SPRING SOARS AND THE IRISES ZING – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

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.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUNSHINE IN A BLUE VASE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

In my last blog I was bemoaning the difficulty I had with a painting. Well here is that beast, the one I almost tamed – perhaps we’ll call it a draw.

My wife had arranged some sunflowers in our big glass vase and I walked into the room as the sun was streaming in via a side window – so I had to at least give it a go.

The shadows intrigued me almost as much as the light flecked flowers, so my initial response was to do the painting in landscape format.

This version isnt complete, but shows my initial thoughts on the subject, along with the need to compress the vase for this format. As I painted this I started to think that perhaps I should just focus on the light on the flowers, so I started to paint a new version in portrait format, but threequarters of the way through the painting I realised that I had missed out one of the flowers.

So you brush yourself off, calm yourself down and start again and the result’s at the top.

Well, I’m not doing it again. Well, not for now… Though I have already corrected the out-of-kilter rim you see on top of the vase. The top and the bottom now belong to the same vessel.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE EXUBERANCE OF SPRING – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Sometimes paintings almost paint themselves and at other times you have an uphill battle which sometimes you never surmount. This is one of the former. As I did this I was also working on a watercolour which is one of the latter. If I ever get to the top of that one I’ll blog it.

But for now, The Exuberance of Spring is a picture of my Bramley apple tree on a bright, spring morning earlier in the year. The colours seem to zing against the backdrop of the sky. We have had a good crop of fruit this year, from peaches to cherries to apples and pears, though a recent very dry spell has caused a second drop of apples and also their leaves, on my smaller trees. This Bramley, though is a bit too robust to be upset by a spot of dry weather and is still full of fruit and replete with leaves. I also like the dark shadow areas which frame some of the areas of interest.

Well, now back to the long uphill climb …

Other floral art is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

TOP OF THE HILL – ACRYLIC PAINTING

It may need a little more work, but it’s essential done. I saw these daisies on some waste ground near to where I live one sunny day and was struck by the tonal differences. Initially I painted them in watercolour, but I wanted to emphasise the transition from shade to light and decided that it would be better, and easier, to do the piece in acrylics.

I also have this canvas, which I made some time ago, and have used before. I thought that the shape was well suited to the subject and complemented the tonal transition of the piece. At the bottom of the painting are some juicy blues and purples from the previous painting, which I kept and built on. They are not very visible on this shot.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

JUNE’S BLOOMS -WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have a yellow rosebush, close to our decking, which gives two flushes of flowers each year. It has just finished flowering and if I get around to deadheading it we should get another flush later in the autumn. I did this painting back in 2007 and sold it to a friend. It is one of a number of paintings I have done of it over the years. I love the pastel shades of the blooms and am always puzzled how red the buds start out, but always turn into various shades of yellow.

Other floral paintings – even yellow roses – are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

ROSEBAY WILLOWHERB IN AUGUST – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Walking through a clearing in my local woods last August I spotted the downy seed heads of the rosebay willowherb about to shed their harvest into the wind. It seemed a good subject with the remaining magenta flowers and reddish stalks set against the blue greens of the pinewoods and the yellower greens of the open scrubland. Here is the result.

You know, when midway through a painting, progress starts to slow and the enthusiasm edges towards the door, that perhaps it wasnt such a good idea, or a different approach might be advised. Actually, the reduced resolution of this photo has softened its pedantic plod and made it a bit less jarring to my eyes.

But then, I know the truth – it’s in front of me. We move on…

Other floral painting is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

YELLOW ROSE – ACRYLIC PAINTING

For my final offering of 2021, here is a portrait of one of my yellow roses which grows close to where we sit on our garden deck. It flowers in profusion in June. Perhaps a little dark in the petal folds and that bud could just extend a little further upwards.

I painted it to complete a small set of flower studies in acrylic. I have stopped painting watercolour flowers as they seem less popular – certainly mine do – and I thought some big, bold flowers in acrylic might prove more popular.

Here are the other two, which if you are a regular reader, you will probably recognise.

So, all that’s left to do is wish to you all a happy New Year.

Original floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MORNING POPPIES – ACRYLIC PAINTING

A merry Christmas to all.

I was in the pop up gallery yesterday, manning our final day. It was a bit busier than my previous stints, but I managed to paint this between selling and wrapping up paintings.

When we got an unexpected extra month for our exhibition in the shop, I was very enthusiastic, but my sales seem to have dropped off a cliff edge in the run up to Christmas. Up until November they had been trickling out quite well and I thought the final month, with three exhibitions, might even yield an increase in sales; how wrong I was.

So the year ends on a low. Still, I love the act of painting and without having the above painting to occupy my time yesterday, standing alone in the gallery would have been a real chore. Even though I didnt sell any of my paintings, I did sell some paintings of others and the fact that I came home with this, made the day worthwhile.

So if you fancy a painting, try my website. There are plenty still available: grahammcquadefineart.com

SETTING SUN ON THE ORIENTAL POPPIES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have painted poppies before, and some might say too often, but spotting the setting sun on the oriental poppies in my garden drove me to having another go. It was only towards the end of the painting that I realised that the stars of the show aren’t the gaudy flowers but the tousled mass of spikey leaves that snatch the attention away from the flowerheads.

In the past I have been taken by the sculptural forms of leaves in strong light but have felt that they wouln’t make a good painting – clearly I must take another look.

Floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

DOWN – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Climbing a hill, last year, I saw this ragged clump of thistles about to shed their seeds over the fields. I love the way the thistle down glows in the sunlight and this is enhanced against the darkness of the distant trees.

Other floral paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com