We have reached the end of our walks, arriving in Sagres in the Algarve yesterday – although it isnt over for us as tomorrow we visit friends near Faro for another few days. Sagres is a fishing port in southern Portugal and here are a couple of old boats sunning themselves in their retirement.
On the way to Sagres we walked along many clifftops and beaches and you keep taking photos as each place seems stunning at the time. In the end realise you have too many views of cliffs and beaches. So here is a painting of some cliffs instead.
Then, after a few miles of cliff you hit a beach and a small settlement and hundreds of surfers looking for the perfect wave. From a distance, and in their wet-suits, they look like the tadpoles that populate my pond in the spring.
And finally, yet another beach nestling amongst the cliffs. The others had gone for ice cream whilst I stayed to paint the scene for you.
There may be more sketches before we return. I have plenty of paper left.
There are some small sandstone cliffs at the East end of Bexill in East Sussex from where you can view St Leonards and Hastings. I used to run along here when I was staying at my parents and in the morning light, the view can be enchanting.
In this painting it is the evening, when the light comes from behind he viewer and illuminates the edges of the low cliffs as well as the masses of wild flowers that grip the windy top. I originally painted the scene one evening when I was there last year, but without the flowers.
I wondered whether the flowers would enrich the view and thought that I would give it a go as part of a series of painting that I have done of the area.
I have a pile of paintings in my studio that await the resurrection. I have misgivings about them and they wait, hoping that one day I can better resolve them. The first version of this was near the top of that pile. I put it on this blog in April 2018. In that one I felt the the leaf shapes were a bit repetitive and I had them going under one another and coming out the other side, so things got complicated. I also felt some of the panels were a bit dull.
So here is the born-again replacement. The new, more varied, leaf shapes were harder to arrange to get the paneling I required and the greater detail in the nature panels, though more satisfying, might cause confusion.
I have resolved the shortcomings of the first one but may have created new ones – you can but try.
Other townscapes, landscapes and seascapes – but unfortunately no factoryscapes – are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
The other side of the De la Warr Pavilion complex in Bexhill, East Sussex, at the opposite end of the day from my last post. The hot afternoon light coming in over the sailing club and the and the yacht masts adding to the visual commotion of chimney pots, lamp posts and flagpoles. On windier days you can hear ghostly ringing as rigging ropes slap against the hollow aluminium masts.
We flew into Hanoi and almost as soon as we arrived we were whisked off to Halong Bay. It was impressive, but very similar to Krabi in Thailand with less sunshine and even more tourists – this was industrial tourism.
I had wanted to get the limestone stacks in a sunset or sunrise. Unfortunately I was swimming at sunset and the sunrise was a cloudy affair. Still I did get some good photos.
As for Hanoi. We were only there for a matter of hours, staying near the old quarter. It was pandemonium. I would have loved to see more – but perhaps my health wouldn’t have taken it. We had to get the night train out and head south to Hue.
OK an old image for the New Year, but I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at ‘Entering Ainsdale Woods’. So here’s a second go and a title that saves overtaxing the troll’s sticky fingers.
I always have difficulties with light foregrounds against dark backgrounds and on the first one I had to resort to gouache to make some reclamations. I also felt the background tree trunks were too uniform and the dog needed repositioning. The first one looked quite good on the screen but the original didn’t stand up to close scrutiny – so that’s why you’re getting it again. This one has a lighter touch and brings out the sunlight on the autumn leaves which was something I was after.
So in compensation for repeating work, here’s a second painting, this time a repeat of ‘Receding Tide’. Hopefully I have now got the still wet feel of the shingle which I felt was missing on the first go and I extended the amount of shingle to break up the textures .
I wanted to try out some textures on this one with the sky, sea, rocks and pebbles all requiring different approaches. I would like to have added further detail and texture, such as building up the seaweed and pebbles, but was aware that I was getting too fussy. It was a good exercise and like so many paintings, you get to the end and realise that there were slicker and better ways of achieving your aims. So perhaps another go later.
After this dose of waveforms I will return to dry land on my next blog – promise. The handing in day for the exhibition is this Thursday, so I am still looking for a painting to replace the original wave I was going to submit, as I mentioned in my previous blog. After doing this one above, I realised that a simple waveform could convey more energy than the more complex one in my last post. I was certainly pleased with this and the serenity it conveyed but I wanted to have another go at the one with rocks and here it is, below.
So one goes into the exhibition, well to the selection panel, anyway.
I was assembling some paintings for the town’s big exhibition which takes place in the main Art Gallery. I had a few lined up for submission but last Saturday I got a call from my framer who asked if I still had my painting of a wave. This was going to be one of my entries. I took it around to my framer who duly sold the painting to a guy who had seen it when it was displayed there in March and who waited until now to make some enquiries.
It was a nice problem to have and I thought I would do another couple and see how they turned out. Above is the first one. A second is in progress. I included some rocks on this one and really like their warmth against the cool colours of the sea.
It may be a bit over complicated when compared to the one I sold ( and displayed in February on this blog). I certainly liked the first one’s simplicity, which is maybe why it caught the eye of the buyer – see below.