I was trawling through my images as I prepared an update to my website when I discovered this small watercolour I completed a couple of weeks ago. It was an imaginary scene based on recollections from my travels. I have painted a similar subject before using the same title. At the time it was just a bit of playing around, looking at textures and techniques – painting with no pressure. I hope you enjoy it.
I painted a version of this many years ago and was very pleased with the outcome. So, it appears, was someone else, who bought it. The original version played on the lightness of the scene and I wondered whether a more punchy painting was to be had by extending the darks and focussing in on one plant. So here it is, a trifle late as, around here, summer slips to autumn.
Though, hopefully, it zings for you too. My original which I posted in 2015 is below.
Of late I have been playing around with abstracts and imagined landscapes now that I know where I am going with my upcoming demonstrations. I do find working on abstracts and experimenting with techniques quite slow and wearing as I tend to hit many dead ends and I need time to reflect on my next step.
So in one of these periods of contemplation I thought I’d paint this view of a lane in Wharfedale, in Yorkshire, we visited last year.
I suppose I did a bit of experimenting even in this piece. I was pleased with the effect of slightly dampening the paper to get the soft shadows cast by the trees. I did shadows of a tree in a local park in a painting last year and was dissatisfied with my shadows done on dry paper. I may have to revisit that. The other thing was the cluster of daffodils: I initially just dropped a load of yellows on the paper and covered some of it with blobs of masking fluid when the paint had dried. Later I worked in some darks around the remaining yellow and later still, rubbed off the masking fluid. Lo and behold I got some bright blobs of yellow that could be daffodils but whatever, they glow from the shadows.
So it wont be long before we start seeing the daffs this year – and the worst will be over: well apart from the heating bill.
It’s a subject I’ve tackled before – those fleeting moments before the land appears to be subsumed into the atmosphere – you glimpse the striking form of a field, building or tree in the corner of your eye. Then as you check the detail the view dissolves into memory.
This is one of those moments. The subject to tackle in a quiet hiatus, amid the Christmas melee. The pastel lends itself to getting a rapid image; handy as I didnt have too long before my absence was noted. At least I’m left with some accomplishment, with a painting done almost as fast as this pause in the weather.
This is a scene I see almost daily on my walk. Well, that is, when I get up in time and the sun shines and… So sometimes, anyway. These early summer mornings with the colours of young leaves in sunshine lift the spirit. I also like the old cast-iron bollards that guard the alleyway and which seem isolated and redundant now. Not to mention the old street lamp, still in its old borough colours of cream and red.
Further on my morning route is the site of another painting I did – and posted here – a couple of years ago, at a similar time of the year with the bright morning sun shining through the new leaves.