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.
A day at the seaside up in Cumbria: I spotted these rock poolers on their summer holidays and took a few photos. The lad quickly wandered off but I caught a pose as he stood by another pool and in this painting drew him in a position that gave some narrative.
Rushing around looking at replacement paintings for the exhibition after the sudden sales, I considered a number of local landscapes for display. Some I had affinity for but was reluctant to put on show. So when the dust settled last week I thought that I should see whether I could get them to a stage where I would put them in a frame to exhibit.
This is the first one – the beach at Southport in the evening. The first version was quite large – a half imperial sheet. I realised I could get the essence by compressing it, with the sand, grasses and reflections on the water constained by a narrow format. I also kept a tight reign on the hue, reflecting the beach in the sky.
One of the limestone stacks just off the beach at Krabi, Thailand. This was painted from a beach in a national park where some of the rules on the sign as you entered were: no food and dont feed the monkeys. How could you feed the monkeys if you weren’t allowed food?
When we got to the beach there were some exclusive hotels – but you couldnt get anything to eat as they firmly said Guests Only. So I just sat on the beach and contemplated the view. It was pretty good and there there was even a long tailed boat in view.
On another day we went on an island hopping boat trip to some exclusive beaches – though they weren’t that exclusive as everyone else was doing the same. So we had small pockets of sand overrun with tourists like us, wondering why they had come. Outside our hotel there was a vast sandy beach with hardly anyone on at all – oh well… .
The second sketch was done whilst we jostled for space on Paradise island, named possibly as it was one of the few islands with a toilet.
OK an old image for the New Year, but I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at ‘Entering Ainsdale Woods’. So here’s a second go and a title that saves overtaxing the troll’s sticky fingers.
I always have difficulties with light foregrounds against dark backgrounds and on the first one I had to resort to gouache to make some reclamations. I also felt the background tree trunks were too uniform and the dog needed repositioning. The first one looked quite good on the screen but the original didn’t stand up to close scrutiny – so that’s why you’re getting it again. This one has a lighter touch and brings out the sunlight on the autumn leaves which was something I was after.
So in compensation for repeating work, here’s a second painting, this time a repeat of ‘Receding Tide’. Hopefully I have now got the still wet feel of the shingle which I felt was missing on the first go and I extended the amount of shingle to break up the textures .
I wanted to try out some textures on this one with the sky, sea, rocks and pebbles all requiring different approaches. I would like to have added further detail and texture, such as building up the seaweed and pebbles, but was aware that I was getting too fussy. It was a good exercise and like so many paintings, you get to the end and realise that there were slicker and better ways of achieving your aims. So perhaps another go later.
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.