Those who read the text in my last blog may recall I had little hope regarding sales at our latest exhibition, which is now running. Well, the very day I put out the blog this painting sold. I must admit I was pleased with it when I put it out on the blog in October last year, and am still pleased with it. Certainly, enough to give it a second airing.
Here it was, by the chair, but no longer.
I had put it in a solo exhibition around Christmas, but no one seemed interested – despite other sales – and the painting followed me home. I thought that perhaps muddy puddles and broken roads were not what other people wanted, but they certainly interest me, and obviously, someone else.
This is the approach to a village close to where I live. I wanted to paint it in situ last summer but to get this view I had to stand on one leg with a hedge pressed into my back. So I took a few photos and looked for somewhere more comfortable to paint – perhaps it’s an age thing. The low morning sun coming in over the unkempt field and the row of half illuminated houses appealed to me. So many times have I found the best views are in the most inaccessible of places.
This is from some photos I took last year. Almost a year ago, as the field of bright yellow rapeseed testifies. Here a view of the Leeds to Liverpool canal and one of its many bridges in the village of Haskayne on the Lancashire Plain. Makes me itchy to get out on the bike and start painting in the spring sunshine.
There has been much uncertainty and quite a few false starts of late with my painting. I have been wanting to produce some stylised landscapes in acrylic alongside developing the ink and wash paintings I have shown recently. Not much progress has been made.
With the landscape, I couldnt settle on a subject. Then I recalled a wonderful morning I had spent on Cleives’ Hills this summer, with my watercolours, painting some cottages on the edge of the hill. I put the painting I did that day on the blog some time ago and I enclose it below.
I thought I might try this scene both in watercolour and acrylics. So here is the first one, in acrylics, with the cottages and the view of Liverpool in the morning haze in the distance. Fresh off the easel. There may be some more changes to be made, though I think I ‘ve got the punchiness I was after.
Back at the end of August I set out on my bike one morning to do some painting. The light was sublime and I settled in a field to paint this cottage. I love the way the tree hangs over the lane and the jumble of cable posts stand around like lonely drunks at the end of a party. I posted the sketch I did at the beginning of September and I’ve put it below.
When I came to move on in search of another subject I noticed the row of puddles in the broken road surface. I love puddles and their reflective quality as well as the textures of the broken road surface and the mud and stones stirred up by passing tractors. So I took a few photos.
With yesterday being the last day of the month – and summer – and clear skies forecast, I packed my rucksack and headed out on the bike. This first sketch was of a cottage alongside a country lane – Small Lane South. The low light was sublime in the early morning.
Despite full sun the atmosphere was cold and it took a lot of waving to dry my paper between washes which slowed down my progress somewhat.
This second sketch was of a favourite subject of mine, Clieves Hills. I was sat on the edge of a wheat field, but the crop looked unusable. It was flattened by the wind and dampened by the rain we have suffered with of late. We might be paying more for our bread next year.
After tramping across dew wet fields, my trainers were sodden, making my feet cold and my arms were aching from flapping my wet paintings in the breeze, so I decided to call it a day. Hopefully we might get some warmer autumn days to get out and paint in a less frenetic style – anyway, at least I got out.
A village on the north of Liverpool, Lunt seems to be just a small ribbon of modernish houses on the main road, but if you detour and slip up Lunt lane you come upon what is presumably part of the old main road with a scattering of old houses, now being gentrified, and a view of the nearby Sefton Church in the background. The lane doesnt go far, if you follow it, and deposits you further up the main road giving you but a taste of what it was like.
Lots of splattering and flicking of painbrushes, along with a few dabs of masking fluid on this 52x35cm painting.
When I was abroad I received a commission to paint a cottage in Cartmel which is in the English Lake District in Cumbria. It will be for a present. The cottage seems to be an old mill, set beside the village stream. On drawing it I realised that there was no symmetry in this building. The photo I received is rather flat and taken in winter, so I have added some colour and put the leaves back on the trees.
Being away on the run-up to Christmas has caused me to miss some of the exhibitions around here. I managed to get my framer, Glynn, to hold his window for me so at least I got some paintings out before Christmas ( but only just). I have restricted it to landscapes of the area around us and called it ‘ Behind the Dunes’ as we have a very sandy beach around here. I forgot my camera when I set it up but here is an image from last year – apologies for the quality and my bike getting into the frame.
Thanks to Glynn at Ges Bur Studios, Southport for the space.
Another image from my early morning cycle ride the other week. I loved the way the buildings become part of the trees, emerging out of the woods. It appears that there is quite a tight chromatic range, but I used more colours on this than the previous paintings where I used just three. Here I used six colours. Not sure if it is very commercial, but I am taken by its earthiness.
Well, firstly, seasons greetings to all my reader. I hope 2017 turns out less fretful and more hopeful than it looks like it’s going to be around here at present.Still, it was hope which lingered after Pandora opened her box of tricks.
This image is for a company which uses my images. They asked me for something to illustrate “fresh cotton” scent, whatever that is. They mentioned cottages, cotton clothes on the line and greenery, so I took the image of an old painting of mine which I had sold, found a cottage and added some sheets. I hope they like it. I think it really meets the brief, but then you never know.