A view from my recent walking holiday in Portugal. We had been on the top of the sea cliffs for most of the day when the path turned inland, into a wooded area. It twisted and turned and came out along the edge of a field with the trees on one side. Walking along, I spotted this gap in the trees, revealing the coastline and sea.
I was well ahead of the group and contemplated the opportunity for a quick painting. So I entered the half lit glade looking for a spot to settle down. As I dropped my rucksack I heard rustling off to the left. There was a guy in the wood moving around. Not sure what he was up to, I took a few photos, picked up my bag and headed on my way on the path alongside the field.
The path dropped down the high ridge towards a river which I knew we had to traverse. As I sat on the banks waiting for the rest of the group, the man in the woods came down and waded the shallow river. Perhaps I had spooked him as much as he had done me.
Still on holiday, we visited friends near my home town. One couple have just moved back to the area and they were showing us around their new house and on the wall was a familiar painting – one I did around 2013. It was pleasing to see it again, after all these years. I dug up this image of it from my files. I called it Early Start.
Here is another long forgotten painting I saw yesterday. I sold it to a lady who lived in the same block of flats as my step mother. The lady has since moved to a care home due to dementia and her family cleared her flat for renting out. This painting was then hung in one of the corridors of the block of flats. I just caught sight of it as I was passing and it made me pause. I had to ask my stepmother about it, who assured me it was the painting I had originally sold to Shirley.
Apologies for the light reflections from the glass. I like the almost abstract shapes at the bottom of the painting which slowly evolve into vegetation and buildings. I have used this approach before, and was pleased with the result here.
Just two colours were used to paint this – a warm red and a cool blue. I wasnt sure whether it would come off, but after a lot of dry brushwork and the splattering of masking fluid, it started to take shape. I was pleased with the starkness of the image – you can almost hear the shingle being raked by the incoming waves.
And by way of contrast, a scene from the same beach, but with the tide out and the winter long forgotten.
This was an acrylic study and I used a few more colours here – but not many more.
Taking a break from my series of watercolours, I thought that I would do something with acrylics. I have to give an acrylic painting demonstration in Blackpool next week and decided to feature this piece which I posted on my blog some years ago. It is done with square brushes to block in colour and, hopefully, encourages looseness and produces a more painterly piece, which some people prefer. I like to have a run through of a demonstration to ensure that I can complete it in the allotted time and this one is a bit bigger than the normal size I demonstrate.
After this dose of waveforms I will return to dry land on my next blog – promise. The handing in day for the exhibition is this Thursday, so I am still looking for a painting to replace the original wave I was going to submit, as I mentioned in my previous blog. After doing this one above, I realised that a simple waveform could convey more energy than the more complex one in my last post. I was certainly pleased with this and the serenity it conveyed but I wanted to have another go at the one with rocks and here it is, below.
So one goes into the exhibition, well to the selection panel, anyway.
I was assembling some paintings for the town’s big exhibition which takes place in the main Art Gallery. I had a few lined up for submission but last Saturday I got a call from my framer who asked if I still had my painting of a wave. This was going to be one of my entries. I took it around to my framer who duly sold the painting to a guy who had seen it when it was displayed there in March and who waited until now to make some enquiries.
It was a nice problem to have and I thought I would do another couple and see how they turned out. Above is the first one. A second is in progress. I included some rocks on this one and really like their warmth against the cool colours of the sea.
It may be a bit over complicated when compared to the one I sold ( and displayed in February on this blog). I certainly liked the first one’s simplicity, which is maybe why it caught the eye of the buyer – see below.
I enjoyed loading up a large mop with masses of dark colour and floating the tip over the paper’s surface drawing out random patterns in this sketch. It will be worth trying again and getting the density of paint stronger. I had prepared a light underpainting first on this one, to try and get the swell and roll of water before going in with the reflections.
The second one is a half imperial sized version (52x36cm) of the sketch I put on the blog on the 12th February. I decided to go in even closer on this version. I was quite satisfied with this one, so hopefully you wont see this again.
Other seascapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
When I was on holiday I took many photos of waves in order to paint some seascapes on my return. I had these images on one of my memory cards which I placed inside my computer case for safe keeping. It didn’t work: I lost the card and with it many photos of my holiday. Fortunately I had two other cards full of images, but not many of the sea. Anyway I have a number of images from other stays by the seaside and a few on the other cards so I tried out some sketches.
Here are a few of them. I will try working these up to bigger paintings, in fact I’ve already started on one.
The last one is mixed media which is what I wanted to explore, but I was happy with the straight watercolours so I have decided to stay with that.
So there will be a few more paintings of the shoreline in the coming weeks.
Other paintings of beaches are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com