Another canal painting. I liked the dark form of the narrowboat melding into the bridge in shadow. There was also a lot of foliage and I tried applying paint to sprayed water to get lost and found edges. It took a few goes to build up the volume. Because of all the green I introduced some warms to break the monotony, though not too much as the subdued colour range pulls out the central figure and hopefully focusses the eye on the detail.
Having recently sold a couple of canal scenes I thought that I would paint a view of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Parbold. Another reason was to rattle the Troll’s cage – it gets agitated when it sees a canal – though never reading its rants, it might have changed for all I know or care.
I liked the boat tucked into the sunny mooring though I changed it to a narrowboat and the figures I borrowed from another photo. I saw some guys in a narrowboat when I was painting along the canal in the summer. They didnt look your usual barge folk. When I packed up to leave I walked past them and heard them speak in a foreign language. Later, it occurred to me that perhaps they were using narrowboats to house foreign workers – or perhaps illegal immigrants, who knows. There are quite a few craft well past their prime moored along the canal so that might be an easy way to raise some income. Though once you`ve handed the keys over your asset might disappear off into the sunset, never to be seen again.
I’m sure this bridge has a name, but it isnt marked on any map as it is now just part of a barely used footpath crossing the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Lydiate, north Liverpool. When I’ve walked the path I recall a sign directing you to the named bridge.
I was taken by the layers of light and shade and the shadows on the bridge as I turned to look at it whilst walking along the edge of a field alongside the canal. I painted this a while ago, and it got put into the pile only to be rediscovered a few days ago when I was having a sort out for an exhibition.
A confection of motifs, some of which I have painted before, to try and evoke long languid days on the Leeds Liverpool Canal , or any other canal come to that. With a barely perceptible flow, canals create, in me, a calmness that befits a hot summer’s day.
I started with reds greens and yellows; colours of the summer, washing them across the sheet and then added vignettes of animal and human activity – or lack of it – in an effort to fill the space.
One to stir up the Troll. Its snide, anonymous comments continue – well I presume that they do, as for the last few weeks I have found a way of discarding without viewing their content. I assume this will continue as canal scenes seem to trigger a bigger tirade of ire than most other topics.
Perhaps this tactic may result in discarding a comment from someone who has a serious point to make, but in my eyes the risk is worth it.
So here is a calming winter scene by the Leeds to Liverpool Canal – well it calms me.
The Saracen’s Head is the name of the pub and restaurant you can just see on the right. Using a zoom lens I was able to stand on a bend and get a view of the canal as if you were approaching in a narrow boat.
The pub is quite a good place to eat and, according to my mate, the fishing isnt too bad around here also, as he is often to be seen on the other side of the bridge that you can see up ahead, sitting with his rod as he passes the hours.
When we went for a walk along the canal the other week I looked over the bridge at the start and saw that there was a fishing competition going on in one direction. In the other direction there wasnt anyone, so we headed off on the deserted tow-path. As soon as we rounded the first bend, there they were. It was almost as if they had prepared a trap for the unwary.
The trouble with walking along the canal with a fishing competition, apart from losing the sense of solitude, is the fact that their long poles, which stretch right across the canal, can block your path when they pull them back and put more bait on the hook. Fortunately this branch only spread a mile down the canal and after that all was clear, quiet and unimpeded.
On the way back they repaid me for their intrusion with this view into the low winter sun. Let’s call it quits.
I decided to return to watercolours and build up some canal paintings. This was a contra jour scene I spotted recently. I loved the weeds and rushes at the canal edge in the foreground. I decided to add a narrowboat, mainly to upset troll. Then, dropping some white gouache onto the wet paper gives the satisfying illusion of smoke. I’m easily pleased.
Our walk along the Leeds Liverpool canal the other day took us past the swing bridge near the small town of Burscough. I love the line of old cottages in the left background, and have painted them in the past from the other side. I wondered whether the long lead in of the tow path, delineated by the shadows from the bright winter sun was worth a go, particularly as I wanted a long format painting to test on my new website that I am getting built.
And if nothing else, the sight of a canal painting always ignites the bigoted troll – and it can get cold hiding under a stone at this time of year.
This image is from the same walk I alluded to in my previous post. The light catching surfaces and the figure were too good to miss. It was a pity that the woman was in the shade. I debated moving her to the other seat, but I liked the way she was sat with her shoes just catching the light. Might be worth another version.