It may look familiar and indeed it is. I published a version a week or so ago, but wasn’t very happy with it, so I decided to change the format. I am much happier with the outcome, having got rid of a mass of awkward foreground.
The other day with the sun rising early I got on my bike and cycled along the old railway line towards Maghull and Liverpool. The morning was too cold to start painting – well for me it was – so I took my camera. On the low lying land the morning mist slowly burnt off revealing farms and woods in the distance. In my rush I didn’t take a spare inner tube and on the way back got a puncture so the last three miles was on foot – still it wasn’t raining and it could have been a ten mile walk if it had happened earlier, so you have to count your blessings and I got a few nice images. Here the Alt, a small river which ends up in the Mersey Estuary weaves around the flat farmland of the Lancashire Plain.
If you walk further towards Liverpool from the Fisherman’s Path – the subject of my previous blog- you get through the pine forest and meet this rutted track which skirts between scrub and farmland and if you turn right at the end you can get you back to the beach. As I am still building up paintings for my exhibition in April I thought I would play around with watercolour textures using this scene.
Being a sort of obsessive I do paintings over and over again. This is the latest version of this path which connects the north end of Formby with the sea via the pinewoods and skirting one of the many golf courses here. I am beginning to feel a bit satisfied with the outcome. I initially went in with warm red, blue and yellow and mixed the colours all over the paper, spraying and mixing the quite strong colours. Then, when dry I rewet some of the paper with spray and mixed in the foliage, extending the trunks at the same time. I am pleased with the effect of the light even though I have painted over the whole paper. On a previous edition I deliberately left the area of the sun white, yet it doesn’t have the same impact of lightness – see below.
Also the trees on the right now have more vitality and their warmness complements the colder colours on the left. I feel there is a greater sense of mystery in the new painting.
I mentioned in my post of Birkdale beach how, if the marram grass doesn’t establish you get sand that extends into the sky. This is another painting for my upcoming exhibition on local landscapes. I originally did it half imperial, 52×36 cm, but wasn’t happy with it so I cropped it to 25x36cm. I think it says the same thing only more eloquently.
We were driving across the moss behind Formby when the road turned sharp right and I caught a glimpse of the fields ahead. The light on the puddles in the field immediately struck me. I decided to paint it from memory on my return home and here’s the result. Perhaps a few crows might give it some animation.
I was dropping off a painting to a client when I went down this lane- a part of the town I do not venture down usually and I was taken by the sweep in the road and the red brick against the leaves. Once again I used three colours, but in the relatively flat light the greens could have done with some brightness which a warm yellow and blue fail to deliver. So much for dogma. Still I feel I captured the dowdiness of the scene which may have escaped with more punch.