AROUND HALSALL – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Well, we are presently experiencing our normal summer; high winds and rain, which I am told is set for the week, but last week there was a brief taste of sunshine. I had the last couple of pages in my old sketchbook to fill and a new one was waiting to get started on – so I needed to take the opportunity..

For the first painting, I chanced upon a little path off the road as I cycled along. I liked the sweep of the path and the tonal range of deep shadows against the ripening barley. As I got cracking a tractor came bouncing down the path, so I had to collect all my belongings and head for the long grass. Anyway, he didnt return and calm returned.

This second one was at the top of Clieves hills and again I liked the deep tonal contrast – and the incongruous speed signs. Just off left are the trees I painted and posted on 18th June.

For this one, above, of the cottages on Cut lane I had to wedge myself into the hedgerow on a busy road. I may have spooked a few cyclists as they caught me in the corner of their eye on passing.

And finally, sat on the verge of a quiet country lane, painting the fields and farm, I was surprised by the number of walkers, cyclists and the odd car or two which passed. These days no-one miders you and they hurry past. I didnt even need to cough.

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

EARLY CROPS UNDER CLIEVES HILLS – ACRYLIC PAINTING

This image was developed from a plien air painting I posted at the start of June.

I wanted a bit more colour and punch and also thought that a graphic style could enhance the saturated colours so I gessoed over an old painting on canvas and set to work. I had been influenced by work by Fred Ingrams amongst others and although I havent achieved his brave use of colour it is an early step.

It might be worth producing a small set of paintings in this style and see if they develop. I have plenty of raw material both photos and sketches to draw from.

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

MORE LOCAL SKETCHES IN WATERCOLOUR

Well today the rain came and not soon enough for my lawn. It also gives me a rest as I have been madly cycling around the local area in the good weather looking for subjects to paint. The first of this set of sketches is a complex called Dicconsons farm. I sat on the edge of the field and painted the bend in the lane. When I completed this one I shuffled 90 degrees on my stool and did the view looking across the field and up Clieves Hills, just outside of Ormskirk.

I then had to pack up and get on the bike again and rode around until I saw Dicconsons Farm from across the fields. I was attracted by the way the light was reflected off the roofs. As you can see lemon yellow was a particular favourite that day.

Other local landscape paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BARE WINTER TREES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

As winter draws to its cruel close I came upon this view over the Brede Valley in East Sussex. It was from a dark photo, into the sun, looking over a church cemetery – where some of my maternal family are buried, and on into the valley beyond. I liked the skeletal tree and added another on the right. I lightened the foreground up and created some rough ground instead. Winter coming to an end.

The creation of the branches was a therapeutic exercise, with rain thrashing the window and a spot of Bach on the stereo. It filled a wet morning perfectly.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com at very reasonable prices.

A WALK IN THE COUNTRY – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

I wasnt going to post, but this morning I worked up a sketch from a walk we went on yesterday. We explored Beacon Hill country park in the hills above Skelmersdale and in the distance, over to the Wirrel, the steam coming out of the cooling towers of Fiddlers Ferry power station caught the afternoon sun and attracted my attention.

The power station is coal fired and is due for decommission, so this sight will soon be a thing of the past.

AND MAY I WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY NEW YEAR

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

ACROSS THE VALLEY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

The view is across the Leven valley in Yorkshire looking over to the Clevland hills. Climbing the hill to Captain Cook’s monument above the hamlet of Great Ayton where Cook was schooled.

I was struck by the patchwork of the fields stretching away into the blueness of the distant hills.

Perhaps the middle ground fields could have been a tone or two darker, but I needed to establish some recession against the foreground.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefinearts.com

DOG WALKING 2 – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Back in July last year I was sitting in a gallery, doing my stint;  looking after the shop and trying to sell some paintings. It can be pretty slow around here,  so I set up my easel and started painting the picture below. It was based on  photos I had taken on a day walking in the Yorkshire Dales.

I used acrylics and square brushes and painted it during the day.

I was quite pleased with the result. I felt that the subject matter suited the style of painting. Unfortunately the punters dont agree. The painting stayed at my side, despite many attempts to shake it off. So the other day I decided to change the subject matter around and have the people walking towards me.

The actions of a desperate man . …

This, and other paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

TO SIT AND STARE – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I wanted to try a block approach for an upcoming demo and selected a subject of a couple sat in Green Park with Buckingham Palace and the crowds in the background. I set about transporting them over the hills and far away to somewhere more rustic. Call it a feel-good picture: a paean for the past summer. As I worked away at it it reminded me of those old railway posters they used to have. Maybe they could use it for HS2 if it ever restarts – I wouldnt charge them much…

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefinearts.com

NATURE’S RETURN – PASTEL PAINTING

Another one from the Cotswolds. I liked the sculptured, majestic quality of the Yarrow growing tall between the dewy pathways and the tumbling walls. It seemed nature was reclaiming what it had lost.

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

CALMING GREEN – PASTEL PAINTING

Some say green is a soothing colour and, like everything in art, others differ. Well this view had a calming effect on me – though, perhaps it was the subject not the hue. I originally did this in watercolour, sitting on a wall in the Cotswolds early one morning and posted it in Two More From the Cotswolds a few weeks ago. This time I wanted to focus on the tracks made by the tractor which I omitted originally.

Time to go for a lie down…

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com