Rushing around looking at replacement paintings for the exhibition after the sudden sales, I considered a number of local landscapes for display. Some I had affinity for but was reluctant to put on show. So when the dust settled last week I thought that I should see whether I could get them to a stage where I would put them in a frame to exhibit.
This is the first one – the beach at Southport in the evening. The first version was quite large – a half imperial sheet. I realised I could get the essence by compressing it, with the sand, grasses and reflections on the water constained by a narrow format. I also kept a tight reign on the hue, reflecting the beach in the sky.
Continuing my series of paintings of local landmarks. This is one of Duke Street Cemetery. I posted a version in May, but had reservations about it. So I had another go. The buildings are a bit more proportional and believable – the tower is a very peculiar shape and I got some more shots of it to double check the shape. I also got the headstones in better proportion on this one. I still have my reservations about it, but I need to move on. I read an article by an artist who said that when they completed their work they put it away immediately and reviewed it after a couple of weeks. They felt that they got a much more objective view of it after a decent break. So we’ll try that.
The heatwave continues -not good news for my garden – forcing me up early to explore the local area. I see these cottages when I travel by train into Liverpool and their shapes always catch my eye, so I set my stool up along the lane which leads to the railway line, As I painted a dog came along and attacked me, knocking over my cup of tea, and water container. It wasnt very big – just a nuisance. The owner followed and kicked the dog away and wanted some info on my website and prices – but as to yet no sales,
The next day I set down by the River Douglas, warily watched by grazing sheep – though none attacked. which meant I could drink my tea
. Wading birds stilted the muddy flats and squabbling ducks caused a heron to fly off for more peaceful fishing.
This is a bit further down the River Douglas . I wanted to get closer to the moored boat, but despite over half an hour of trying I had to settle for this original view. I have a rule where I dont paint things I can barely see, but after all my efforts and the sun getting higher, I let slip this rule, though with my telephoto lens I did get enough should I want to paint it at home.
The project of doing some local scenes has once again taken another backward step, in a similar way as with the last two paintings I posted.
I went down to the beach to observe the local shrimpers coming back from the sea with their harvest and decided on a scene to paint, but I was disappointed with the result and abandoned it at the sketching stage.
I then cobbled together the scene which I painted above, but I made so many changes and additions as I progressed, that I would need to do it again if I were to contemplate trying to sell it. At least the exercise crystallised my thoughts as I dragged parts from six photos but even then I had to make up bits.
In the end I got something which might work and I can now go back and get some more reference material, aware of what it is I’m looking for.
Another medium term project I have set myself is to assemble a set of paintings from around the vicinity where I live to show in my framers shop window around Christmas. The framers is almost opposite the end of this church. This was a first go at St Peter’s Church which I feel is a little stilted.
Another painting which didnt come out as well as I would have liked is a view of Duke Street Cemetery which is an old municipal cemetery started in Victorian times.
I was working from a number of photos, trying to get the best view through the trees along with the turn of the path. What I have done is getting the tombstones on a different scale to the chapel building. I did wonder why I needed to slip in memorial stones to fill the gaps. So here is another one for rework – though I am not sure of the commercial value of a graveyard, I do love the spring sunshine working through the unfolding leaves.
Temperature inversions on the low lying land behind Southport causes mist to hover in the morning. The fields drop because of the drainage, but the buildings and roads remain at their original height on their foundations – well most of the time – so you see buildings and roadside trees popping up like figures in a mirage surrounded by haziness.