CRESCENT ROAD, BIRKDALE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Most mornings I cross Crescent Road and see this view. It is close to where I live and on a sunny morning the glow of the red bricks complementing the verdant hedges and other foliage as well as the patterns of light and shade always captures my attention. So I thought I would paint it and add it to my small collection of local paintings. And here it is for you, a small snapshot of where I live.

Other local paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

EVENING ON BIRKDALE DUNES – PASTEL PAINTING

You may recall in the post before last the gloomy vista of rain clouds about to come over Birkdale beach – and I said it was part of a series, so here is the next one, a contrasting evening on the beach, with the sun hanging low and the light shimmering off the wet sands in the distance. I did this type of evening view in watercolour and it sold a year or two back, so I thought that I would try a version in pastels, placing tonal washes down in gouache first and then working over them in pastel as I had in my earlier pastel.

Mystery encroaches at this hour. The low light casts shadows and darkens ravines between marram covered dunes. Tracks of past beachgoers get highlighted by a glow on the raised edges that is then underscored by the shadow of the depression. Wisps of grass, catch the low sun and seem to glow against shadowed inclines. Soon the mystery will be complete.

Other beach scenes are available on my website for sale: grahammcquadefineart.com

A STORM BREAKS OVER BIRKDALE BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

I am working on a small series of local beach scenes in pastel. It gives me an opportunity to try out the use of gouache to quickly block in masses of light and shade. Darker passages can take a lot of pastel to build up and painting in a mixture of colours that can be added to with pastel seems to give a fresher result. I have done it with acrylic before, but I felt gouache will retain a better tooth to the paper.

On the beach, the marram grass covered dunes give way to lonely wet sands stretching way out to the breaking waves, almost imperceptible, in the distance. Above, dark clouds gather across the Irish sea in readiness to sweep in eastwards, lashing the country with the moisture picked up when crossing the Atlantic.

It is a good place to walk, in waterproof boots, on a windswept days past wading birds, to view what flotsam the preceding tide has deposited on the wet sand. Broken branches, like reaching limbs, festooned with flags of algae and black jewels of coal scoured from the Welsh coast dot the sand like pebbles.

Other seascapes and beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUNSET ON LORD STREET – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A view I’ve done before, but this time I thought I would make more of the sunset and it’s effects. I’ve used the woman crossing the road with her shopping bags in another painting, but she fits in well here.

I think I’ve mentioned before, in earlier blogs, how the sunset in winter months is quite spectacular on Lord Street, the main street in Southport, where I live. I also spotted the light reflecting off the surface of a puddle in the gutter and, if nothing else, that was reason enough for me to do a painting.

Other townscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

LORD STREET VIEW – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another in the mad scramble to get some paintings ready for a local show. This one is of the main street in Southport where I live. I think I have mentioned this before, that the low winter evening sun ( on the rare occasions when we see it) casts a golden glow over the shopfronts and lends a dreamlike feel to the street. I think I have captured that feel down the end of the street. I also liked the long shadows cast by the pedestrian and cars. In the past I have perhaps got a little dark with the buildings but hopefully, this time, have dodged that particular pitfall.

Yesterday I put this in our pop-up gallery off this very street, but I will probably move it to my solo exhibition at my framers, if and when he lets me start. I want a body of paintings of local scenes and this really fits the bill. Normally I would have high hopes for it, but slow sales at our pop-up gallery have dented my confidence of late.

Other townscapes and local views are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

DAY’S END AT THE END OF THE PIER – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This was the subject of my second ever post. It is a view of part of our pier at Southport. As the beach faces in a westerly direction you can get some great sunsets like this one.

With our pop up gallery suddenly and unexpectedly being given a months extension and a planned solo show looming at my framers I am in need of more paintings of local interest. This view is an image I have had for a while and I thought that it might make a popular subject. I love mixing the colours on the paper for the reflections and then tempering them with dry-brush darks. The only issue I had were the supports under the pier which always seem to look awkward.

The painting above followed my image, but I wondered whether I could display the painting at both venues and so set about doing a second version.

This time I thought that I would introduce the sun as it dipped towards the horizon and introduced the resulting reflections off the wet sand.

You can but try – they made for some satisfying painting, without too much detail -I’m just hoping that I have enough frames left for both exhibitions.

Other seaside paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

LORD STREET, SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

It’s been an unusually busy week, so I am showing an old painting that I havent posted before. It is of part of Lord Street, in Southport, where I live. It depicts busier times. Yesterday and today I’m doing a double stint at the pop up gallery which is feet away from where this painting was painted from. In fact, this painting was sold at the same pop-up around 10 years ago when sales were much better.

Having said that, I sold a painting at the shop this Thursday. It was of the canal, a painting I posted recently. I think the low sun clinched the deal, as you can see below.

Yesterday we had 13 people visit all day – life can be very lonely as a gallery worker and we only managed to sell 4 cards.

I took a painting to work on, but only managed to do a bit as I left my glasses at home. I’m clearly in need of an assistant

On Wednesday this week, I did a watercolour demonstration at a small town just north of Blackpool, it was my first demo since the first lockdown in March 2020. It seemed to go well. The painting I demonstrated was the puddles on Back Street South which I sold the last time I was at the pop up gallery – but that was the only one I did sell all month. I think I posted that very recently, but I still like it, so here it is again.

Well it’s Saturday, today, so we might get a few more punters at the gallery. I left my quarter completed painting there overnight, so I will try and remember my spectacles today and then I might have something to show for my next post.

Other townscapes, landscapes and anything else you can imagine are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUNSHINE IN KING’S GARDENS, SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

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.

Other townscapes and scenes of Southport are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

CAFE LIFE ON LORD STREET, SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I joined in a group exhibition in Southport where I live, and have been manning the gallery for a couple of days this week, as I am going on holiday the week after next. The shop is in a beautiful Victorian arcade, but unfortunately most of the shops are empty and footfall is low. To occupy my time between visitors, I painted this scene which is about 200 yards from the exhibition intending to put it in the exhibition. I have done quite a few of this street, called Lord Street, in the past and they have sold. The exhibition is on for six weeks and I have done quite well at this venue previously, though this time I am not holding my breath. I may try and get this painting in next week as there is still a bit of wall space available.

I put up a couple of Liverpool Street scenes, shown on the right, and the Southport street scene may fit in amongst them.

Other townscape paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE SNICKET ALONG THE RAILWAY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This is a scene I see almost daily on my walk. Well, that is, when I get up in time and the sun shines and… So sometimes, anyway. These early summer mornings with the colours of young leaves in sunshine lift the spirit. I also like the old cast-iron bollards that guard the alleyway and which seem isolated and redundant now. Not to mention the old street lamp, still in its old borough colours of cream and red.

Further on my morning route is the site of another painting I did – and posted here – a couple of years ago, at a similar time of the year with the bright morning sun shining through the new leaves.

I called it Spring Explodes onto Walmer Road.

Townscape paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com