Here are a couple of old paintings I reworked recently. This one, of the local reclaimed farmlands behind our town and the roller-coaster lane that runs across it, was washed with water and almost half of the painting removed or reduced in tone. I then repainted the foreground. Hopefully it now has a softer feel. more appropriate to an early morning scene.
And another painting given a similar treatment. This one, of Rivington Pike, which you can see across the moss from Southport, where I live. A similar approach was done to this, washing off the lower half to increase the impression of morning light and then reworking the fore ground.
Both were long format paintings which I am presently short of, ready for any upcoming exhibitions.
At present I am working on some big commission pieces with one almost finished, allowing me to start on the second one. I have posted sketches of them earlier and hopefully will have something to show soon.
Another reworked painting from around this area. This one, a view I’ve painted before, is of a lane which cuts east/west across the reclaimed farmland in the glow of the morning light. The last of the mist that blankets the low fields slipping stealthily away as the crows swoop in to reclaim their land.
It’s a place I often visit on my morning cycle rides, but I’m ashamed to say I havent been out this year and May, my favourite month, is almost over. But there is still time and the weather might improve, though I have missed some good mornings already for one thing or another.
After the holiday, back to earth with a bump – particularly yesterday, when I had some pretty aggressive dental treatment. But this blog is about painting, not my teeth, so here is a painting of the local woods which back onto the sandy beaches around here.
The woods are predominantly made up of conifers, but there are gaps where spruce makes a grab for the sunlight. Then, in the autumn these gaggles of spruce light up the forest with their colourful, leafy displays. I’ve painted this type of scene before and here, without apology, is the start of a wooded section just behind our local airfield.
Coming out of the shade of a copse, the light on the trees and their trunks ahead, grabbed my attention and the puddles on the path was an added extra.
A familiar scene in my local woods which run behind the beach. Instead of pushing the tonal range, as I normally do, I wasn’t as aggressive with the darks, particularly the background. I also restricted the palette to a violet/yellow scheme and nearly succeeded, before dropping in muted reds to further enliven the foreground.
I did this painting sitting in our pop-up gallery in the arcade last Friday. The shopping arcade now has few operating shops and footfall is low. I wonder how long we will have the opportunity to exhibit here. We sold a few cards and , I’m glad to say, one painting, though not one of mine. I was also in another exhibition as well, last weekend, but sold nothing. It dampens your enthusiasm when you see little return from your efforts.
Last Sunday was the final day for our exhibition in the arcade, but suddenly the group who were due to take over from us have apparently found greener pastures, in the local art gallery. I’m not sure if they are that green as I am about to retrieve two paintings from this gallery which have done nothing for the past couple of months. I will be collecting them on Monday – presumably to make way for this group. So the upshot is, we can remain in our venue until Christmas which means I will be sitting painting in the gallery for a while longer.
I continued my search for a woodland scene for an upcoming exhibition and painted this yesterday. I will probably submit this painting rather than the one I posted on my last post. Both are from the same woods.
You can see the path disappearing right, down what becomes a sharp hill, which quickly bottoms out and then rises sharply again. Great for cycling down until you meet another cyclist coming the other way doing the same thing – trying to get enough speed to get up the hill in front.
Fortunately on that day I didnt meet anyone coming the other way.
Anyway, I have now submitted my exhibition entry form, so that’s one less job. We start another exhibition in town on Sunday, so I need to label up another set of paintings.
I posted a version of this painting in early January. At the time someone commented on the bottom portion of the painting; that it needed reducing. I had to agree with this useful suggestion and decide to extend and expand the narrative of the passing places down the canvas.
In the end I reworked two thirds of it, making it look like a collection of snapshots along this single track lane close to where I live – a record of a journey perhaps. The passing places, emblematic of how we have to compromise and defer on our journey through life – well, most of us anyway.
I certainly like the idea behind this painting and how the greys characterise the place and the vibrancy generated by this colour against the oranges and yellows in the sky and fields.
I have struggled with this painting and have decided to stop and have a rest. Publishing it will allow me to create some distance and ponder. I need the space: of late I have found my painting getting slower and slower and decisions taking longer and longer to make.
This painting comes from an old photo of a country lane near to where I live. I love the incongruous angles of the posts. The photo is below along with marks and water stains made by me.
I wanted to break the image up and decided to do this in a landscape format, like the photo. I did some thumbnail sketches.
And off I popped on a 75x50cm canvas. Before too long doubts crept in and out crept the gesso. Well the gesso came out after I had completed a new acrylic sketch over an old painting, which retained a lot of its original colours.
I thought that this format might be better so then the gesso did come out and I completed the painting at the top of the page. I thought that the notion of the painting being in three parts, with each part slipping past the other, echoed cars on this track having to negotiate past one another. I was reminded of that piece of performance art – Imponderabilia” Marina Abramovic where visitors had to squeeze between the naked artists stood at the only entrance to the exhibition. I apologise that this piece isnt as unnerving or erotic – but then that’s what you get on a Monday morning.
Another view from Ainsdale pine woods near to my home, where the firs and bracken have populated the old sand dunes down to the beach.
You can understand, in a more credulous age, the belief in sprites and fairies as the morning light bristles or crepuscular darks grow.
And another go at the view of the woods and path I posted a few weeks ago. The first one was quickly done on the back of an old painting and I loved the glow I achieved. Unfortunately some of the old painting had been cut down so it didnt fit my frames and mounts. Hence this second attempt on a fresh sheet.
I painted an identical scene in watercolour and posted it on this blog a while back. In this version I wanted to see if I could enhance the textures of the vegetation using pastel and hopefully have got more variation with this media, even if the image is pretty similar.
The view is one of the many drainage channels that criss-cross this low lying marshy area which is now prime arable land. I originally sketched it one morning last year and during the painting the mist broke and the morning sun illuminated the fresh vegetation picking out the greens and yellows.
Hopefully I will soon be able to get out in the open to gather some fresh material to paint again, unless the government confine us all to barracks.
I saw a woodland scene simply done in watercolours the other day and wondered whether some of my scenes could do with decluttering. The painting was eye catching though too simplistic for my taste but I felt it was worth trying some of the principles.
This painting was from view I have had lying around for a while and I thought that it would make a good starting point. I proceeded with a wash of strong primary colours over the wetted sheet and then moved the whole lot with more sprayed water to get some colour mixing into a myriad of hues.
When dry, further forms were created into sprayed areas to give hit and miss shapes and gradually the whole thing was worked up with drier and drier brushwork.
I’ll do a few more and compare them with earlier paintings I have done.