I was going to display some more sketches of my garden, but on Wednesday the sun rose early and I decided to get out and do my first painting of the year.
I had decided on the location but on my way I spotted that a mist was coming off the moss and that would have made painting very difficult, so I swerved off beachward and tried to find something interesting to do on the dune belt.
The first were the pines lit by the morning light, above.
Then I spotted this pine on the edge of the woods. I liked the colour of the bark in the light against the darkness of the woods behind,
I had one more sheet on my painting pad so I decided to head towards the sea and sat on top of a sand dune and painted, the admittedly rather mundane, view to the sea.
Not an exciting bunch of sketches, due to the location being forced on me by circumstance, but it was great to get out and just have a chance to sit and meditate for two or three hours in the sun. There was also one advantage of this social distancing – no-one bothered me as I worked – not that there were many out at that hour and location.
Another view from Ainsdale pine woods near to my home, where the firs and bracken have populated the old sand dunes down to the beach.
You can understand, in a more credulous age, the belief in sprites and fairies as the morning light bristles or crepuscular darks grow.
And another go at the view of the woods and path I posted a few weeks ago. The first one was quickly done on the back of an old painting and I loved the glow I achieved. Unfortunately some of the old painting had been cut down so it didnt fit my frames and mounts. Hence this second attempt on a fresh sheet.
I saw a woodland scene simply done in watercolours the other day and wondered whether some of my scenes could do with decluttering. The painting was eye catching though too simplistic for my taste but I felt it was worth trying some of the principles.
This painting was from view I have had lying around for a while and I thought that it would make a good starting point. I proceeded with a wash of strong primary colours over the wetted sheet and then moved the whole lot with more sprayed water to get some colour mixing into a myriad of hues.
When dry, further forms were created into sprayed areas to give hit and miss shapes and gradually the whole thing was worked up with drier and drier brushwork.
I’ll do a few more and compare them with earlier paintings I have done.
Regular readers may sense groundhog day, but this is a more finished version of an offering I produced a few weeks ago as part of a set of woodland scenes. As I scratch around for suitable work for a couple of upcoming exhibitions, there may be more of that set coming – so those of an unforgiving disposition should switch off now…
Another calming painting – well that’s the intention. I did this quickly just to see how it would work out. It comes from a couple of photos taken on an earlier outing when I did some watercolour paintings on a quiet summer’s morning. Hopefully there will be a few more to come, but not this week if the forecast is to be believed.
I posted this painting, An Autumn Morning in Ainsdale Woods, in 2014 and it was around this time that I sold the original. A week ago a gentleman from Stockholm in Sweden wanted an electronic copy for a wall image in an office complex that they were rennovating. So for a small fee I am sending him a file of this image. I always keep a reasonable sized file of all my work as, in the past, I have had had people rejecting small files for publication and if you have sold the original there isnt much you can do to supply an image that meets their needs. I did think that the size of this file was too small for his purpose, but he was happy that the 5Mbyte file was large enough. He will send me an image of the layout when the project is complete. It will be interesting to see the work in another context.
There isnt much across the moss – drained marshland behind the coastal dunes. Even less when the lowland is blanketed with mist and all you can see is a ghostly tree and a row of staggering poles. This was done with loose washes and then a bit of drybrush in the foreground.
Another one in the series of paintings I’m not happy with since I first did them. In this version I hope I adequately captured the chill mist you get in autumn on the low lying reclaimed marshlands. The switchback road, the tilting poles and the scrubby verge which falls away into a deep ditch, all contribute to a feeling of other worldliness where some bring the ghosts in their heads and give them free rein.
In the late rush for replacement paintings to populate the exhibition, I reworked this image which I posted a few years ago. I tried to better meld the buildings with the landscape and simplify the foreground to enhance the feeling of stillness. Whether I did or not, who’s to say, but it’s up on the wall now and a feeling of calm has descended upon my studio allowing a tidy-up for the second time.