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…
I do find the setting of the models at the life sessions I go to very uninspiring – mainly people sitting rigidly in a chair or stretched out on a bed, hoping to get paid for a good doze. Most of the problem is down to the organiser not having thought about what to set until faced with a group and model. In a similar situation someone turned to me in desperation to set a pose for a group on Thursday. They got the above – maybe more than they had bargained for (too many sharp angles and hands on display).
A number of years ago we had a model in Liverpool who had worked for both Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Now, he could get himself into some amazing contortions and hold them as well. Bring back Phil. I think he relocated to York.
This pose is more the type we get, though I did get her to look down – otherwise she would have sat even more rigidly looking outwards. I try to refrain from interfering when the pose is being set, as there is nothing worse than people calling out their preferences and you get a pose set by a committee which can be a disaster.
I am back to using acrylics after a spell with pastels. For the top two I started to use black to mix darks instead of a blue. The bottom one used blue as you can see. I prefer the rawness of the top two. I have been taken by the work of Crawfurd Adamson, whose work I have seen over the years and this has influenced my approach on the top 2 sketches. I have booked to go on a 3 day course with him in my old hometown of Hastings in December. I do particularly like the directness he applies his pastel and the interesting poses he sets. I am looking forward to it.
I am just completing my local series. I wanted some long format paintings and selected this view which I have painted before. It is the road out of Birkdale, across the low lying moss away from the sandduned coast. In the early morning the light is low and casts long shadows and concocts mysterious shapes in the distance.