Earlier this month I posted a painting from a recent walk. Here is another scene from that walk: the ramshackled boatyard on the banks of the River Douglas. This river flows into the River Ribble at its estuary, near Preston. Many of the boats in the yard are deposited alongside a footpath which runs at the side of the river. On the other side of the river are tall embankments and green fields. The site is rather incongruous in this rural setting and I have noticed that a growing number of people are living in boats or newly erected static caravans. No doubt there`ll be a shop and a village pub opening soon.
In the painting I wanted to show the cluttered boatyard against the open country, so the main boat occupies a space close to the centre of the painting. This design may upset some of the purists, but I wanted to present the two aspects of the site in a sort of split screen production, segregated by the tree. I placed a lead in of an upturned dinghy and cart, but hopefully I captured the flavour of the yard amid its surroundings.
I did the original sitting by the river at the end of June and posted it at the beginning of July but thought that it might be worth having another go in the studio. I loved the different levels the river had created and their shadow lines and the light reflecting off the damp mud. I also scattered some animals about, all of which I had seen as I walked along the river. Having climbed over a fence to get there, solitude and calm abounded on this still summer’s morning.
The heatwave continues -not good news for my garden – forcing me up early to explore the local area. I see these cottages when I travel by train into Liverpool and their shapes always catch my eye, so I set my stool up along the lane which leads to the railway line, As I painted a dog came along and attacked me, knocking over my cup of tea, and water container. It wasnt very big – just a nuisance. The owner followed and kicked the dog away and wanted some info on my website and prices – but as to yet no sales,
The next day I set down by the River Douglas, warily watched by grazing sheep – though none attacked. which meant I could drink my tea
. Wading birds stilted the muddy flats and squabbling ducks caused a heron to fly off for more peaceful fishing.
This is a bit further down the River Douglas . I wanted to get closer to the moored boat, but despite over half an hour of trying I had to settle for this original view. I have a rule where I dont paint things I can barely see, but after all my efforts and the sun getting higher, I let slip this rule, though with my telephoto lens I did get enough should I want to paint it at home.
The area here, to the north of Southport, is very flat and subjects can be hard to come by. Even so I went out on my bike one morning and did some on site painting and took a number of photos. This painting was from one of the photos. I need to get a collection of local paintings together for a couple of up-coming exhibitions, so all other projects have been put on hold.