The post before last I showed 3 morning sketches, the first one of a single cottage. This was the view behind me, as I painted – one of the many drainage ditches that crisscross this marshy land, surrounded by flattened reeds and grasses.
I loved the myriad of warm colours picked out and accentuated by the rising sun. A new day and the crows descend to squabble over the remaining grains of cereal.
With the sun shining I got up early on Monday morning and headed to Clieves Hills on my bike. On my last painting trip I spotted this cottage at the foot of the hills from another angle and made a mental note, but returning on Monday, I was more taken with this view, with sweeps of stubble leading the eye. Comparing it to the other sketches I did on the day I feel I have captured a dose of morning freshness under the sun’s first rays.
I then headed up the hill and, from across the field, spotted this group of buildings nestling under a tree. This is the kind of light I want, crisply defining shape and form and keeping me warm as I paint.
Then I shuffled a good hundred yards along the ridge and set my stool down to paint these cottages that almost hang in the air looking out to Liverpool and the Welsh hills beyond. I have been reluctant to paint these before as it is at a well frequented viewpoint. Casting shyness aside, no-one even noticed me as I painted away.
The grasses, plants and flowers in the foreground were a picture in themselves and I might turn this into a painting in the near future.
Back in June this year, I published a post where I displayed 3 paintings all done from the same spot, my sketching stool, just looking in different directions on Clieves’ Hills. This latest offering is based upon one of them. It is brassy, stretched out and made to look like an old steam train destination poster, but the essential elements have been retained, including the Church.
This is another in the graphic style I was exploring, using the local vicinity as my reference point. It may have got a bit fussy in the foreground, but I like its boldness and colour and it complements the others paintings in the series.
I may be tempted to get out and gather some more reference material for the dark winter nights ahead.
This image was developed from a plien air painting I posted at the start of June.
I wanted a bit more colour and punch and also thought that a graphic style could enhance the saturated colours so I gessoed over an old painting on canvas and set to work. I had been influenced by work by Fred Ingrams amongst others and although I havent achieved his brave use of colour it is an early step.
It might be worth producing a small set of paintings in this style and see if they develop. I have plenty of raw material both photos and sketches to draw from.
I have been going through my back catalogue after the surprise sale of nine paintings. My framer should have six more frames ready today and I have some paintings to go in them – so we can bring the exhibition back up to 30 paintings with a few in reserve. However, I didnt have many larger paintings that I felt comfortable showing. I decided to redo a painting, but this time in acrylics, to fill a larger frame. This is a view over the Lancashire Plain back to where I live in Southport, on the coast. Just beyond these hills – and they are only small bumps – sits the town of Ormskirk, which would be behind the viewer.
Out one morning painting, I spotted this footpath across a field that the farmer had preserved. If I had come across it earlier I would have used that as my subject, but I had just completed two watercolours, so I took a few photos instead. On the other side of the lane I I discovered a cherry tree and got a bagful of cherries to supplement the morello cherries on my tree at home. I made three pots of cherry jam yesterday. I love cherry jam on toast – particularly after a tough morning with the paintbrush..
I’ve done scene before and posted it, but I came across it the other day and wondered if I could try it in the three cool colours I use, following on from the previous post where I used three warm colours. So this was done with lemon yellow, alizarin red and winsor blue. I have tried this combination before and found it quite difficult, when compared to using the warm colours – maybe it’s the more staining effect of the winsor blue and alizarin which can quickly overpower the painting . I must try a few more to see if you get a different feel to the paintings with the cooler colours.
I wasn’t completely happy with the original painting which you can see below and applied the paints on this one in a much looser way.
I don’t know what fascinates me about these cottages, just off the road at the foot of Clieve’s Hills as you approach Ormskirk having travelled across the moss, inland from Southport. I did them as a watercolour (shown on this blog on September 24th) and have previously painted them plein air by the roadside, although the best view point is in the middle of the road, which isn’t much good.
Perhaps the middle bale needs a bit of tidying up as I look at is as I write.
This is another from one of my early morning cycle rides. It is a scene which I have painted in situ before, but to get this angle, with the fence posts, you need to be sat in the road, so a photo was the safer option.
I was attracted to the pattern of light and shadows. It was just a shame there wasn’t a bit of light on the cottages – maybe I should have painted some.
As my with my previous painting, this was painted in three colours, ultra marine blue, cadmium yellow and winsor red.
A painting from a couple of sketches I did the other day when I was out on the bike. I was pleased with the texture of the wheat in the foreground. The background lacks the mystery of my previous Clieves’ Hills paintings, but I’ve tried to keep it together with a limited palette.