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.
My last post – a canal scene – caused troll to ouze out from under its stone and lob another tired jibe at my handiwork. Narrowboats, in their opinion are contemptuous and, so naturally, troll’s self bestowed and illogical concept of good art – whatever that means – was affronted and it needed to act.
The upshot of this latest beef is that: I AM DOING ANOTHER CANAL SCENE. So my advice to troll is to slide further beneath the slab as another similar scene may follow this.
I sold a couple of canal scenes recently so stocks are low. This painting shows the gastro pub – the Saracen’s Head – on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where, these days, more and more narrowboats seem to moor up. It is just a few yards from my last canal-side painting in my preious blog.
I had been working on another version of Shasta daisies I published in May, but things went from bad to worse to unprintable. So last night I started sketching this and it seemed to tumble out. I posted a version of this done on site at the end of May, but the lighting wasnt what I wanted. To get this view – and with it the light – you need to get further back down the canal, so far that the subjects became just dots. So the telephoto lense came in handy here.
So spurred on by their encouragement here is another canal-side offering which could feature in my upcoming exhibition. I have done this scene before, but wasnt satisfied with the result. This time I washed in three primary colours onto wet paper and mixed them with water from a spray. You get some lovely misty colour mixes. When dry, I worked specific areas in a similar fashion but without the spray, gradually building up the colours by mixing them on the paper and also increasing the detail.
In the past I stuck to just 3 primary colours, mainly to get cohesion. I was a bit dissatisfied with the results. This time I added other colours in the later stages and I am much happier with the result.
I really like the ethereal early morning quality I have achieved here and may be putting this up next week.
I opened up the local paper today and there was a big spread put out by the venue advertising my exhibition. So just a little pressure.