OK an old image for the New Year, but I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at ‘Entering Ainsdale Woods’. So here’s a second go and a title that saves overtaxing the troll’s sticky fingers.
I always have difficulties with light foregrounds against dark backgrounds and on the first one I had to resort to gouache to make some reclamations. I also felt the background tree trunks were too uniform and the dog needed repositioning. The first one looked quite good on the screen but the original didn’t stand up to close scrutiny – so that’s why you’re getting it again. This one has a lighter touch and brings out the sunlight on the autumn leaves which was something I was after.
So in compensation for repeating work, here’s a second painting, this time a repeat of ‘Receding Tide’. Hopefully I have now got the still wet feel of the shingle which I felt was missing on the first go and I extended the amount of shingle to break up the textures .
Temperature inversions on the low lying land behind Southport causes mist to hover in the morning. The fields drop because of the drainage, but the buildings and roads remain at their original height on their foundations – well most of the time – so you see buildings and roadside trees popping up like figures in a mirage surrounded by haziness.
This view is from an early morning outing I did at the end of April and from which I’ve already posted a number of paintings, around 6 I think so it was a productive morning although I paid the price as my bike got a puncture and I had to walk the last 4 miles home.
This view allowed me to play around with some textural work, something that I am experimenting with watercolour at the moment.
I suppose that this could be me on the bike, but the guy sped past as I was gazing at the scenery. This is another view from the set of paintings I did after an early morning cycle ride in April – other paintings have been posted over the last few weeks. I added the sheep for a bit more animation, but apart from that it is pretty much as it was – a magnificent morning, well apart from the puncture and the walk home.
Another painting from my early morning cycle ride down towards Liverpool. The textural work in the foregrounds makes it a bit more satisfying than my previous painting of the Alt, last week. I might redo that one and include more foreground foliage there. Looking at this as I write I need to add some shadowy ripples to the left hand side of the ditch to give it some texture and link it to the bank. It seems that there’s always something else that needs doing.
I often cycle through these woods and the light on a sunny day gives great contrasts. I’ve painted it before but felt the result was a bit stilted. So I was suckered in the other day and decided to have another go.
Still not sure. Perhaps I could get the darks a bit darker. I’ll ponder on it for a few days.
The other evening I went out painting and on my way back, as the sun was setting, I took this shot. The light coming in low, lit up the grasses and vegetation. I’ve tried to paint something like this before, but when you’ve got a nose-diving sun, the only way is a photo.
These little lanes cross the fertile reclaimed marshlands, travelling inland. This one is particularly narrow and lorries have slipped off the verges and rolled into the fields before now – probably in the act of following their sat-navs.
Whilst out painting one morning I cycled back home through the coastal pine forest which runs between the railway track to Liverpool and the local airfield on one side and the sandy beach on the other. There aren’t people around at that time and the forest is still, warming under the first rays of the morning sun.
Last week as I was cycling up and down Segars Lane taking some photos of the moss for the painting I put on my blog the last time, my eyes caught a flash of light as I went past a drab collection of farm buildings at White Otter Farm. The buildings close to the road were in shadow, but the farm yard bisected the cluster of buildings and the low light, from the far side, illuminated the yard, bouncing off the puddles and sending open doorways into deep shadow. I had to stop down the lane, wait for a tractor to come by and return to check it out. The tangle of shapes and tones were fascinating and I took a load of shots.
I thought that it would be a complex painting to do, but it almost painted itself. I did most of it in a morning and finished it off the next day. I suppose it is the interplay of the complementary colours in the foreground with the dash of another set of complementaries at the far end as well as the interlocking shapes.
I didn’t realise a muddy farmyard could be this beautiful.
In November I posted a couple of paintings of New Cut Lane. This lane, in the painting above, runs parallel with it across the moss, inland, to higher ground. The land is fertile and has shrunk below the road leaving a big drop for those who miss their way. Segars lane is narrower than New Cut Lane and there are passing places along it. One is visible in the mid ground in the painting.
The pictures of New Cut Lane were contre jour which bestowed mystery and dynamism. Here the day is a little older and the light is coming from the right, burning off the morning mists and bestowing a calmness.
Other landscape paintings and those of the Southport moss can be found on my website: