Well, I couldnt resist taking a few pictures of this couple down at our local lake, feeding the birds. More so, because it was into the sun and the birds sang out like jewels – helped by the dark shadow cast by one of the stores in the nearby retail park. Then there was the plastic bag held by the woman, the biggest diamond, catching the sunlight.
Not one I’d like to do plein air neither for its complexity nor because of the chill wind down there that day, but it was a nice little exercise in the warmth of my studio, arranging and adjusting the players and building up the tones.
Sefton Park is a well used park in south Liverpool. It has a renovated glass house filled with tropical plants and is worth a visit for that alone. At the southern end is a long lake with ducks, geese, swans and cormorants, amongst the birds I recognised, all jostling for food thrown at them by the locals. We popped down to the park after Christmas for some exercise and a look at the glasshouse, before stopping off for some lunch in one of the many restaurants down Lark Lane, which joins the park at one edge.
Walking around the lake, I was taken by the light with a low diffuse sun breaking through the thin cloud. It gave some interesting effects.
I managed to slip in a little acrylic study between the demos and workshops I am currently doing. It’s like buses – nothing for ages and then they all come along at once.
I saw this scene on a visit to Ness Gardens on the Wirral peninsular in September, this year and wondered whether it would make a good painting. Grandparents providing childcare.
I particularly like the man’s pose. I prised the woman away from the child as the woman’s head obscured the view, though I liked the foil of the tumbling, ragged foliage against the solid form of the figures.
This is the second painting in the Manor Garden series. Once more it is of the rose garden but looking down the terraces from the main house. The previous painting, displayed on my last blog, viewed the garden from right to left in this painting. Here, the view is more into the sun, so there are some juicy contrasts of light and shade.
The roses are a bit more florid than you might see if you visited, but they are probably in line with what the gardener was intending.
Both paintings have been dispatched, and the lady seems to be happy with the two pieces although she didnt recognise herself in the first painting. Hopefully she now has a constant reminder of a place she loves.
On holiday the other week we visited these gardens in Bexhill’s old town, in Sussex. The area was part of the old Manor built in 13th century and its remains can be seen. There are also other ruined buildings. These create small walled gardens and enclosed spaces. Many of the walls are made of flints, held together with mortar, a common method of construction here, as flint is found in the nearby chalk hills and beaches.
These gardens are well maintained and the present main building is used for weddings. The gardens are a favourite haunt of a lady who asked me to paint some views of it for her. This is the main rose garden and some of the buildings and ruins can be seen. This rose garden is used as a backdrop for wedding photos and garden parties.
The second painting is being worked up and I will post that on my next blog.
I hate sitting doing nothing, so as I manned our exhibition the other day, I started this painting. I got all the drawing completed and put in the initial washes and background details in, between greeting the 30 or so visitors who dropped by. Some of the visitors are interested to see someone painting and it can be an ice-breaker. For this reason I left the wall until I had a quiet moment at home, as it took a bit of concentration to paint.
The park is quite near to where we are holding the exhibition and the painting also features some of the town’s buildings. There is a tower behind the couple, that I painted in an earlier session at the exhibition, I posted the result a couple of weeks ago. That painting is now hanging in the gallery.
Wednesday was a sunny day so I cycled out to get some more information for a painting I was planning. This park was close to my area of interest, so I stopped by and I couldnt resist this contra jour scene of the old Victorian gatehouse to the park and the people enjoying the afternoon sunshine.