BACK TO THE BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

This morning I am taking some paintings into the pop-up gallery for my first collaborative exhibition in the run up to Christmas. This one will run for a month and I will have to do one day a week manning the shop and hoping for some healthy sales.

So now on to the second exhibition, in November. I have already sent in my list for the catalogue, but not all the paintings had been completed. This one above is the last of the eight I will be submitting. I felt I needed a local beach scene: similar to the one I am putting in today. I must admit I prefer that one, but what one person likes, another doesnt. Again it is of Formby beach, a popular destination in this area.

Other beach scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SKETCHES FROM PORTUGAL 2 – WATERCOLOURS

We have reached the end of our walks, arriving in Sagres in the Algarve yesterday – although it isnt over for us as tomorrow we visit friends near Faro for another few days. Sagres is a fishing port in southern Portugal and here are a couple of old boats sunning themselves in their retirement.

On the way to Sagres we walked along many clifftops and beaches and you keep taking photos as each place seems stunning at the time. In the end realise you have too many views of cliffs and beaches. So here is a painting of some cliffs instead.

Then, after a few miles of cliff you hit a beach and a small settlement and hundreds of surfers looking for the perfect wave. From a distance, and in their wet-suits, they look like the tadpoles that populate my pond in the spring.

And finally, yet another beach nestling amongst the cliffs. The others had gone for ice cream whilst I stayed to paint the scene for you.

There may be more sketches before we return. I have plenty of paper left.

Other landscapes and beach scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SKETCHES FROM PORTUGAL – WATERCOLOURS

We have decamped to Portugal for a few days of walking down the coast of Alentejo and the Algarve coastlines in the south of the country. So, in hindsight, it was bad planning of me to follow up some local beach scenes with more from Portugal – maybe I was getting excited about having a holiday at last.

We started at Vila Nova de Milfontes on the mouth of the river Miro. A really lovely old, small town. The above sketch is of the beach and cliffs on the way from Milfontes, south to Almograve as we walked along the fisherman’s path on the top of the cliffs. We sat on the beach to eat lunch and I did this sketch in between bites of my sandwich.

This is the pontoon at the foot of our hotel at Milfontes. The sea is in the background with the pontoon on the river. Shoals of mullet were frothing the water and in the distance is a small headland at the river’s mouth. The river water is calm in comparison to the Atlantic breakers at the head of the river.

I did this quick sketch of Cabo Sardao Lighthouse sat in the dugout on the football pitch which was adjacent to the lighthouse. I had about 30 minutes to do it as our tour guides organised the transport to get us back from the day’s walk.

The lighthouse is famously built backwards with the living quarters opening out into the prevailing winds and the light at the back

As we headed south the cliffs got higher and were made of Schist which had broken up in planes to give great light and shadow areas. This was a painting I started on a lunch break which for no apparent reason got curtailed. Hence a lack of much detail. Though it was a good practice piece to explore the rock textures.

So I am about to go out again for a walk on my own, so there may be some more sketches – you lucky people,

Other seascapes and beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A GLIMPSE OF THE SEA – PASTEL PAINTING

Well, I did warn you that I had gathered a lot of information on my last trip to Formby Beach. So here is another painting inspired by that visit. This one is fully illuminated by the sun, instead of looking into the light. Again, a glimpse of the sea breaking on the mud and sand in the distance and the sad remains of the old fence being devoured by the receding dunes. The sea is gobbling up the land here and I suppose it will get worse as sea levels rise. At the same time the sand gets pushed further inland.

Other seaside and beach paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AFTERNOON ON FORMBY BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

I went down to Formby beach to get some visual information to enable me to complete a painting which I posted a week ago. I also gathered some more possible material for other paintings. The afternoon was well advanced and the low sun put the seed heads of the marram grass into silhouette. On this painting I was conscious of too many dark areas, because the bright light put a lot of the ravine into shade. Certainly, some shade was useful to counter change with the seed heads, but too much could make the whole thing very moody. So, to reduce this shade, I exaggerated the light filtering through the grasses.

I think the simple painting captures the feeling of place and time well.

Other seaside and beach scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

FRESHFIELD BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

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.

Other beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

RUSH HOUR, BEXHILL – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

At present I am playing around with some ideas and havent a new painting to post. The one above is an old painting, done before I started this blog, but never shown here. I thought it’d be worth an outing, particularly as some of the stuff I am working on are beach scenes.

I sold this to a lady, who painted herself, and who later became a friend. Her husband came from the area depicted, which is on the south coast of England, close to where I was born and, also, she liked the title. Unfortunately the lady, Mo, died from cancer, as did her husband – she died about a year after her husband.

When she was in treatment she asked me to carve a wooden head so she could store her wig properly. At that point she left it on a stair post and her sons ( she had three } had taken to playing football with it, kicking it around the house. She offered to pay me, but I asked for one of her paintings. Later I got a watercolour. She had a difficult time with watercolour and mainly painted in acrylics. The watercolour I was given was originally in an exhibition we were both in. I remarked to her how well executed it was and why was she so afraid of the medium. It was a nice piece, well presented, but in the end it didnt sell and so she gave it to me. It still hangs in our kitchen.

Other seascapes and seaside paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A DAY AT THE BEACH – ACRYLIC AND WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

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.

Early mornings are a much better time to be out.

Seascapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A PLACE OF CONSTANT CHANGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Tide in, tide out, angry waves, still water, blue azure, leaded grey – always change and none more so than at the high water line.

Other seaside and beach paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

RECEDING TIDE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

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.

Other beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com