It’s unfinished, but with friends about to arrive for the weekend and my computer, which is constantly giving me problems getting collected today for repair, I thought I would put this out, whilst I had the chance.
When the dust settles, I’ll work on it a bit more, still it looks like it’s going to be a good weekend – hope you have the same.
I was walking down by the Alt Estuary where it empties out into the Mersey Estuary. The vast expanses of sand at low tide with the Wirral in the background and the Welsh hills behind that make a subject, but it is finding an angle. Off to the right of this painting are the tide marooned boats which I have done before. I decided to get low and include the flora – dog roses and dandelions and the like. These plants cover the piles of brick and debris from the war ravaged Liverpool that was dumped around here creating a bit of a coastal defence, though coastal preservation wasn’t top of their priorities at the time.
Last September I went out painting on one of the few bright evenings we had in late summer/autumn. I sat myself down near some old farm buildings surrounded by trees and started to draw and then paint. I hadn’t counted on the sun disappearing behind the trees so quickly ( very different to when I was out in June). The interesting assortment of buildings in light and shade quickly merged into a dark mass in deep shadow. So I packed up and, as the sun was still hovering over the horizon, decided to call in to the Mersey estuary where the local river, the Alt, merges into it. There are a many boats moored right along the estuary, all the way out to the Mersey. When I got there the tide was out and the sun cast everything in an orange glow. The river carves its way through the mudflats to the Mersey and the sun created intriguing patterns on the mud, reflecting off the wet mud and being absorbed by the drier areas. The scene was changing too fast to paint so I took a load of photos and painted it later on a half imperial sheet. I wasn’t happy with the result and had another go on a smaller quarter imperial sheet. I am happier with this. There isn’t much to the scene and probably too many darks, but I think I’ve got the feeling of the place as the sun disappears over the Atlantic.
On a bright day at the end of the summer we took a walk along Formby Beach. The sand dunes are gradually being devoured by the sea, but even so the beach seems to go on forever. This was a view as we made our way back to the car.
I love the rivulets crossing the beach. In low light they sparkle whilst the sand around them darkens in the shadow, giving interesting patterns away into the distance.
Well you sometimes think you have some good ideas. I was pondering over what I could do as I stayed with the family over Christmas and thought that another night scene might be good. The ferry was well lit with the lights on the banks on the Wirral giving further interest behind and the boat’s light on the water in the foreground.
But when I finished the I wondered if there is still too much dark.Was the image arresting enough?Perhaps it wasn’t the good idea I thought it was. Maybe it will grow on me in time. In the meantime I’ll get on with another one.
Having worked through a number of floral works in readiness for a workshop and an exhibition, I decided to restart on my paintings of Liverpool. This is an amalgam of three photos. I used three colours with an addition of another couple for the grass on the left.
The contra jour effect almost kills all the colour. I hope the figures give it some vitality.
I have other paintings of Liverpool on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com Take a look.