A friend was trying to contact me and went to my website to get my phone number and saw an image of the beach where she walks regularly. I had sold the one she spotted and she asked me to do another for her and this is the version I painted. Perhaps long time viewers recognise the view as I posted the first one a while ago.
I went down to the beach last week to see what the scene looks like now, but they have put a bigger fence on the left, so with her agreement I left it out. I like the spikey, old broken-down fence, particularly where it stands out against the sand below.
Anyway, whilst I was on the beach I took a few photos, so brace yourself for a set of beach scenes. I need some views for upcoming exhibitions that start to blossom prior Christmas and the beach at Formby is always popular.
Over the last few weeks I have been wanting to get outside painting, but the mornings have been unpredictable. They forecast cloud, so I don’t make plans, and when I wake up it’s bright sunshine and, conversely, with all my gear packed, I wake up to cloud. So, the other day, I decided to change tactics and go out to the beach one sunny afternoon. Once there though, it seemed like everyone else had decided that the beach was the place to be (though not to paint) and it was crowded. I did this in acrylics, above, when I got home.
Despite the crowds and interruptions I did a few sketches in watercolour. I wanted to get material for some more finished pieces.
I’m not sure I got much material. I might have a look at the sand besieged pines on the right, but I was working directly into the light on this one and the contrast is perhaps too much. It wasnt helped by a trail of passing sunburnt and sand-covered daytrippers, children and dogs knocking over my water pot and covering my palette in sand as they wended their way back to their cars.
A view of the Mersey Estuary under a low afternoon sun with the Wirral Peninsular in the background and just a hint of the wind turbines. Originally I painted the gulls bigger, but they dominated, as gulls do. Now they sit a little more reservedly in the landscape.
Just two colours were used to paint this – a warm red and a cool blue. I wasnt sure whether it would come off, but after a lot of dry brushwork and the splattering of masking fluid, it started to take shape. I was pleased with the starkness of the image – you can almost hear the shingle being raked by the incoming waves.
And by way of contrast, a scene from the same beach, but with the tide out and the winter long forgotten.
This was an acrylic study and I used a few more colours here – but not many more.
Well, summer seems to be peeping around the corner around here, so why not paint another beach scene. This is a subject I tackled a long time ago, but the figures were just part of a bigger beachscape. I love this grouping and thought that it might be worth focussing in on the four of them walking along the wet sand in the morning.
And whilst I am the subject of repeats, here is another version of a painting I did post a few weeks ago. Breakout, though in that version not all the figures were breaking out – one seemed to be very occupied with their phone.
So I got rid of the texting man and added a running female. I also pushed her and the dog closer to the smaller boy and reduced the size of the painting from 52x35cm to 35x25cm and in doing so, got closer to the action. Hopefully I’ve got more of the exuberance of a summer’s day than I first had – days to come.
Well for us in northern climes the corner has been turned and summer is on its way, though, no doubt, a rocky (and icy) road lies ahead. So here is a painting of what we’re aiming for. I did this as a pastel a long while ago and wondered whether it would make a watercolour. I love the shadows of the marram grass, the distressed fence, and the way the beach disappears into a hazy blueness. It makes a hopeful change from my recent winter beach scenes.
I did a version of this in an earlier post, but felt that it focussed on the figures rather than the sense of place. Hence the rework; taking on a lower angle and focussing on the sand and reflections and the openness of the space and pushing the figures and furniture back.
As you can see above I was able to put some paintings in my framer’s window this week ( apologies for the reflections in the glass). At least I have a small exhibition which can be viewed from the open air. I had hoped to be in another mixed exhibition in one of the town centre’s empty shops but the organiser decided to abandon it. I was looking forward to manning the gallery and doing some painting in the shop.
As soon as I got home from my framers I had an email from a guy who wanted to buy, off my website, one of the big paintings that is in the photo. For some reason my website didnt allow him to purchase them on line. The painting had been on the website for a couple of months, but he decided to purchase it after I had taken it along to my framers and set it up in the exhibition. I shouldnt moan. Anyway, as he’s local he said he will call into the shop and collect it – at least he gets a free frame which I dont supply on line.
So we’re off to a good start. I just have to find a replacement.
Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com. Hurry they are running out fast – or should that be seeping slowly…
I have sold a number of beach scenes at Formby of late, so stocks of this subject were low and I wanted something not too taxing to paint as I worked on a more difficult painting.
It puzzles me why a local beach scene is such a popular subject but I suppose sunny days at the seaside are always uplifting and can hold happy memories – that is, until you have to paint masses of marram grass and footprints in the sand.