Last week I managed to get out for a sunny early morning session in Lydiate, close to Maghull, a suburb of North Liverpool. From the roadside I spotted this wheat field with lovely tractor tracks disappearing into the distance towards some houses. I found a good spot beside the quiet lane and started my task. Later, a woman who lived in a nearby house came out to see what I was up to. She told me the houses were gamekeeper’s cottages, four in all. This one might make a nice pastel painting- perhaps one for the winter months.
The canal runs through Lydiate, and this bridge – Pilling Lane Bridge – is just around the corner from where I sat doing the previous painting. Perhaps a little too much green – it might be worth coming back in the autumn when the leaves start changing. Still, it was a pleasant hour painting in the morning sunshine.
Cycling back to the car I spotted the ruins of St Catherine’s Chapel set in a copse back from the road. It was built at the end of the 15th century for the Lord of the Manor. A pleasant place to paint in the dappled sunlight serenaded by birdsong. I find painting crumbling ruins difficult at the best of times, and beginning to tire on the third sketch of the day, my mettle was tested and similarly turned into a crumbling ruin. Anyway, it is an approximation of what was there. It might be worth exaggerating the colours of the stones if I were to have another go one winter’s evening.
Looking through an old sketchbook I saw a version of this done on a sunny morning a few years ago and thought it might be worth working up. I tried to repeat it as directly as I could without the overpainting and overworking I did originally as you can see in the sketch I posted in May of 2018.
A slightly less edgy landscape than my previous serving. I originally sat down and painted this scene, in watercolour, with my back to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, early last year. I was reminded of it when I walked past the view last weekend and noticed that the tractor track is still visible in the field about 18 months later – I dont know what was on its tyres. Maybe it was driven by Richard Long or Andy Goldsworthy…
Well, we have been suffering a few days of good weather around here, so I have been getting up early and getting down to the Leeds to Liverpool Canal to do some early morning painting. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this is a project I am doing on views of the canal – so this is the fact-finding part,
In earlier days I took my bike and combined painting with some exercise, but for a variety of reasons I have taken the car and gone directly to a particular stretch of the canal.
As it has been at a more leisurely pace I have taken a flask of tea with me. At the time of getting up – around 5-30, by the time I get to a suitable site and sit on my stool, a cup of tea really helps me to focus. I am quite pleased with these sketches and the tea may have something to do with it.
I may work some of these sketches up into paintings – so you have been warned. I have also taken a number of photos as well, so I am accumulating the information,
Continuing with images from my cycle ride the other morning. This is again done in three colours UM blue, Cad red and yellow, but the red is subdued to give a tighter chromatic range. I love the counter changes of light and shadow.