THE BRIDGE ON PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another painting for the upcoming exhibition and one worked up from a sketch made on site, along with photographs. This scene is from further down the same lane that I showed in my previous post, but it wasnt done on the same day. The day here was much brighter and showed off the emerging leaves in their spring colour. I loved the reflections and shadows in the ditch water, and the winter skeletons of the trees before they get clothed in dense summer greenery.

Also, there was a good place to sit off the lane. The road is only wide enough for one car and sitting painting on the verge risks you having to move all your gear when a tractor comes bouncing along, normally pulling an even wider trailer.

It maybe isnt the kind of thing for many people, but it was something I enjoyed doing.

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

SPRING ON PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another painting worked up from my sketchbook and photos in readiness for an exhibition at my framer’s shop. I posted the sketch earlier in the year after doing it. This lane is so typical of the roads which crisscross the moss behind Southport where I live. Rich agricultural land is divided up between deep ditches. I’ve seen a few cars in them, due to driver inattention or intoxication. You dont get out without a crane – always assuming you survive.

The roads – one of which you see here – tend to sink over the years resulting in roller-coaster ride as you drive along them. As I worked on the original sketch a couple of fellows came along on their bikes, past the houses you see, and up towards me. They were also taking advantage of the first good day of spring we had this year. They paused to see what I was up to and I showed them what I was working on. Apparently they had spotted me earlier on a similar lane, as I was painting another view. Now they were now on their way home when our paths crossed again.

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

APRIL’S OUTDOOR PAINTING – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We have been getting some decent weather of late, even though it has got colder. On Saturday it was still warm enough to get on the bike and do some more outdoor painting. My plan was to attempt more complex subjects – subjects I would normally attempt in the studio. The one above is of a small bridge over a drainage ditch. I liked the counterchanges from light to dark and back again. In the end I had to to the railings in gouache when I got home – as I didnt take any with me. Whilst the gouache was out I added some stalks and grasses on the near bank. Despite the austere subject it made an interesting painting and might be worth doing bigger.

The next subject was daffodils in a small coppice. The flowers were away from the trees, but I wanted to use the darker trunks as a foil for the flowers. Normally I would use masking fluid, but outside, without any, I had to work around the flowerheads. I find daffodils difficult at the best of times because the yellow isnt a very imposing colour. In hindsight I should have pushed the flowers back further against the trees and used the contrast for all it was worth and, at the same time, reduced the complexity of the background – but that is what sketching is about – working out the best options.

Whilst I sat working on this picture, at the edge of the wood, a hare came slowly towards me. It got to within about 5 feet. I wanted to photograph it, but reaching for the camera would have disturbed it. In the end it realised I was there and bolted off into the woods.

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

PLEIN AIR WORK #2 – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Back on the bike and into the morning sunshine. This is a cottage on Plex Moss Lane. Further down the lane I stopped on a grass verge and did these farm buildings across the fields,

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They had an incongruousness about them – a ramshackle collection of buildings.

A few days later I ventured down another, parallel, lane that crosses the moss and here are (above) some of the same buildings I painted in the previous image: the two buildings on the right of the painting of the farm across the fields.

And finally I love this cluster of buildings, half in and half out of the shadows with posts and cables sprinkled about – although the barn on the right looks like it could be subsiding.

There might be some things worth working up into a proper painting. It’s certainly good to get out again into the morning sun and the cycle ride gives me some exercise.

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

ROSE COTTAGE, PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Rose cottage seems a misnomer for a farm complex, but that’s what Google said it was when I checked it out. Actually, it wasnt the farm that initially attracted me – though the building acted as a superb foil – it was the gloriously yellow rape seed growing in the field in front, with the illuminated spring foliage on the trees. That was what made me take a photo or two on one of my recent cycle rides.

With Boris’ latest edict I might now get back to painting outside in the coming days – though the temperature has taken a nosedive of late which is a hindrance, as I am too impatient to wait too long for paint to dry; not advisable with watercolours.

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

A BEND IN PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another view from my cycle outing on Monday morning across the Moss situated behind Southport, north of Liverpool. The single track lane shuffles across the reclaimed marshland, dodging the scattered farms. The tilled fields ready to sprout barley, cabbages, carrots and potatoes.

I thought that I would do this on a half imperial sheet, rather than the quarter sheets I’ve been using recently.

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

PAINTINGS OF HALSALL MOSS – WATERCOLOUR AND PASTEL

On Monday morning I decided to try and lift the lethargy I described in the previous post, by getting out on my bike and seeking out new material. Normally I would have taken my painting gear, as it was a bright, if blustery morning, but I felt that that might upset the locals, so I put a camera in my pocket instead, and headed off along Plex Moss Lane – the lane defined by the posts in the watercolour above, past the farm you can see, and across Halsall Moss. Taking pictures as I went.

The land rises as you come off the Moss and there was a line of trees.

I did this one in pastel, of the trees bursting into leaf.

And I got a few more images that I can work up during lockdown.

As well as collecting images, a trip like this also allows you to pick out some possible places to paint when life does return to normal. I can waste a lot of time finding an interesting subject when I go out. If I have a few possibilities in mind before I set out it can set me off in a much better frame of mind when I settle down to paint.

Stay safe.

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

A NIP OF FROST ON PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

There isnt much across the moss – drained marshland behind the coastal dunes. Even less when the lowland is blanketed with mist and all you can see is a ghostly tree and a row of staggering poles. This was done with loose washes and then a bit of drybrush in the foreground.

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

A CHILL MORNING ON PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another one in the series of paintings I’m not happy with since I first did them. In this version I hope I adequately captured the chill mist you get in autumn on the low lying reclaimed marshlands. The switchback road, the tilting poles and the scrubby verge which falls away into a deep ditch, all contribute to a feeling of other worldliness where some bring the ghosts in their heads and give them free rein.

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

LATE SUMMER, PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

In the late rush for replacement paintings to populate the exhibition, I reworked this image which I posted a few years ago. I tried to better meld the buildings with the landscape and simplify the foreground to enhance the feeling of stillness. Whether I did or not, who’s to say, but it’s up on the wall now and a feeling of calm has descended upon my studio allowing a tidy-up for the second time.

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com