ANOTHER DAY IN THE SUN – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

An early start on a warm summer’s morning, I happened upon this footpath which proved to be a very secluded spot and I was able to spread out and work undisturbed. Nothing too exciting, but I enjoyed myself.

By contrast, on this one I was perched by the side of the road, trying to ignore the passing traffic. I liked the cluster of cottages and the powerlines at the top of the slight incline.

Finally, I sat in front of those cottages in the previous painting, looking at the view they see from their front windows. As I painted, a guy stopped in his car. He owned the house you can just make out behind the trees on the left at the end of the ploughed field. It turned out he had seen a painting I had done of the area which I had previously sold. He said he was interested in getting a painting of his house which he is currently renovating. I gave him my card but so far he hasnt got back to me – but you can never tell.

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

CAUGHT, GREEN HANDED – PASTEL PAINTING

In my previous post I described sitting in the morning sun painting the trees last Tuesday. Well, as I worked, I noticed movement in the field and a large hare came towards me. Unfortunately as I fumbled for my camera it seemed to get wind of me and moved away across the fields. In the end I managed to get a few shots which I turned into a pastel painting.

Other animal paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

WOODLAND SCENES – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

It was midsummer solstice and I hadnt yet been out painting plein air this year in the UK. I had done some in Egypt and I have posted those sketches, but in the UK either poor light, cold or life had got in the way. So, with good weather forecast, I decided on my venue and off I went. On the way, a connecting road was closed. So I had to think quickly of some other place to paint. Not a good start.

I had planned to do some simple light and shade studies without too much detail, so when I saw this half cleared wood I was hesitant. It was more complex than I wanted, but the colours were great and the glimpses of light intriguing. So I parked the bike and started painting. I did most on site, but I had to finish at home. When I saw my photos, there was barely any of the redness on the images and it was this colour that drove me to do the painting. I like the result, rough as it is and may be working it up later.

Then I saw this scene. Again, I should never have started it, but the light and shade was too much to resist.

I then arrived at the kind of thing I was after, sitting in a field of barley – a simple view, passages of light and shade, whilst the traffic inched along on the other side of the wood on the right. So, after all the setbacks I got three studies in the bag and broke the ice – which you’d expect in June.

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

A DAY OF LIFE – VARIOUS MEDIA

Yesterday I went to a day life session with a local group. It was a small group -there were only three of us, which was disappointing for the organiser. If it had been me running it, I would have called it off. I remember, a few years ago, being barely able to get into the studio on a similar session – in fact, on that occasion I just came home, as being unable to move around in an all day session would just frustrate me. As for the session. it’s good getting back to more frequent life drawing, but I do notice I start in a rush and the basics get overlooked. This one in acrylics, below, required me to rework the whole head area as, on applying the paint, things didn’t actually conform with reality. Making corrections takes longer than taking a bit more time to get it right first time, and then with the time limit, other things get overlooked.

Still, that’s the nature of the game, making quick decisions in the timeframe allowed. It certainly sharpens you. Hopefully, making you better next time.

Other life painting is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

NARROWBOATS AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another old painting. I sold this to my gardener who also came along to the art group I ran after he was telling me that the teacher at the art group, he originally went to, didn’t turn up one afternoon because he had fallen asleep after lunch. I advised him to join our group where he would get help and advice for free from the other members. He saw me painting this at one of our sessions and asked to buy it.

Other canal and narrowboat paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

JUNE’S BLOOMS -WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have a yellow rosebush, close to our decking, which gives two flushes of flowers each year. It has just finished flowering and if I get around to deadheading it we should get another flush later in the autumn. I did this painting back in 2007 and sold it to a friend. It is one of a number of paintings I have done of it over the years. I love the pastel shades of the blooms and am always puzzled how red the buds start out, but always turn into various shades of yellow.

Other floral paintings – even yellow roses – are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

RIGID AND CHAIR BOUND – PASTEL AND PENCIL SKETCHES

Whilst manning a pop-up gallery recently, a painter I know came in and reminded me about a group we used to paint with. I hadnt been to that group since before Covid ( though I had heard that they were secretly running throughout the epidemic – but that’s another story). Also, since Covid they had, for various reasons, started meeting earlier, which makes it more awkward for me to attend. Anyway, last Wednesday I forsook my evening meal and made the effort to attend.

I’m glad I did. I enjoyed the evening, though there wasnt any direction to the model and we were presented, throughout the evening, to my eye, with various versions of someone sitting naked on a bus . The lighting was good, though, but I did have to prevent the organiser turning on all the lights and ruining its effect.

Afterwards, looking back over some earlier pre-covid drawings, what did I see? Similar seated poses, just different models – a bit like the other sketches I did on the night, shown below. Despite these moans, I will try and get back there as we have lost one life group around here completely and I am not getting much figurative practice these days.

Life and figure paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

WOODLAND’S EDGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last month the bluebells were out and there seemed to be a lot of them, well they were in my garden. Here is a painting of a local copse alongside an old railway track which has since been converted to a walking and cycling path. I have painted a number of scenes along it over the years.

At the moment I am working on a couple of large abstract acrylic commissions. Hopefully I will get the first one done this week. I am using moulding paste and matt gel to give the acrylics body and form. I have had these additives a while, but never used them much. The client wants texture, so we’ll give them a try. It’s good to be forced to try new approaches and they may transfer to some of my own work in the future.

Other landcsapes and abstracts are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BLOWING UP A STORM – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Regulars with a good memory might recall other, earlier versions of this. One of those versions has been propped on the wall of the studio, taunting me to do better. Hopefully with this I may have, but is it good enough? Another studio residency will no doubt tell me.

I tackled this with a palette knife to try and impart some of the energy I felt was lacking in earlier versions. I also rearranged the players, particularly the pianist and bassist and tried to keep the colour range tighter. Other than that, the theme remains the same: a theme I like. I might even try a companion piece, but first I have a couple of commissions to do which may take a while.

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

NEW LANE BRIDGE BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

An old painting from 2006. I sold this at an exhibition we put on in our local Birkdale Library. The library is now a housing estate, but a group decided to resurrect the Birkdale Library and it is now housed in the old stationmaster’s house at our local station ( I posted a painting of a train in the Birkdale station recently). My next door neighbour is heavily involved in the project and I was helping him build a bookcase for the library over the weekend. I think he regretted taking on the project as it was a large complex piece, not helped by non-parallel walls of the old building and a router blade that slipped during cutting out the joints.

I think I’ll stick to painting.

Other canal scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com