I posted a sunlit painting of a snicket along the railway track a few days ago. If you continue down that snicket, it comes out on the right, in what they call Birkdale Village – part of Southport, where I live. Here you are actually standing on the rail track with part of the station, the building on the far right.
I think it was the old phone box, lit by the early morning sun that caught my eye and the fact that the sixties carbuncle, on the left – the Spar supermarket – is mellowed and put in the shade by the light coming in over it. Colours are subdued with hints of spring leaves in the background.
A quiet scene of morning stirrings in the suburbs.
This is a scene I see almost daily on my walk. Well, that is, when I get up in time and the sun shines and… So sometimes, anyway. These early summer mornings with the colours of young leaves in sunshine lift the spirit. I also like the old cast-iron bollards that guard the alleyway and which seem isolated and redundant now. Not to mention the old street lamp, still in its old borough colours of cream and red.
Further on my morning route is the site of another painting I did – and posted here – a couple of years ago, at a similar time of the year with the bright morning sun shining through the new leaves.
With the morning light on the dunes the marram grass glows and glistens and cajoled me into working up this view of the beach at Birkdale where I live. I had forgotten I had done a very similar piece before in April and it was only as I was storing this painting that I saw the earlier work. I had forgotten it, probably as I wasnt too taken with the regularly repeating rows of grass I had managed to get on that one. So I got the old painting out again and gave it a dose of reworking and here it is:
On the top painting I blocked in the dark areas with dark acrylic paint before applying the pastels and that saved a lot of time and layers of pastel in achieving the shadows and darker passages, In the lower painting darks were built up with pastel alone.
I did a sketch of this in an earlier blog and decided to have a go as a painting. I like the ethereal feeling the light gives and I managed to get the shimmer on the foreground marram grasses by scratching out rather than using masking fluid as I did in the sketch. For me, this approach yields a more dynamic and varied result.
I also tried to enhance the diagonal sweep of the dune forms to try and inject some dynamism to an otherwise staid subject.
The joke is that the sea goes so far out here, it always seems like low-tide.
I went down to the beach the other fine day to get some driftwood for a mobile I am making, which hopefully I will post shortly. There were some great cloud formations and whilst I was searching for suitable pieces I managed to find time to snap a few photos and later used them to give you a flavour of the beach here at Southport UK.
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 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.
Well, I did post a version of this before which was very similar. This is another for my exhibition of local views. I put the first one in an earlier exhibition and it sold – hence the revisit. I am particularly interested in getting this view in, as the exhibition will be held at my framer’s shop, which is opposite the far end of the church – so local interest.
As compensation for a repeated image, it is birthday season in these parts, so here are a couple of cards I have painted for the celebrations.
Yep, another of the local series. Perhaps it was the pollarded tree, spearing its overgrown branches heavenward, emphasising the outpouring of spring growth, that caught my eye as I walked to the newsagents this early May day. It foretold days of promise with summer yet to come.
Fresh greens and yellows against purpled shadows – it was pleading to be painted – I couldnt refuse.
Back to my build up of local paintings for the Christmas exhibition. This is just around the corner from the location of some of the previous ones I have posted recently. In fact, I posted a version of this particular view on one of my first blogs in November 2013. It sold and later I found out is was my next-door neighbour who bought it. That was a bigger painting in acrylic.
Since then things have changed and the grasping claw of big business has pushed itself amongst the rows of independent traders that make up the commercial community. A Sainsburys opened a convenience supermarket on the other side of the road. The newsagent – next to where the two figures are standing – diversified and became a very popular real ale/cider/coffee shop ( you can see the segregated, outside seating area) when Sainsburys proposed the selling and delivery of newspapers. The cafe/bar still sells newspapers and runs delivery rounds, but now you can get a coffee, or something stronger, if you, like me, pick up your paper. It was a very shrewd move by the owner.