Before Christmas there was a call for paintings of Liverpool for a book entitled The Liverpool Art Book. The authors have done a number of other cities starting with the Cambridge Art Book. They use quirky media such as CAD, collage and screen print etc so I thought my images might be a little staid. I also thought that they would want images of major landmarks.
This week they got back to me and said that they wanted copies of two of my paintings. One was a watercolour that could be of anywhere. I called it Shopping Can Create a Thirst and it was from images taken in Liverpool One (the main shopping area in Liverpool). I was pleased with the painting – but I actually threw it in the entry by accident.
I suppose the second one was more what I thought that they might want – it was a pastel of the area close to the waterfront
It is called Crossing the Strand and shows the Liver Building in the Background.
I have posted both these paintings in the past, but I must admit their selection was a bit of a surprise. Still at least I got two in. The book is supposed to come out later in the year.
The repeat season continues with this offering. I posted a sketch of this before Christmas and now a more considered attempt. At least I got the buildings upright this time and achieved the smokiness you see in this contra-jour view. This is the waterfront at Liverpool and The Liver Building casts a shadow over the procedings.
The sun shone brightly when I emerged from a Saturday life session and I decided to have a look around and take a few photos before boarding the train home. In front of the Liver building the light came from the direction of the Mersey. I decided to do this sketch from a few of the photos, getting a view down The Strand with people crossing the road.
In hindsight I could put more detail and colour into the people in the road and have the person walking away, coming at the viewer, maybe with a companion instead. Then, if I manage to get the buildings upright and get rid of the orangutan scaling the ventilation shaft on the right, maybe we’re in business.
I used my liquid acrylics to start this off and am quite pleased with some of it. Other parts are a bit more pedestrian than I would have liked – and I dont mean the figures crossing the road.
I did a similar thing last year, which I posted, even using a few of the same motifs, as you can see below, and got similarly bogged down with an illustrative approach. The liquid acrylics helped liven up proceedings in the latest painting and, I feel, opened up some options. Every time I see the painting, I add or change bits of it, so maybe it isnt finished yet.
I need to try developing the approach on another image and see if I can avoid some of the pitfalls that beset me.
Well, I did say I might do it. A couple of blogs ago I showed the mouth of the Mersey from Formby where last weekend we sat in the sun and ate our sandwiches with our French friends. This was the next day, in south Liverpool, looking across the river ( as opposed to the estuary, the day before). The weather was also different: the rain forcing us to eat our sandwiches in the car. Still, we had a walk and returning to the car the sun was breaking through the clouds in the late afternoon, highlighting the tops of the water’s ripples and contours of the exposed mud.
I wanted to do a townscape with a little more edge. This is based on Hope Street in Liverpool with a lot of paring away and more reliance on colour. I did the same scene in 2014 in a more conventional way when I started to do a set of Liverpool nightscenes. I exhibited a few but didnt get much response, though this one sold.
I feel the new version still lacks presence and I need to let go looser when building up the backdrop – so back to the drawing board, or in this case, canvas.
I warned you – another view of Little Crosby in readiness for my exhibition in the old manor hall there next month. This view is further back than the painting in the previous blog and is, as you can see, in a long format. At first I was going to leave out the modern house on the right, but the sun playing on the windows and the shadow cast on the wall was a delight. What I did leave out was the never ending line of traffic, although I toyed with putting a car in the distance, but finally decided against it.