Regulars may be tired of this subject, but it shows the heart of my town, Southport, and the subject is still popular at exhibitions. For me, I like the challenge of the architecture and the figures. On this one I battled with the shop windows, as on my main source photo the windows were obscured by a figure and on the other shots, with the focus on the street, they were too dark to be meaningful. I was pleased with the outcome. Abstract marks, some on damp paper, others on dry gave the reflective qualities I was after and made a good contrast to the brightness of the street. They also feel right.
I also wanted a view without much of the traffic. For me it is a busy thoroughfare and cars are part of that, but a lady who bought a painting of the street earlier in the year, made the comment, that there was too much focus on the traffic on paintings I showed her. This comment made me think that for many, the focus is really on the buildings, pavement bustle and the shops under the arcade. So, here is my attempt at redressing the balance. Hope you like it.
It’s probably a familiar scene if you are a regular to this site. Based on my other paintings of this street I was commissioned to do a painting featuring this particular building ( the one with the blue tiling on the right). I was asked to do it in the style of my earlier paintings.
I did point out that I had already done this view in a recent painting I posted in December, which you might remember, below.
The lady explained that she wanted more detail of the building and definitely didn’t like the traffic. Here was a useful insight. This aversion to traffic makes me realise that some people do not share my world view on this, and probably many other subjects.
It made me think that perhaps I should do more pavement views – even though I feel the road and it’s busyness makes the painting more interesting, as well as giving a more expansive field of view.
Still, the customer is always right and here is the result. It arrived on her doorstep yesterday.
Another painting from my recent trip into town. This one is of the covered walkway over the shops with the setting sun throwing its rays down the pavement. I tried to paint the trees and buildings in one go and may have been overambitious. I had to subsequently take out colour to signify windows . I feel that there are some successful parts to this and I may have a go at repeating it.
Lord Street is the main street in Southport. Once a thriving shopping venue with covered walkways, today it is blighted with shop closures and lack of footfall.
In the winter, the low sun casts deep shadows and lights up reflective surfaces and makes for a great painting. The other afternoon I thought conditions were right for these perfect images. However, when I got down to the town centre, the sun was still too high to get the impact I was after – I need to wait a little later in the year – but still the contra jour effect of the setting sun gave an arresting image – particularly the lady dodging the traffic.
Needing a couple of paintings for another exhibition I decided to do one of the locale. This is part of the main Street here in Southport with its covered walkway and Victorian facades, although some of the buildings down this end have a distinctive art deco feel. The tower belongs to the long defunct railway station that ran a line back down towards Liverpool. I frequently cycle up the path of the old line when out looking for topics to paint. The old station is now yet another hotel. I love the view looking into the light, which you only get in the winter months, here. At other times the sun is too high and sets over the buildings on the right.
This is a version of Lord Street 1 I did a few years back. I was pleased with the painting, but it didn’t sell for a while and in the meantime I did some more and then I sold six different views in the street over a couple of years. This time someone wanted a retirement gift with the retiree and his wife in Lord Street, Southport (where I live) so we decided on this first scene. The trouble was when I went back to check it out a coffee chain had opened up in the area and I felt obliged to reflect reality, so I took some more photos and included a table, a few chairs, some signage and someone puffing on a cigarette. I like the smoker, they add a bit more interest to the scene.
The client has just seen the photo and seems to like it- just hope he likes it in the flesh.