A FEW MOMENTS AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

It was the stance of the fellow by the narrowboat that caught my attention. Coupled with the shade of the tree and the haziness in the background , I thought that it might make an interesting picture. The location is the old quay at Burscough with it’s cobbled pathway at the side of the Leeds to Liverpool canal – if you are going in that direction. It is the same location where I painted the old guy with his kettle – posted on 12th April, only taken from a slightly different angle.

Perhaps it is the slow flow of the canal that creates a gentle, unhurried ambience upon its banks. Time to talk, time to pause and stare, time to sit with a hopeful eye on your fishing rod. A narrowboat glides by and walkers wave, whilst ducks unhurriedly part to the canal sides and find another place to search for their watery fare.

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

BURSCOUGH DOCK – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Life has been a little hectic of late and has prevented me from doing much painting. Fortunately I have a few old paintings that I havent shown on this blog before. Here is one I did this in 2005 and it sold. I came across an image of it yesterday and was pleasantly pleased with it, well, apart from the perspective of the arch over the near window. Though it was the reflection off the sliding door and the cobblestones that caught my eye.

This old building has since been gentrified with bars, boutiques and galleries, but the brick shell remains. The area is great for subjects to paint such as the canal and the old mill you can see in the distance.

Even more canal side paintings can be found for sale on my blog: grahammcquadefineart.com

AUTUMN MOORINGS AT LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have had a version of this painting around for a while and while I have found the market for canal scenes has diminished over the years, sales do manage a slow trickle. I decide that the reason why my earlier version of this had remained unsold was the overcomplicated reflections in the foreground. So I set about this aspect and made some other minor modifications in readiness for our upcoming exhibition.

I do particularly like the reflected light that seems to come up from under the bridge. I remember sitting on the canal bank painting a plein air version of this in the late summer sun a few years ago. The memory makes me restless for some more early morning painting – it will soon be warm enough.

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

WAITING AT PARBOLD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Yesterday I did a watercolour demonstration on a canal scene for a painting group. I wanted to have a few canal scenes to take along to the demo and I painted this the other day to fill out the display. It’s a subject I’ve tackled before with the spring leaves just coming out on the trees in front of the old windmill in Parbold – it houses the gallery of a local artist, James Bartholomew, who’s won awards for seascapes, but now seems to do a lot of animals.

At the time I did a painting on the spot, but when I finished, I walked along the moored narrowboats and saw these guys in conversation on a boat further down the line. When I came to do a painting in the studio they got promoted to the front of the queue.

I’m still not sure about this, as the opening leaves against the dark background is difficult to get in watercolour, but I think I’ve progressed it from the last time I painted it.

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

WALK, PART 3 – PASTEL PAINTING

Here is the final part of our post Christmas walk that I have been describing recently. The muddy, last, stretch along the canal and back to the car. This is a scene I have painted before as the light on the moored boats sings against the surrounding shadows.

When a painting requires such tight detail I would naturally reach for the watercolour or acrylic. I havent the patience finding or making slivers with which to place small, precise marks. Here. I used some conte pencils for the really fine details, though I tried to keep this to a minimum and just hint at the shapes of the boats.

I love the branch which hangs over the canal.

I wasnt as pleased with the other pastel I did of the fields over the moss that we passed. Initially it was the patchwork of greens, interspersed with the winter trees that attracted me, but in the end I found the result a little disappointing. Perhaps I should have made more of the sky and pushed the fields into a tighter mass.

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

MORNING’S WALK BY THE SARACEN’S HEAD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Back to the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Halsall for my subject. The view from the bridge over the canal by the old pub, The Saracen’s Head – which is out of sight, directly to the left.

With the light coming in from the left it almost silhouettes the narrowboats and other craft moored close to the pub.

I have posted views of this scene painted further along the canal from where the man is taking his morning constitutional. I did a sketch on the spot and then worked it up into a painting. I posted this painting in early 2020: Approaching the Saracen’s Head – Watercolour Painting In this view you can see the bridge peeping from behind the foliage in the background, along with the roof of the pub.

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

WALK BY THE CANAL – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A slight change of subject now I am back home. An image from my recent visit to the canal: a dog walker taking an early morning stroll. This is on the Leeds to Liverpool canal near the small community of Burscough.

After the almost relaxing holiday I’ve just had ( ’til I tried filling in the documentation, a traumatic experience for a sensitive soul like myself, to get home, which took the best part of a morning that should have been spent poolside with a cold beer) I’m now entering a busy period with two commissions, two exhibitions and a demonstration coming up this month. This will be the first watercolour demonstration I have done since January 2020, after which our first shutdown started. Then I will be preparing for Christmas – how fast time flies. It seems such a short time since my last Christmas exhibition which, admittedly, lasted from November until March, due to the Covid lockdowns.

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

MORNING AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last week I was out, early morning, by the canal painting. As I was scouring the canal footpath, looking for suitable subjects, I saw the scene above. Without room to sit, I took some photos and painted this when I got home.

The sketches I did manage didnt have the same impact and I rather regretted not making myself a nuisance by sitting painting on the path.

With this view, above, I think I liked the light on the big tree as much as anything else.

Here, you can see the morning has got into its stride. The white of the boat immediately caught my attention and in the background the hawthorn berries gave some welcome complementary to the greens.

Whilst I sat and painted, a guy came to talk to me. He was a musician and certainly got my sympathy regarding the problems he had with the effects of both covid and music streaming on opportunities and income. Trouble was he spent twenty five minutes on this subject – so it slowed me down somewhat.

When I was putting together this article I thought it might reawaken the Troll who whose cowardly sneering peaks at the sight of canal art and who has been silent of late.

Wrong again. OCD Troll raged similarly against my last post – a seaside scene. So much so. that they sent two mouth frothing messages yesterday :

This is in no way ART!!….it is pure s***e!

And then twenty minutes later:

Pure crap.

Well the art was sold, Troll – yes art ( Troll’s ignorant of art history – what chance have I got?) to an artist, actually.

Other art is available for sale – even to Trolls – on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com – that’s right, Troll, FINE ART. And I’ll be putting it out for a good while longer.

MOORINGS AT CRABTREE LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another view of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal near Burscough in Lancashire. It’s a place that I’ve painted before but here I dwelt on the cluster of shapes created by the narrowboats and houses and in doing so made it a portrait format. This format also allowed the full reflections of trees and posts. The bankside vegetation also added interesting detail.

At this point on the canal is a narrow swing bridge – partially visible on the left which allows traffic to cross the canal.

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

PILLING LANE BRIDGE, LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Looking through an old sketchbook I saw a version of this done on a sunny morning a few years ago and thought it might be worth working up. I tried to repeat it as directly as I could without the overpainting and overworking I did originally as you can see in the sketch I posted in May of 2018.

Other canal scenes are available for sale at very reasonable prices on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com