My daughter and her boyfriend came up the other day and we went for a walk along the coastal path north of Liverpool. This is another place where the path brushes the beach – at the end of Lifeboat Road in Formby. What little remains of the lifeboat station are some well washed bricks down there on the beach.
I am a sucker for the broken fences and the shadows that they cast – perhaps I could make a bit more of them here. And with the windy day came the churning waves eating away more of the sandy beach.
I have been going through my back catalogue after the surprise sale of nine paintings. My framer should have six more frames ready today and I have some paintings to go in them – so we can bring the exhibition back up to 30 paintings with a few in reserve. However, I didnt have many larger paintings that I felt comfortable showing. I decided to redo a painting, but this time in acrylics, to fill a larger frame. This is a view over the Lancashire Plain back to where I live in Southport, on the coast. Just beyond these hills – and they are only small bumps – sits the town of Ormskirk, which would be behind the viewer.
Having got the exhibition up and running on Wednesday I tidied up my studio and got myself back together and decided on what to do next. This painting, below, had been hanging around and I felt it needed changing. I posted it in November and had misgivings about the left hand side.
I am certainly happier with it now and may exhibit it later.
As for the exhibition: I took 30 paintings for the show with 3 for reserves. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief after getting everything sorted out.
Then, yesterday, as I was quietly working on the painting above, I got a call to say one lady had just purchased 9 paintings. It made a bit of a hole in the exhibition as they are allowed to take them away with them. So I have been scrambling around finding more paintings and frames. I went around to my framer, but he’s got to order more wood. Anyway I was able to replace 6 paintings , so the hole isnt quite so large now. It’s a problem, but a good one to have.
Below are some snaps after I set it up, and before the shopping spree.
I need thirty paintings for a show in a couple of weeks and started getting things together before I left for holiday. The exhibition is based on paintings of the area around where I live. Most are in a realist or naturalist style but I have one abstract work and although I have some expressionistic works I wanted another abstract to complement it. It then takes the viewer on both a topographic and a stylistic journey. On the plane home I had an idea for something reflecting the canal where I live and do a lot of my plein air painting.
This was the result and may get further tweaked in the next weeks. I did do a couple of pastel sketches, but felt that they were a little busy.
This was the first one and on the second I decided to kill some of the blue
I liked the idea of building up the complexity in the middle, but keeping the outsides open and airy and decided to emphasise that on my acrylic piece. Perhaps I have gone too far now. I will leave it alone and make a decision later.
As I worked on the acrylic piece I started to think of the Nile – a little distance from the Lancashire plain where I started out.
Things are getting a bit hectic around here. I am off on holiday shortly and I needed to get an exhibition up and running yesterday. I am also just completing a commission that came in last week and when I come back from holiday I have another exhibition. This painting is for that later exhibition. The exhibition is about the local landscape and I need a bit of time to assess this latest effort and see whether I want to include it. I may be forced to as I need 30 pictures.
After posting a long string of watercolours I have accumulated some life work done at various sessions in the new year.
I am a little dissatisfied with my life output particularly after my session with Crawfurd Adamson just before Christmas.
The lighting in many of our local sessions is absysmal and the poses are staid. Trying to get input is difficult as the people running the sessions do not really want or understand the options possible.
I even gave two of the session leaders at different groups a book of poses to help stimulate some variety, but neither was interested.
So all you get is people sitting stiffly on chairs – which is ok, but not everytime.
I am about to go on holiday and have decided that when I return I am going to take some time away from the life studio and work from photographs and sketches and experiment with different styles and techniques. I find this approach difficult in live sessions as you go into them not knowing the model or the pose and because of overcrowding most times you cant even select a viewpoint – on Saturday I was even restricted from sitting or standing, because it affected those behind me.
Anyway enough of this – you can see I need a holiday!
I started again with the painting I posted on my last blog and here is the result. It is a little rough around the edges but it now has the feeling of a mad hatter’s tea party – not that I’m calling my step-brother mad for one instant – he could be reading this. I thought that the first version was too static and it needed something, so along came a bit of humour and action. I did consider just altering the last offering but changing the poses and adding the bottle and hands blocked out bits I wanted to keep – so it was start again.
I will allow time for reflection and then perhaps refine a few bits, but I feel John will appreciate this version a little more or dislike it a little less.
Other paintings for sale are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com