This morning I am taking some paintings into the pop-up gallery for my first collaborative exhibition in the run up to Christmas. This one will run for a month and I will have to do one day a week manning the shop and hoping for some healthy sales.
So now on to the second exhibition, in November. I have already sent in my list for the catalogue, but not all the paintings had been completed. This one above is the last of the eight I will be submitting. I felt I needed a local beach scene: similar to the one I am putting in today. I must admit I prefer that one, but what one person likes, another doesnt. Again it is of Formby beach, a popular destination in this area.
I did this painting just before I departed for Portugal at the end of September. It came from my visit to Formby Beach when I was collecting material for a commission and seeing what else was about.
I loved the wind-sculpted shapes of the trees, though they are in peril. The sea is encroaching and pushing the coast back and this small cluster of trees will soon be no longer. You can see the next line of the pine forest in the background.
I think there is mileage in making the trees starker and I was going to introduce some reds and other colours into the trunks and foliage, but for now exploring the shapes of the trees and their relationship to the landscape is enough.
Well, I did warn you that I had gathered a lot of information on my last trip to Formby Beach. So here is another painting inspired by that visit. This one is fully illuminated by the sun, instead of looking into the light. Again, a glimpse of the sea breaking on the mud and sand in the distance and the sad remains of the old fence being devoured by the receding dunes. The sea is gobbling up the land here and I suppose it will get worse as sea levels rise. At the same time the sand gets pushed further inland.
I went down to Formby beach to get some visual information to enable me to complete a painting which I posted a week ago. I also gathered some more possible material for other paintings. The afternoon was well advanced and the low sun put the seed heads of the marram grass into silhouette. On this painting I was conscious of too many dark areas, because the bright light put a lot of the ravine into shade. Certainly, some shade was useful to counter change with the seed heads, but too much could make the whole thing very moody. So, to reduce this shade, I exaggerated the light filtering through the grasses.
I think the simple painting captures the feeling of place and time well.
I have been struck a number of times by the patient nature of horses – though it doesnt include the ones running in the 2-30 at Kempton, obviously. The way they stand or methodically graze unhurriedly in the paddock or dissuade irritating flies with the twitch of a muscle. I saw these ones, painted above, on a recent morning cycle – probably waiting for breakfast to be delivered. Hopefully Godot wasn’t bringing it, as in that case, even their patience might be tested.
I apologise for another version of sunlight through trees on consecutive blogs, but in mitigation they are in different media.
I mentioned in previous blogs about walking with a group of French visitors who had come to Southport. On the Saturday we had a sunny walk, taking lunch on the beach at Formby. I posted a painting I did of the scene on 24th October. This is another painting based on views I saw, that day, on our way to lunch, walking through the woods to Formby and then on to the beach. I have done another, very different version of these woods. I’ll post that in my next blog.
I tried to keep this painting very loose; spraying the paper with water and then throwing paint into the dampened area after which I then drew into and painted with a brush. As I was building up layers of paint I spayed in masking fluid both on dry and damp paper at differing times of painting, so the masking fluid covered different colours and tones.
I was browsing through a load of images of my old paintings that I hold digitally and I saw one that caught my eye. It was of a painting long consigned to the bin as there wasn’t much happening and it really needed a subject. Then I thought of another recent post that I hadn’t been overly impressed with and felt I could combine the two and come out with something greater than the sum of the parts. Regulars will recognise the subjects, but the sunrise and the colours do give a more coherent picture. The actual fields depicted are ones which are near a stables so my fiction might not be too far from the truth. Only time will tell.