AUTUMN COMES TO AINSDALE WOODS – ACRYLIC PAINTING

After the holiday, back to earth with a bump – particularly yesterday, when I had some pretty aggressive dental treatment. But this blog is about painting, not my teeth, so here is a painting of the local woods which back onto the sandy beaches around here.

The woods are predominantly made up of conifers, but there are gaps where spruce makes a grab for the sunlight. Then, in the autumn these gaggles of spruce light up the forest with their colourful, leafy displays. I’ve painted this type of scene before and here, without apology, is the start of a wooded section just behind our local airfield.

Coming out of the shade of a copse, the light on the trees and their trunks ahead, grabbed my attention and the puddles on the path was an added extra.

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

SUN SPRINKLED CLEARING IN AINSDALE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A familiar scene in my local woods which run behind the beach. Instead of pushing the tonal range, as I normally do, I wasn’t as aggressive with the darks, particularly the background. I also restricted the palette to a violet/yellow scheme and nearly succeeded, before dropping in muted reds to further enliven the foreground.

I did this painting sitting in our pop-up gallery in the arcade last Friday. The shopping arcade now has few operating shops and footfall is low. I wonder how long we will have the opportunity to exhibit here. We sold a few cards and , I’m glad to say, one painting, though not one of mine. I was also in another exhibition as well, last weekend, but sold nothing. It dampens your enthusiasm when you see little return from your efforts.

Last Sunday was the final day for our exhibition in the arcade, but suddenly the group who were due to take over from us have apparently found greener pastures, in the local art gallery. I’m not sure if they are that green as I am about to retrieve two paintings from this gallery which have done nothing for the past couple of months. I will be collecting them on Monday – presumably to make way for this group. So the upshot is, we can remain in our venue until Christmas which means I will be sitting painting in the gallery for a while longer.

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

SUMMER IN AINSDALE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I continued my search for a woodland scene for an upcoming exhibition and painted this yesterday. I will probably submit this painting rather than the one I posted on my last post. Both are from the same woods.

You can see the path disappearing right, down what becomes a sharp hill, which quickly bottoms out and then rises sharply again. Great for cycling down until you meet another cyclist coming the other way doing the same thing – trying to get enough speed to get up the hill in front.

Fortunately on that day I didnt meet anyone coming the other way.

Anyway, I have now submitted my exhibition entry form, so that’s one less job. We start another exhibition in town on Sunday, so I need to label up another set of paintings.

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

FOREST GLIMPSES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I think I mentioned that I have a couple of exhibitions coming up. So apart from painting, I have been assembling paintings in readiness. Gathering the paintings together, I felt I needed another local forest scene and a beach scene to give me a good spread of subjects. Here is one forest scene I did this week.

But despite the loose splattering and layers of masking fluid, I felt that the painting lacks the punch I was after. I feel it needs more colour even though I injected more colour than is in the reference. I was also hoping the large tonal range would galvanise it but, for me, it isnt enough.

Fortunately I have time. I just need to produce a list for next week, so at the very worse, I can put down a generic title and keep my nose to the easelstone.

I dont regard these problems as a waste of time. It is a learning opportunity – even if it can get half forgotten in the months ahead. It is also good practise – something you can never get enough of.

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

ISLAND LIFE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Watching the TV the other day I saw a scene which reminded me of an image I have in a book on the Algonquin National Park in Canada. I thought I might combine aspects of the images. The sense of stillness and isolation appealed to me – perhaps something I might see in our Lake District in England: maybe it’s my age or situation.

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SOME LIGHT IN THE FOREST – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I was in the middle of an acrylic painting and had an impulse to paint this in watercolours. It is of another favourite subject of mine: Ainsdale Woods which sit on the edge of the sandunes on the coast. I loved the purples, blues and greens, which I have enhanced here, and how they collide with the yellows of the sunlit leaves.

I tried to be sparing in my washes and brushwork to keep a freshness and may have left areas underworked as a consequence. Anyway, there`s plenty of colour for a gloomy pine forest.

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

BLUEBELL GLADE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I had a bit of trouble with this painting – well I have trouble with most of my paintings – but this time it forced me to start again.At the outset I was caught by the light through the trees illuminating the flowers and reflecting off the petals and leaves. I think I caught that with this version – though it was quite tedious painting the bluebells -because I needed to reserve a lot of the white of the paper for these reflections.

The first one below lost the effect of the illuminated flowers and became disunited – though it has some qualities which eluded me in the second version.

The venue is an old, disused, railway line coming from Maghull, in the north of Liverpool, to Southport, where I live, called the Cheshire Lines. I think around this wood was a branch line linking to the main line.

I stumbled on this during a cycle ride a couple of weeks back. The bluebells are now fading away fast around here.

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

DANCING LIGHT, FLEETING SHADOWS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

Another view from Ainsdale pine woods near to my home, where the firs and bracken have populated the old sand dunes down to the beach.

You can understand, in a more credulous age, the belief in sprites and fairies as the morning light bristles or crepuscular darks grow.

And another go at the view of the woods and path I posted a few weeks ago. The first one was quickly done on the back of an old painting and I loved the glow I achieved. Unfortunately some of the old painting had been cut down so it didnt fit my frames and mounts. Hence this second attempt on a fresh sheet.

Other paintings of the Sefton coast are available for sale at great prices on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A WALK THROUGH AINSDALE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I saw a woodland scene simply done in watercolours the other day and wondered whether some of my scenes could do with decluttering. The painting was eye catching though too simplistic for my taste but I felt it was worth trying some of the principles.

This painting was from view I have had lying around for a while and I thought that it would make a good starting point. I proceeded with a wash of strong primary colours over the wetted sheet and then moved the whole lot with more sprayed water to get some colour mixing into a myriad of hues.

When dry, further forms were created into sprayed areas to give hit and miss shapes and gradually the whole thing was worked up with drier and drier brushwork.

I’ll do a few more and compare them with earlier paintings I have done.

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

SUNLIT CLEARING – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another reprise. A more finished version of our pinewoods in autumn with their mix of conifer and birch. I am not sure of the shaft of light – that might get amended before I frame it.

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