The main square in San Pedro de Atacama and in the afternoon heat everyone heads for the shade. We had come down from the Bolivian Altiplano descending thousands of feet onto the desert plateau and still this place is nearly 2500 metres above sea level.
The other thing I couldnt get my head around was the small river that runs through the town – in the driest place on earth. I thought it was some man-made confection designed to impress the visitors. We walked a few miles out of town, along the river valley and on the sides of a steep hill, by the river, were the remains of an Inca settlement. So it seems that it was entirely natural.
This is a view of my step-brother and his wife’s cafe in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex (on the south coast of the UK). I once posted a sketch I had done of it and decided to give them a more finished version.
The orange awning on the outside gives a great counterpoint to the cooler colours of the interior. Also the art deco decorations of the window and door make a great subject matter in themselves, though they are a bugger to draw.
The shop was once a dairy and has a decorated plaster ceiling and black and white chequered floor tiles on the outside along with other features.
John, my step brother, is stood talking to a customer by the doorway replete in his pork-pie hat.
Other paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
We went out to a bar in Liverpool the other night with some friends and enjoyed a few drinks and a little music. I thought that I would paint the scene and here is the first go. I may yet make some of the background colour more definite as it looks like a yellow mist is descending as it did after the fourth bottle of wine.
I mentioned a visit to Wells in my last blog and I was well impressed with the town. I also loved these two, sitting outside a cafe in the town centre like a pair of bookends, each watching the world go by.
I decided to tackle the scene in pastel. However, the amount of detail I included reduced the opportunities to dwell on facial expressions and despite opting for a tight colour range now feel I may have been a victim of it. I find small details with pastel quite tricky – but then, that’s the point, I suppose – the challenge.
I started again with the painting I posted on my last blog and here is the result. It is a little rough around the edges but it now has the feeling of a mad hatter’s tea party – not that I’m calling my step-brother mad for one instant – he could be reading this. I thought that the first version was too static and it needed something, so along came a bit of humour and action. I did consider just altering the last offering but changing the poses and adding the bottle and hands blocked out bits I wanted to keep – so it was start again.
I will allow time for reflection and then perhaps refine a few bits, but I feel John will appreciate this version a little more or dislike it a little less.
Other paintings for sale are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
This is John, my step brother. He gave up running a shopping mall and, with his wife, opened up an Filipino/English Cafe. She is from the Philippines and her son, DJ, is in the background, though he is soon off to a job in Japan.
When I was on my painting course, last week, we popped in for lunch and I thought I might do John a painting – though I think it needs to be livelier and more quirky than this.
I do like his pork-pie hat which seems to be fixed permanently to his head and the cafe counter is covered in paper and paraphernalia, so this may be another project I will be doing again. The second goes are piling up.
Anyone got a spare lifetime that they can let me have?
I started a version of this last week whilst on duty again at the exhibition I was part of. I don’t think it is as successful an image as the painting I did of the dog walkers on my last stint at the gallery, but I do love the impatient anxiety of the woman trying to catch the waiter’s eye and the nonchalance of her husband, given charge of the lapdog.
In the gallery I followed my sketches and did a version of this but by the middle of the afternoon I realised I had the scale wrong. So the painting displayed above was one I did at home. The half completed first attempt is below. As you can see I beefed up the figures and pulled in the scene.
As for the exhibition. In the end I sold 3 paintings which was a good result as far as I am concerned. Today I entered 4 paintings for a juried exhibition, so I wait to hear the decision of the panel’s deliberations,
This was a painting I almost completed whilst I did my stint at an exhibition of works by a small group of painters I recently joined. So far I’ve done ok selling four, five if you include the one I donated for the hospice that they are collecting for.
This was from an amalgam of an advert I saw and some of my own photos. I did like the light on the glasses and subjects, but I am not too excited by the end result.