Another painting from my recent trip into town. This one is of the covered walkway over the shops with the setting sun throwing its rays down the pavement. I tried to paint the trees and buildings in one go and may have been overambitious. I had to subsequently take out colour to signify windows . I feel that there are some successful parts to this and I may have a go at repeating it.
Lord Street is the main street in Southport. Once a thriving shopping venue with covered walkways, today it is blighted with shop closures and lack of footfall.
In the winter, the low sun casts deep shadows and lights up reflective surfaces and makes for a great painting. The other afternoon I thought conditions were right for these perfect images. However, when I got down to the town centre, the sun was still too high to get the impact I was after – I need to wait a little later in the year – but still the contra jour effect of the setting sun gave an arresting image – particularly the lady dodging the traffic.
Well it’s actually a Drive where I live – but Alan Lerner apparently lived on a street- so you do what you have to, to make the title work.
I was putting the bins out the other day and looked up the Drive to see the autumn sun piercing the remaining leaves on the sycamore trees and patterning the pavement. I thought that it would make a good painting.
I added the dog walker as a focal point. There are plenty of them about as evidence on the pavement abounds.
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.