I’ve tackled this more than once before, but always over elaborated the scene by adding people and the like. I thought I’d give it another go and focus on the thing that originally caught my attention: that of the old tree coming into leaf, catching the sunlight against the darks of the buildings.

It was a lovely early summer’s morning on the Leeds to Liverpool canal when I originally painted this outdoors and that first simple sketch has always been a favourite of mine. I never was satisfied with the results when I worked it up into a painting.

This time I think I’ve got back to the focus of that first sketch, even though I had to resort to a bit of gouache to revive some of the leaves on the tree; though not too much. I’m also happier with the hazy hill in the background, which hangs over the village.

The tower you can just see on the right is an old mill, now converted to a gallery by a local artist James Bartholomew – well worth googling if you like animal and seascape paintings.

Other canal scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


After some quite aggressive dental work earlier in the week, I have felt the need to take things a little slower and, at the same time, halt my consumption of nuts. Fortunately with painting, I have something to productively engage me in the meantime, something that isnt too physically demanding. With a couple of exhibitions looming, including one which monitors your previous entries and prohibits any returning, I thought I’d get myself a new selection of local topics. This is one of them – a venue I’ve painted before.

I did like the old wharf buildings before they were renovated, but I suppose without some renovation things would go into terminal decline. So I have excluded the more radical changes and focussed on the the less altered part of these old buildings. I also misted out the canal-side houses in the distance in this morning scene.

Other canals and narrowboat paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


On the Leeds to Liverpool canal near Scarisbrick I happened upon the cluster of bankside trees set against the morning sun and the reflection they cast on the water. In the distance the ducks and a huddle of moored boats hopefully drag the eye through the painting. Most of all I loved the serene peacefulness of the still hour – worth the early rise.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


Before Christmas, when the cold was raw, I went on a walk along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal on a day when the sun shone bright. I have recently shown 3 paintings taken from that walk on this blog ( St Thomas’ Church, Canal at Pygon Hill Lane and Up the Hill) Here is another one from that day. With the blue of the sky and its reflection in the water, pitted against the ochres of the reed beds and birches it made a pleasing combination. I also liked the snaking of the canal as it lines up to go under the roadbridge just ahead.

Now things have warmed up I have stated the big garden clear-up and shrub moving and walks like this will have to wait for a while – still, it was a productive day.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


I recently put two posts out – Up the Hill and St Thomas’s Church – which were taken from a recent walk I did. This is another scene from that walk. Here I am back to the Leed to Liverpool Canal having taken a concealed footpath that emerges past these two cottages and meets with Pygons Hill Lane. As I walked towards the lane I looked back to the cottages, into the afternoon sun, and was struck by the sunlight on the canal-side vegetation which seemed to glow against the water of the canal. I thought that it might make an interesting painting.

Other paintings of canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


We recently had a lunch booked at a canal-side pub, but one of our friends was sick and had to cancel. As it was a bright day, we decided to have some lunch and then go for a walk. Due to a miscalculation on my part, the walk was a bit longer than intended and we arrived back to the car, at the pub car-park, as the sun was beginning to get low in the sky – reflecting off the boats collecting at their winter moorings. I thought that it might be worth painting

This bridge has changed over the years. It was a favourite location of the art group I ran and and was the subject of some plein air painting in the summer – allowing for a drink at the pub afterwards. You can see in an earlier painting of mine – which I posted a long time ago – that there was a magnificent willow tree which stood at one side – though I think the removal of the ivy has been an improvement.

Other canal paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


Well, my first ever pastel demo seemed to go well on Wednesday. This was after a watercolour workshop on Saturday and yesterday I had tricky tooth root extracted ( well, that was what the dentist told me, so much so she sent me to another dentist to get it done).

So I havent done much painting of my own which I can show to you. Hence another oldie: a winter scene of the Leeds to Liverpool around the Lancashire town of Burscough. It sold at my local library – now converted into housing estate – where our club put paintings on top and between the bookcases and hoped for a sale. Occasionally it happened.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


A long-sold painting from 2006, of the Leeds to Liverpool canal in the north of Liverpool at Lydiate. Due to painting birthday cards and a visit by my daughter, my normal output has been curtailed of late.

Also, there is a bit of apathy after being told, on Saturday, that one of my exhibitions has been called off as the owners want the facility for other purposes. It came out of the blue, as we had been discussing the exhibition since July and only last week, I submitted a press release with images to them and also signed and returned their agreement document.

I have expressed my disdain and pointed out, that based on our agreement, I had ordered 5 new frames and turned down an offer of participating in another exhibition. I still have two more exhibitions from November until January, but it is extremely annoying.

Still, on the upside, the painting I presented on my previous blog – which was painted specifically for the cancelled exhibition – was spotted by someone who lives close to the scene depicted and frequently runs along the canal path you see in it. He has said he will come around tomorrow to buy it, So I had best get on and frame it.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


Another old painting. I sold this to my gardener who also came along to the art group I ran after he was telling me that the teacher at the art group, he originally went to, didn’t turn up one afternoon because he had fallen asleep after lunch. I advised him to join our group where he would get help and advice for free from the other members. He saw me painting this at one of our sessions and asked to buy it.

Other canal and narrowboat paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


An old painting from 2006. I sold this at an exhibition we put on in our local Birkdale Library. The library is now a housing estate, but a group decided to resurrect the Birkdale Library and it is now housed in the old stationmaster’s house at our local station ( I posted a painting of a train in the Birkdale station recently). My next door neighbour is heavily involved in the project and I was helping him build a bookcase for the library over the weekend. I think he regretted taking on the project as it was a large complex piece, not helped by non-parallel walls of the old building and a router blade that slipped during cutting out the joints.

I think I’ll stick to painting.

Other canal scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com