playing on the windows and the shadow cast on the wall was a delight. What I did leave out was the never ending line of traffic, although I toyed with putting a car in the distance, but finally decided against it.
As I said in my last blog I completed one project – now on to the next … . This is a painting for a group show in November. I need eight paintings for it and I already have a couple. The event takes place in the old Manor Hall of Little Crosby. This is a small village set at the northern end of Liverpool. So last Monday morning being bright and sunny I got up early and headed down to the area near the exhibition. I had to take photos of Little Crosby as this small lane gets choked with traffic on the school run – not a place to be painting plein air – I could barely cross the road. This will be one of two paintings of the village. I have painted the scene before and the morning light warming the faces of the stone built cottages – some as old as the 17th century – gives great passages of light and shade. More will follow.
The final painting of my local series on Birkdale is of the main golf course ( one of many around here). It had to be included in a series on Birkdale. I had painted it before, but from the outside and the 1920’s modernist style with its angular shapes is really set off in the morning light. This time I did it from the ‘playing’ side – so it had to be from photos – they dont allow riff-raff like me to trample over their lush greens. I wanted a long format to complement the previous painting I did of New Cut Lane, I posted last week and thought that the long clubhouse would fit the bill, but as you can see below, halfway through I didnt feel it was working and turned to a landscape format. Not too sure about this even, but that completes the series. I now have 14 paintings – so that should be enough. The exhibition isnt until December, so I have time to reconsider and change. Now on to the next project…