THE GAMEKEEPER’S COTTAGES ON ALTCAR LANE -ACRYLIC PAINTING

Tomorrow I am back in the pop-up gallery to do my weekly stint. Last Friday, when I was there, I did this acrylic version of a watercolour I had previously painted on site. The gamekeepers cottages are over to the left, in case you were wondering. I remember sitting by the roadside, last year, absorbed in my painting when a lady from one of the nearby cottages came out and asked whether I wanted a cup of tea – very nice. Though, I always take some tea with me on these early morning painting trips. It helps me settle down and concentrate better.

I was hoping that the greater colour saturation of the acrylic would bring something to the party and I suppose it has, though the depiction of the cereal is a bit clunky and that was something I had hoped would have come out better with the acrylics.

Still, it productively passed the time. Now I have to find a suitable subject to paint tomorrow, particularly as it will be less busy than last Easter weekend.

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

CHRISTMAS WALK PART 2 – PASTEL PAINTING

In my last post I showed a painting taken from our post Christmas walk. Here is another one from earlier in that same walk. It shows the route of a long defunct railway track called the Cheshire Lines which served Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and this line ran out to Southport, where I live.

Now it’s a walking and cycling path which crosses the moss from Southport to Maghull, north Liverpool.

I thought it might be worth doing in pastel. The greens were vivid in the low winter sun and the passing rainclouds in the background heightened this effect – and, of course, there are some puddles.

Now I have the pastels out I have started a couple more from the same walk, so there will be a small series from the same day – I give you fair warning.

I like this area and have done quite a few plein air paintings and studio paintings from around this path. Here are some of the watercolours I have posted in the past of scenes from the Cheshire Lines:

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

FLOODED FIELDS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

After the Christmas indolence, a walk was proposed. Organising a walk in our family can require diplomatic skills far beyond my capabilities. My wife wanted to walk by the canal which meant we wouldnt get lost and me get angry at the lack of signage. She also reckoned that it wouldnt be too muddy. My daughter didnt want to go too far to get to the walk and I wanted to go somewhere to see some different scenery. I think my daughter’s partner would have preferred to stay put.

I selected a route which, I hoped, met all the specifications. After an early lunch, waiting for the rain to subside, we set off. There was a low winter light which gave great contrasts and shadows and suited me well.

We came up a low hill to a wooded area where there is a derelict Chapel, originally built in the 1500s. The farmland surrounding the site was waterlogged and had lovely glistening puddles made by tractor ruts. With the light illuminating the grass of our footpath and the puddle reflecting the post and trees I thought it might make a great subject to paint even though it is a bit on the dark side.

We completed the walk without getting lost, though the canal tow-path did prove to be the muddiest part of it.

Landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AROUND LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

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.

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

SPRING AND AUTUMN- WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

I`m working on a commission at present so here are a couple of paintings I did a while ago but didnt get around to posting. This one above is from a set of photos taken earlier in the year when it was too cold to paint outside – well for an impatient wimp like me who spends sunny, summer mornings waving paintings in the warm air getting the washes to dry.

I had posted an earlier version of these autumnal birches in our local woods, but decided to have another go. Lots of spraying and splattering, but not much progress. It seemed to go downhill from the start with a pallid sky which I had hoped to to use to accentuate the warm autumn oranges.

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

EARLY MORNING SKETCHES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

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With the light not  as good of late and other commitments, I havent been out early morning  painting recently, though this Friday I woke to a glorious morning, but I was unprepared as the weather forecast hadnt been that good and  I had to let that slip by.

Here is what I have in my new sketchbook, done earlier in the month. The one above was painted  with my back to the canal, taking in the country around Downholland in Lancashire.

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Another one looking away from the bridge over the Leeds Liverpool Canal onto one of the many barn conversions.

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But I couldnt resist the canal for long, not in this early morning light.

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This was a barley field, looking over to Clieves’ Hills. When I completed this I had a ride around on my bike and saw the path cut into the barley and the view was more into the sun. It was this that was the subject of the pastel painting I put on the blog a week ago.

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Finally, this was a view of a field I painted that I found when I discovered a footpath on my map I had never tried before. It gave me some other views I might paint later. It started to cloud over as I painted so I returned home, only to find the cloud gone by the time I got back.

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com  

or grahammcquadefineart.co.uk

 

 

MORNINGS ON THE CANAL – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

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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,

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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.

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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.

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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,

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Paintings of the canal and narrowboats  are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com