THE CANAL AT LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A long-sold painting from 2006, of the Leeds to Liverpool canal in the north of Liverpool at Lydiate. Due to painting birthday cards and a visit by my daughter, my normal output has been curtailed of late.

Also, there is a bit of apathy after being told, on Saturday, that one of my exhibitions has been called off as the owners want the facility for other purposes. It came out of the blue, as we had been discussing the exhibition since July and only last week, I submitted a press release with images to them and also signed and returned their agreement document.

I have expressed my disdain and pointed out, that based on our agreement, I had ordered 5 new frames and turned down an offer of participating in another exhibition. I still have two more exhibitions from November until January, but it is extremely annoying.

Still, on the upside, the painting I presented on my previous blog – which was painted specifically for the cancelled exhibition – was spotted by someone who lives close to the scene depicted and frequently runs along the canal path you see in it. He has said he will come around tomorrow to buy it, So I had best get on and frame it.

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

MORNING AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Regular readers will probably know I have been banging on about revisiting old paintings in preparation for upcoming workshops and demos I have been asked to do. Trial runs leave you with a painting that you can exhibit, which is a great side product and one I am certainly in need of. This is because I have overcommitted to two solo exhibitions and a group show from November onwards, which at times are running concurrently. I need frames and more paintings. The frames have been ordered and I am making some late additions to the paintings.

Here is one. I’ve posted a version before, but this time I did it in a long format – mainly because I have a few spare long format frames and not much to put in them. It is of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at a small town called Burscough – north of Liverpool.

It was a lovely morning, well worth getting up at 5am for and I remember doing a couple of paintings in the warm sun before being regaled by a musician who complained for a good half hour, as I worked, about payments for gigs – or the lack of payment, as I recall. I told him to take up painting: then he would really have something to complain about.

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

NARROWBOATS AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another old painting. I sold this to my gardener who also came along to the art group I ran after he was telling me that the teacher at the art group, he originally went to, didn’t turn up one afternoon because he had fallen asleep after lunch. I advised him to join our group where he would get help and advice for free from the other members. He saw me painting this at one of our sessions and asked to buy it.

Other canal and narrowboat paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

NEW LANE BRIDGE BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

An old painting from 2006. I sold this at an exhibition we put on in our local Birkdale Library. The library is now a housing estate, but a group decided to resurrect the Birkdale Library and it is now housed in the old stationmaster’s house at our local station ( I posted a painting of a train in the Birkdale station recently). My next door neighbour is heavily involved in the project and I was helping him build a bookcase for the library over the weekend. I think he regretted taking on the project as it was a large complex piece, not helped by non-parallel walls of the old building and a router blade that slipped during cutting out the joints.

I think I’ll stick to painting.

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

A FEW MOMENTS AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

It was the stance of the fellow by the narrowboat that caught my attention. Coupled with the shade of the tree and the haziness in the background , I thought that it might make an interesting picture. The location is the old quay at Burscough with it’s cobbled pathway at the side of the Leeds to Liverpool canal – if you are going in that direction. It is the same location where I painted the old guy with his kettle – posted on 12th April, only taken from a slightly different angle.

Perhaps it is the slow flow of the canal that creates a gentle, unhurried ambience upon its banks. Time to talk, time to pause and stare, time to sit with a hopeful eye on your fishing rod. A narrowboat glides by and walkers wave, whilst ducks unhurriedly part to the canal sides and find another place to search for their watery fare.

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

BURSCOUGH DOCK – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Life has been a little hectic of late and has prevented me from doing much painting. Fortunately I have a few old paintings that I havent shown on this blog before. Here is one I did this in 2005 and it sold. I came across an image of it yesterday and was pleasantly pleased with it, well, apart from the perspective of the arch over the near window. Though it was the reflection off the sliding door and the cobblestones that caught my eye.

This old building has since been gentrified with bars, boutiques and galleries, but the brick shell remains. The area is great for subjects to paint such as the canal and the old mill you can see in the distance.

Even more canal side paintings can be found for sale on my blog: grahammcquadefineart.com

AUTUMN MOORINGS AT LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have had a version of this painting around for a while and while I have found the market for canal scenes has diminished over the years, sales do manage a slow trickle. I decide that the reason why my earlier version of this had remained unsold was the overcomplicated reflections in the foreground. So I set about this aspect and made some other minor modifications in readiness for our upcoming exhibition.

I do particularly like the reflected light that seems to come up from under the bridge. I remember sitting on the canal bank painting a plein air version of this in the late summer sun a few years ago. The memory makes me restless for some more early morning painting – it will soon be warm enough.

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

WAITING AT PARBOLD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Yesterday I did a watercolour demonstration on a canal scene for a painting group. I wanted to have a few canal scenes to take along to the demo and I painted this the other day to fill out the display. It’s a subject I’ve tackled before with the spring leaves just coming out on the trees in front of the old windmill in Parbold – it houses the gallery of a local artist, James Bartholomew, who’s won awards for seascapes, but now seems to do a lot of animals.

At the time I did a painting on the spot, but when I finished, I walked along the moored narrowboats and saw these guys in conversation on a boat further down the line. When I came to do a painting in the studio they got promoted to the front of the queue.

I’m still not sure about this, as the opening leaves against the dark background is difficult to get in watercolour, but I think I’ve progressed it from the last time I painted it.

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

CANAL SCENE AND LANDSCAPE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

I have just realised that it will soon be February, when I have two painting demonstrations to do. One request is for a canal scene, and this is what I intend to demonstrate. It is a painting I did in 2008 and at the moment I am working out how to best complete the painting in an hour and half. For me, it is a question of getting the order right, so the audience isnt sitting around whilst you mix colours, and there is quite a bit of mixing here to get the water effects. I also need to ensure to emphasise the points I want to raise.

The second demonstration was picked for me by the art club that engaged me. It is of a field of poppies I did more recently.

It isnt a painting I would select if I had a choice. There is a lot of texture in the foreground field that I did in a very haphazard manner, at the time – feeling my way through. I used masking fluid in the painting. Again I want to avoid delays, so I may need to get the hair dryer out to avoid waiting for the masking fluid to dry. Other techniques are a little faster – I did some scraping back and and finally resorted to gouache when all my options were used up. Again, I am working through this to find the best order needed to present it in a coherent way.

After all this I’ll need a holiday and yesterday I ordered some Egyptian pounds for a two week cruise down the Nile at the end of February. Hopefully we will get to go this time – this is the second attempt.

I will be taking my sketch book.

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

WALK, PART 3 – PASTEL PAINTING

Here is the final part of our post Christmas walk that I have been describing recently. The muddy, last, stretch along the canal and back to the car. This is a scene I have painted before as the light on the moored boats sings against the surrounding shadows.

When a painting requires such tight detail I would naturally reach for the watercolour or acrylic. I havent the patience finding or making slivers with which to place small, precise marks. Here. I used some conte pencils for the really fine details, though I tried to keep this to a minimum and just hint at the shapes of the boats.

I love the branch which hangs over the canal.

I wasnt as pleased with the other pastel I did of the fields over the moss that we passed. Initially it was the patchwork of greens, interspersed with the winter trees that attracted me, but in the end I found the result a little disappointing. Perhaps I should have made more of the sky and pushed the fields into a tighter mass.

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