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.
Continuing with my painting of the locality. This one is again of the ‘Village’ with the train station behind the two figures and the level crossing behind the central car. A previous post ‘ Sitting Pretty in Birkdale’ is situated in front of the last house in the main grouping. I did like this mass of buildings with all the internal shapes and the early morning sun shining on one of the faces. I added the two figures and was quite pleased with the outcome.
Continuing my series of paintings of local landmarks. This is one of Duke Street Cemetery. I posted a version in May, but had reservations about it. So I had another go. The buildings are a bit more proportional and believable – the tower is a very peculiar shape and I got some more shots of it to double check the shape. I also got the headstones in better proportion on this one. I still have my reservations about it, but I need to move on. I read an article by an artist who said that when they completed their work they put it away immediately and reviewed it after a couple of weeks. They felt that they got a much more objective view of it after a decent break. So we’ll try that.