I parked up in the carpark by the canal ready to go off painting and just took a glimpse along the towpath. Fingers of mist still clung to the reeds, avoiding the sun’s weak rays. Out of the reed beds some moorhens glided across the chill water, probably thinking I might be a source of a free breakfast.
I tried this out in pastel to get the wisps of mist. In hindsight I could have done it in watercolour and used white gouache for the mist.
I don’t know what fascinates me about these cottages, just off the road at the foot of Clieve’s Hills as you approach Ormskirk having travelled across the moss, inland from Southport. I did them as a watercolour (shown on this blog on September 24th) and have previously painted them plein air by the roadside, although the best view point is in the middle of the road, which isn’t much good.
Perhaps the middle bale needs a bit of tidying up as I look at is as I write.
The old tracks and roads which crisscross the Moss behind Southport where I live start to heave and bend as the land around dries out. The poles which adorn the roadside then tip like dancing men. Here is a typical path which disappears out of sight done in pastel.
Three figures from recent life sessions, two in acrylic and one in pastel. The top one was playing around in blocks of colour and I decided to reintroduce the background into the figure. I then added more blocks outside and a feeling of disintegration developed.
Painting’s taken a backseat to opening parcels, eating and drinking but here’s some of my latest life paintings done during the run-up to Christmas. The first one is an acrylic, the second a pastel and finally another acrylic, each done in around 90 minutes during some of the life sessions I attend.
I wanted to do a painting of the expanse of fields and woods that lie inland from Southport, where I live, just north of Liverpool . I’m a bit underwhelmed by the outcome, a game of two halves, in my opinion. I tried to put variation into the grass but it still doesn’t come off – just too much of it.
But this is how it looks – you just need to get it on a good day. Back to the drawing board.