ANOTHER DAY IN THE SUN – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

An early start on a warm summer’s morning, I happened upon this footpath which proved to be a very secluded spot and I was able to spread out and work undisturbed. Nothing too exciting, but I enjoyed myself.

By contrast, on this one I was perched by the side of the road, trying to ignore the passing traffic. I liked the cluster of cottages and the powerlines at the top of the slight incline.

Finally, I sat in front of those cottages in the previous painting, looking at the view they see from their front windows. As I painted, a guy stopped in his car. He owned the house you can just make out behind the trees on the left at the end of the ploughed field. It turned out he had seen a painting I had done of the area which I had previously sold. He said he was interested in getting a painting of his house which he is currently renovating. I gave him my card but so far he hasnt got back to me – but you can never tell.

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

WOODLAND SCENES – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

It was midsummer solstice and I hadnt yet been out painting plein air this year in the UK. I had done some in Egypt and I have posted those sketches, but in the UK either poor light, cold or life had got in the way. So, with good weather forecast, I decided on my venue and off I went. On the way, a connecting road was closed. So I had to think quickly of some other place to paint. Not a good start.

I had planned to do some simple light and shade studies without too much detail, so when I saw this half cleared wood I was hesitant. It was more complex than I wanted, but the colours were great and the glimpses of light intriguing. So I parked the bike and started painting. I did most on site, but I had to finish at home. When I saw my photos, there was barely any of the redness on the images and it was this colour that drove me to do the painting. I like the result, rough as it is and may be working it up later.

Then I saw this scene. Again, I should never have started it, but the light and shade was too much to resist.

I then arrived at the kind of thing I was after, sitting in a field of barley – a simple view, passages of light and shade, whilst the traffic inched along on the other side of the wood on the right. So, after all the setbacks I got three studies in the bag and broke the ice – which you’d expect in June.

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

PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Here are a couple of old paintings I reworked recently. This one, of the local reclaimed farmlands behind our town and the roller-coaster lane that runs across it, was washed with water and almost half of the painting removed or reduced in tone. I then repainted the foreground. Hopefully it now has a softer feel. more appropriate to an early morning scene.

And another painting given a similar treatment. This one, of Rivington Pike, which you can see across the moss from Southport, where I live. A similar approach was done to this, washing off the lower half to increase the impression of morning light and then reworking the fore ground.

Both were long format paintings which I am presently short of, ready for any upcoming exhibitions.

At present I am working on some big commission pieces with one almost finished, allowing me to start on the second one. I have posted sketches of them earlier and hopefully will have something to show soon.

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

AT THE END OF SEGARS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another reworked painting from around this area. This one, a view I’ve painted before, is of a lane which cuts east/west across the reclaimed farmland in the glow of the morning light. The last of the mist that blankets the low fields slipping stealthily away as the crows swoop in to reclaim their land.

It’s a place I often visit on my morning cycle rides, but I’m ashamed to say I havent been out this year and May, my favourite month, is almost over. But there is still time and the weather might improve, though I have missed some good mornings already for one thing or another.

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

AMBLESIDE SPRING – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I am presently reviewing some of my old paintings and looking at a change in style. Here is one painting I decided to rework. It is a view across the fields at Ambleside in the English Lake District. I felt it needed emphasis of both the gentle changes in tone in the background and the light and shade of the foreground. By happy accident, extending the same palette across the whole picture produces a satisfying cohesiveness.

I may have different opinions in a few months time, but at the moment I think I have moved forward on this one. There are many more to go, if I have the stamina.

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

THE GAMEKEEPER’S COTTAGES ON ALTCAR LANE -ACRYLIC PAINTING

Tomorrow I am back in the pop-up gallery to do my weekly stint. Last Friday, when I was there, I did this acrylic version of a watercolour I had previously painted on site. The gamekeepers cottages are over to the left, in case you were wondering. I remember sitting by the roadside, last year, absorbed in my painting when a lady from one of the nearby cottages came out and asked whether I wanted a cup of tea – very nice. Though, I always take some tea with me on these early morning painting trips. It helps me settle down and concentrate better.

I was hoping that the greater colour saturation of the acrylic would bring something to the party and I suppose it has, though the depiction of the cereal is a bit clunky and that was something I had hoped would have come out better with the acrylics.

Still, it productively passed the time. Now I have to find a suitable subject to paint tomorrow, particularly as it will be less busy than last Easter weekend.

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

EXHIBITION SUBMISSIONS – W/C and ACRYLIC

Tomorrow I will take three paintings of local scenes to an upcoming exhibition at Southport’s art gallery, The Atkinson. The first one is a new version of a watercolour I presented before, but I have dropped the horizon line and cut out some of the foreground after Multiplemichael – in my opinion, rightly pointed out that there was too much unnecessary foreground in the original. I also increased the foreground puddle on this version of Flooded Fields at Lathom.

This second one is an acrylic painting of Formby Beach, again, one I have previously shown. The third, is a smaller watercolour: Sunset on Lord Street, again, one I have shown before.

It is a juried show and was a good hunting ground for me in the past, but the gallery authorities have meddled with the format. It was originally run by a small group of artists as a totally juried show. Now the gallery authorities have insisted on it becoming inclusive (because they get a grant towards it, if it is in that format). Now we have a hybrid: anything goes, along with the juried show I am entering. There’s a subsequent lack of ownership resulting in poor advertising which is vital in these days of austerity and having to sail against a difficult financial headwind.

If nothing sells – assuming I get them in – it might be my last appearance, particularly as the submission price has increased ( probably because they werent making as much in sales as they once did)

When this exhibition is running we will be opening another exhibition almost opposite on Lord Street, organised by a local artist. Consequentially, I will be having two bites of the cherry, but even so, sales may be hard to come by.

Paintings are for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BRIDALVEIL FALLS, YOSEMITE VALLEY – ACRYLIC PAINTING

A friend asked me to do a commission for their newly decorated room. It was a memory from one of their holidays. The photos were into the sun with high contrast and little colour. I must admit to liking the high contrasts, but felt it needed some colour, so I introduced purples and blues into the rocks and added some foreground foliage with complementary ochres to break up the mass of the cliff-face.

An added difficulty for me was the size, smaller than I’m used to, and this hampered me somewhat. Anyway, they are happy with it and I’m taking them to my framers to get the right frame and mount.

I had been to Yosemite myself, but didnt recognise the falls. Then, going over my old photos from 1983 there it was, I just didnt manage to get such a good vantage point.

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

MORNING CLIMB – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I’m in the middle of a couple of projects at present, so here is a painting I did in 2007. It is particularly apt as, today, it’s a bright blue, crisp, spring day outside and this is a painting capturing the anticipation of the summer adventures, hopefully, we will embark upon. Climbing the hill towards the light to reveal more great vistas.

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

TOWARDS ASWAN – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We are rapidly heading towards the end of the holiday and the dreaded day of reckoning when we have to settle the bar bill. As regards painting, I am getting a bit repetitious in my sketches, as there isnt any time to do anything on our visits to the temples and monuments, so all of my sketches are from the boat and there are a limited number of subjects that we pass on our voyage. I have taken to pencil sketching in a small sketchbook when I see anything interesting. I race to get the details down before we pass the scene. Then I copy the sketch onto my watercolour pad before starting the painting.

So, above is a sketch done in this fashion. It is a very basic Nile scene where the wind had whipped up the desert dust to give a slightly different colour palette. With the sun shining through the dust and reflecting off the water it gave some good contrasts as well.

At Luxor we had a sunset and I moved the hills which house the Valley of the Kings into the frame, and added a felucca which had earlier passed us, as a couple of guys paddled around the river, casting a fishing net in the warm evening breeze.

Oh, it’s a dirty business, but someone has to do it.

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