These sketches of the Leeds Liverpool Canal were done a few days ago as the weather has now taken a turn for the worse, or returned to the norm, depending on your level of pessimism.
The sketches are of each side of the bridge, by the Ship Inn at Haskayne, although on the first one the bridge is just out of view on the left. It was when I was well into this second sketch that I realised something was missing. Here is a painting of the same site which I sold a few years ago.
Admittedly the second one was painted in the evening light whilst my top sketch is done in the morning, but I must say that the willow and the ivy on the bridge do add some character and interest to the image, not quite balanced by the reeds now growing on the canal bank.
One morning, a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on the canal edge painting when this entourage drifted by. They came up from behind me and I had to drop the painting, brushes and palette and scramble around in my bag for the camera, all without upsetting the group. I crept along the bank taking a number of shots from which
I compiled this painting.
I felt I needed some more flower paintings and in came spring and the apple blossom burst out on my trees. Now with the warm weather there looks like there’s going to be a lot of fruit.
Last year I planted a few allium bulbs in the garden. I was hoping for some cerulean blue flowers but got a purpler version. I need to go and search for some of the bluer kind, but even so, the evening light on the flowers made them look like they were exploding.
The good weather continues so I have been getting up early and heading for the canal. This one is at Burscough that has a few pleasant buildings along the canal which I have painted in the past.
This one is near the first painting. Whilst I sat in the warm morning sunshine painting away a fledgling magpie hopped over to me and sat on my knee. It then wandered off, probably looking for its nest. Then later it came back and tried to get into my bag – probably the next best thing to the nest.
This morning started off sunny and enticed me from my bed but by the time I sat down to paint the mist was rolling in. I persisted with this one painting, below, but I do find that when the watercolour doesn’t dry, or dries slowly it gives you problems and I finish up waving the paper around in the air to get it dry. Wears me out!
I reported some issues with paintings on my last two posts, so to take a break from the projects I was struggling with, I decided to splash some colour around and paint a few flowers, especially now that the garden is in full flood with the good weather we are having.
This is one of the rhododendron bushes that grow in my garden that I spotted in full flower and illuminated by the afternoon sun.
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.