ST STEPHEN’S GREEN, DUBLIN – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Readers of my ramblings may remember I was in Dublin last weekend. The weather was glorious. We walked around the city to visit many of the sights. In St Stephen’s Green we strolled down the tree cooled avenues of the park. In the shade, I was struck by the brightness I could see in the distance, in the open spaces all around.

I’m thinking of doing another version of this but in a more abstract form, exploring the starker contrasts of light and shade that seemed to engulf me at the time – but then again it might have just been the Guinness.

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

LONDON SCENES – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We decamped for a few days to London. The wife had come up trumps on the Wimbledon lottery and had some ticket options. Not that you win any tickets, no; just the right to purchase some centre court tickets. This, though, is a step improvement on getting up at 4am to stand in line to try and get entry to the outer courts on the day.

I decided to go down with her and mooch about SW London while my wife and daughter – who lives in London – sipped Pimms and downed a few punnets of strawberries whilst watching a match or two.

Here is what I did instead. The first one is a sketch of Putney Bridge. This bridge spans the Thames between Putney and Fulham. As I sat on the Putney side I was caught by the bright London busses crossing the bridge, adding a bit of colour to the scene.

The church in the background is All Saints in Fulham which is on the perimeter of the grounds of Fulham Palace, the seat of the Bishop of London. I didnt know it was there until I wandered across the bridge. Entrance to the grounds was free and I did another sketch in the palace gardens as the other punters sat on the terrace and took tea.

The light wasnt very good, but it was a pleasant way to pass the day and I visited places I hadnt been to before and then enjoyed some evening meals out with family.

It beats working.

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

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT – ACRYLIC SKETCHES

Well, after the communication breakdown with my commission clients, contact was restored when I learnt that they had come back from holiday and were ready to proceed. The painting above was the second one they liked ( I posted their other preferred painting earlier). I feel that this one could be developed further, but I am not sure how far they want to venture into the descriptive. I have asked for a second meet to look at their preferred options and ways I can further develop them.

This second one was another sketch I submitted. I feel that there are aspects in all the sketches which could be brought into the final pieces, hopefully making them stronger. Anyway, they have promised a deposit today and I will move ahead and purchase the canvases, as they are bigger than my usual ones and they didnt want me to make them, which was a pity, as I have plenty of unstretched canvas and wood to make the stretchers.

Other abstracts are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

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

FALLING WATER – ACRYLIC SKETCH

Another sketch for the proposed commission based on Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Though I have a foreboding as I havent heard from them for over a week. This was one they said they liked. Silence can be a sign that something is wrong. Though I did have a commission a few years ago, where there were great spells of silence. It was only when they came to pick up the finished painting, about a year after we started the commission, that they told me the painting was a present for a family member in Canada. The other siblings were clubbing together to buy it and agreement was needed at each stage. If only they had told me at the outset, It would have spared me some anxiety. Then, I find many people assume you know what is going on in their head.

Above is another sketch I produced based on Robie House in Chicago. This one was less enthusiastically received.

This issue, when it comes on the back of an exhibition where I didnt sell anything, just chips away at your confidence. Hard times are now with us with the economic situation and paintings are first to go. I suppose I should hunker down and just enjoy my painting, painting for myself and the fun of it. Having said that I did complete a commission for a friend, but I cant show that as it is from a picture he took off a newspaper.

Still, if you are looking for a painting, check out my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SPRING MORNING, BIRKDALE VILLAGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Well, it looks like I got my paintings ( the ones I posted on this blog a week or so ago) into the juried show at the town art gallery – leastways, they havent told me to come and pick them up, which is always a good sign.

So, with that under my belt, I can turn to next week when we set up another exhibition on the other side of Lord Street to the art Gallery, in an unused unit inside a beautiful Victorian shopping arcade. This will be for six weeks and I need to ready a few more paintings for that one. Even though I probably have more than enough, I thought I might do a quick painting of my local shops, around the corner from where I live. The sun shines on the facades in the morning and with the trees only just coming into leaf you can see most of the architecture, including the covered walkway, so it is a local scene which someone might take a shine to.

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

THE CLAYTON PLACE FRUIT STALL – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Another in the style of Colin Brown, the same style used in the painting I recently posted : Waiting to Cross the Strand. Except that it isnt in that style. It certainly started that way, but my good intentions were quickly usurped by my own usual methods and this is the outcome. I think it was the detail that forced me to get tighter.

Though it’s not to say I am unhappy with the result. I rather like it and it has some things going for it that please me.

The subject is, as you can see, the fruit stall. This comes into view when you exit the main entrance from Central Station in Liverpool. Central Station is the hub of the city’s rapid transport system, not he mainline station. The stall is in a bit of a down at heel alley that links to a new shopping precinct. When the sun shines on it, though, the stall seems to glow and this is what I have captured here.

It is also a welcome addition to my Liverpool Series.

Other Liverpool scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

EXHIBITION SUBMISSIONS – W/C and ACRYLIC

Tomorrow I will take three paintings of local scenes to an upcoming exhibition at Southport’s art gallery, The Atkinson. The first one is a new version of a watercolour I presented before, but I have dropped the horizon line and cut out some of the foreground after Multiplemichael – in my opinion, rightly pointed out that there was too much unnecessary foreground in the original. I also increased the foreground puddle on this version of Flooded Fields at Lathom.

This second one is an acrylic painting of Formby Beach, again, one I have previously shown. The third, is a smaller watercolour: Sunset on Lord Street, again, one I have shown before.

It is a juried show and was a good hunting ground for me in the past, but the gallery authorities have meddled with the format. It was originally run by a small group of artists as a totally juried show. Now the gallery authorities have insisted on it becoming inclusive (because they get a grant towards it, if it is in that format). Now we have a hybrid: anything goes, along with the juried show I am entering. There’s a subsequent lack of ownership resulting in poor advertising which is vital in these days of austerity and having to sail against a difficult financial headwind.

If nothing sells – assuming I get them in – it might be my last appearance, particularly as the submission price has increased ( probably because they werent making as much in sales as they once did)

When this exhibition is running we will be opening another exhibition almost opposite on Lord Street, organised by a local artist. Consequentially, I will be having two bites of the cherry, but even so, sales may be hard to come by.

Paintings are for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

WAITING TO CROSS THE STRAND 2 – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I read an article by the artist, Colin Brown, detailing his approach to cityscapes. I thought that it could help energise my own work. As with many such demonstrations, there were aspects that I didn’t like, but his starting point seemed interesting. I suppose I had unconsciously used a similar approach in my life painting, but Brown provided a coherent structure that I felt was worth investigating.

So here is my first attempt, applying some of his methodology. The subject is the Strand on the Liverpool waterfront. Here you need to cross this very busy road to get from the city centre to the old dock buildings which have now been converted to shops, restaurants, apartments, arenas, art galleries and museums.

I wanted to contrast the people waiting at the crossing to the heavy traffic and the business of the early evening activities going on around and of course reference part of the Liver Building.

I originally did a version in pastel and it got used in a book on Liverpool, published a few years ago.

But despite being published the painting never sold. So this time I changed the angle and featured the highrise, which is supposed to reflect an ocean liner, and also pushed more colour into the piece.

As I’ve said many times before – you can but try.

Other townscapes and paintings of Liverpool are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

479 LORD STREET, SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

It’s probably a familiar scene if you are a regular to this site. Based on my other paintings of this street I was commissioned to do a painting featuring this particular building ( the one with the blue tiling on the right). I was asked to do it in the style of my earlier paintings.

I did point out that I had already done this view in a recent painting I posted in December, which you might remember, below.

The lady explained that she wanted more detail of the building and definitely didn’t like the traffic. Here was a useful insight. This aversion to traffic makes me realise that some people do not share my world view on this, and probably many other subjects.

It made me think that perhaps I should do more pavement views – even though I feel the road and it’s busyness makes the painting more interesting, as well as giving a more expansive field of view.

Still, the customer is always right and here is the result. It arrived on her doorstep yesterday.

Other scenes of Lord Street are to be found on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com