My daughter and her boyfriend came up the other day and we went for a walk along the coastal path north of Liverpool. This is another place where the path brushes the beach – at the end of Lifeboat Road in Formby. What little remains of the lifeboat station are some well washed bricks down there on the beach.
I am a sucker for the broken fences and the shadows that they cast – perhaps I could make a bit more of them here. And with the windy day came the churning waves eating away more of the sandy beach.
I have been going through my back catalogue after the surprise sale of nine paintings. My framer should have six more frames ready today and I have some paintings to go in them – so we can bring the exhibition back up to 30 paintings with a few in reserve. However, I didnt have many larger paintings that I felt comfortable showing. I decided to redo a painting, but this time in acrylics, to fill a larger frame. This is a view over the Lancashire Plain back to where I live in Southport, on the coast. Just beyond these hills – and they are only small bumps – sits the town of Ormskirk, which would be behind the viewer.
Having got the exhibition up and running on Wednesday I tidied up my studio and got myself back together and decided on what to do next. This painting, below, had been hanging around and I felt it needed changing. I posted it in November and had misgivings about the left hand side.
I am certainly happier with it now and may exhibit it later.
As for the exhibition: I took 30 paintings for the show with 3 for reserves. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief after getting everything sorted out.
Then, yesterday, as I was quietly working on the painting above, I got a call to say one lady had just purchased 9 paintings. It made a bit of a hole in the exhibition as they are allowed to take them away with them. So I have been scrambling around finding more paintings and frames. I went around to my framer, but he’s got to order more wood. Anyway I was able to replace 6 paintings , so the hole isnt quite so large now. It’s a problem, but a good one to have.
Below are some snaps after I set it up, and before the shopping spree.
I need thirty paintings for a show in a couple of weeks and started getting things together before I left for holiday. The exhibition is based on paintings of the area around where I live. Most are in a realist or naturalist style but I have one abstract work and although I have some expressionistic works I wanted another abstract to complement it. It then takes the viewer on both a topographic and a stylistic journey. On the plane home I had an idea for something reflecting the canal where I live and do a lot of my plein air painting.
This was the result and may get further tweaked in the next weeks. I did do a couple of pastel sketches, but felt that they were a little busy.
This was the first one and on the second I decided to kill some of the blue
I liked the idea of building up the complexity in the middle, but keeping the outsides open and airy and decided to emphasise that on my acrylic piece. Perhaps I have gone too far now. I will leave it alone and make a decision later.
As I worked on the acrylic piece I started to think of the Nile – a little distance from the Lancashire plain where I started out.
Things are getting a bit hectic around here. I am off on holiday shortly and I needed to get an exhibition up and running yesterday. I am also just completing a commission that came in last week and when I come back from holiday I have another exhibition. This painting is for that later exhibition. The exhibition is about the local landscape and I need a bit of time to assess this latest effort and see whether I want to include it. I may be forced to as I need 30 pictures.
I started again with the painting I posted on my last blog and here is the result. It is a little rough around the edges but it now has the feeling of a mad hatter’s tea party – not that I’m calling my step-brother mad for one instant – he could be reading this. I thought that the first version was too static and it needed something, so along came a bit of humour and action. I did consider just altering the last offering but changing the poses and adding the bottle and hands blocked out bits I wanted to keep – so it was start again.
I will allow time for reflection and then perhaps refine a few bits, but I feel John will appreciate this version a little more or dislike it a little less.
Other paintings for sale are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
This is John, my step brother. He gave up running a shopping mall and, with his wife, opened up an Filipino/English Cafe. She is from the Philippines and her son, DJ, is in the background, though he is soon off to a job in Japan.
When I was on my painting course, last week, we popped in for lunch and I thought I might do John a painting – though I think it needs to be livelier and more quirky than this.
I do like his pork-pie hat which seems to be fixed permanently to his head and the cafe counter is covered in paper and paraphernalia, so this may be another project I will be doing again. The second goes are piling up.
Anyone got a spare lifetime that they can let me have?