RUSH HOUR, BIRKDALE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Here is a view of the local train station. A road crosses the track just by the station, so when the Liverpool bound train stops, as you see here, the barriers open whilst the train loads up, before it proceeds away from the crossing and the station – so what you see here is the back of the train.

Crossing the road the other day whilst the train was at he station I was struck by the contrasts. The pattern of light and shade, the warm and cool colours and the hard industrial shapes of the train and canopies against the soft, lush sunlit foliage. Because of that you have a painting.

A painting without much commercial value, but nonetheless I like the effects and the challenges it posed for me, particularly with the tracks etc.

Other scenes of Birkdale and townscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

EVENING ON BIRKDALE DUNES – PASTEL PAINTING

You may recall in the post before last the gloomy vista of rain clouds about to come over Birkdale beach – and I said it was part of a series, so here is the next one, a contrasting evening on the beach, with the sun hanging low and the light shimmering off the wet sands in the distance. I did this type of evening view in watercolour and it sold a year or two back, so I thought that I would try a version in pastels, placing tonal washes down in gouache first and then working over them in pastel as I had in my earlier pastel.

Mystery encroaches at this hour. The low light casts shadows and darkens ravines between marram covered dunes. Tracks of past beachgoers get highlighted by a glow on the raised edges that is then underscored by the shadow of the depression. Wisps of grass, catch the low sun and seem to glow against shadowed inclines. Soon the mystery will be complete.

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

A STORM BREAKS OVER BIRKDALE BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

I am working on a small series of local beach scenes in pastel. It gives me an opportunity to try out the use of gouache to quickly block in masses of light and shade. Darker passages can take a lot of pastel to build up and painting in a mixture of colours that can be added to with pastel seems to give a fresher result. I have done it with acrylic before, but I felt gouache will retain a better tooth to the paper.

On the beach, the marram grass covered dunes give way to lonely wet sands stretching way out to the breaking waves, almost imperceptible, in the distance. Above, dark clouds gather across the Irish sea in readiness to sweep in eastwards, lashing the country with the moisture picked up when crossing the Atlantic.

It is a good place to walk, in waterproof boots, on a windswept days past wading birds, to view what flotsam the preceding tide has deposited on the wet sand. Broken branches, like reaching limbs, festooned with flags of algae and black jewels of coal scoured from the Welsh coast dot the sand like pebbles.

Other seascapes and beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SPRING MORNING, BIRKDALE VILLAGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Well, it looks like I got my paintings ( the ones I posted on this blog a week or so ago) into the juried show at the town art gallery – leastways, they havent told me to come and pick them up, which is always a good sign.

So, with that under my belt, I can turn to next week when we set up another exhibition on the other side of Lord Street to the art Gallery, in an unused unit inside a beautiful Victorian shopping arcade. This will be for six weeks and I need to ready a few more paintings for that one. Even though I probably have more than enough, I thought I might do a quick painting of my local shops, around the corner from where I live. The sun shines on the facades in the morning and with the trees only just coming into leaf you can see most of the architecture, including the covered walkway, so it is a local scene which someone might take a shine to.

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

EXHIBITION SUBMISSIONS – W/C and ACRYLIC

Tomorrow I will take three paintings of local scenes to an upcoming exhibition at Southport’s art gallery, The Atkinson. The first one is a new version of a watercolour I presented before, but I have dropped the horizon line and cut out some of the foreground after Multiplemichael – in my opinion, rightly pointed out that there was too much unnecessary foreground in the original. I also increased the foreground puddle on this version of Flooded Fields at Lathom.

This second one is an acrylic painting of Formby Beach, again, one I have previously shown. The third, is a smaller watercolour: Sunset on Lord Street, again, one I have shown before.

It is a juried show and was a good hunting ground for me in the past, but the gallery authorities have meddled with the format. It was originally run by a small group of artists as a totally juried show. Now the gallery authorities have insisted on it becoming inclusive (because they get a grant towards it, if it is in that format). Now we have a hybrid: anything goes, along with the juried show I am entering. There’s a subsequent lack of ownership resulting in poor advertising which is vital in these days of austerity and having to sail against a difficult financial headwind.

If nothing sells – assuming I get them in – it might be my last appearance, particularly as the submission price has increased ( probably because they werent making as much in sales as they once did)

When this exhibition is running we will be opening another exhibition almost opposite on Lord Street, organised by a local artist. Consequentially, I will be having two bites of the cherry, but even so, sales may be hard to come by.

Paintings are for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AUTUMN COMES TO AINSDALE WOODS – ACRYLIC PAINTING

After the holiday, back to earth with a bump – particularly yesterday, when I had some pretty aggressive dental treatment. But this blog is about painting, not my teeth, so here is a painting of the local woods which back onto the sandy beaches around here.

The woods are predominantly made up of conifers, but there are gaps where spruce makes a grab for the sunlight. Then, in the autumn these gaggles of spruce light up the forest with their colourful, leafy displays. I’ve painted this type of scene before and here, without apology, is the start of a wooded section just behind our local airfield.

Coming out of the shade of a copse, the light on the trees and their trunks ahead, grabbed my attention and the puddles on the path was an added extra.

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

LANDSCAPE SKETCHES – WATERCOLOUR

I’ve been exploring abstracts derived from the landscape and showed some of these in previous posts. As a first stage in the production of these abstracts, I have been sketching out loose landscapes to see if they might lead me somewhere down this path. Here are a couple I was pleased with. The one above came from a clip I saw on the TV and I did a quick, loose, watercolour sketch from memory. There isnt much to it, but it gave a pleasing result.

The one above is based on the beach at Southport, where I live, and I have used the idea of this in one of the semi abstracts I showed in my last post. Initially, I was actually messing around with a skyscape and added the sand and sea as an afterthought. I like the way the rivulets form on the beach, though it can result on getting your feet wet as you walk along the beach, especially when the tide is coming in.

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

WANDERING MIND – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was playing around with more abstract pieces on the subject of travel. I was influenced by the confusion and bemusement of newly arriving in strange and exciting places; how everything can be a noisy muddle of shapes and movement. So here are a few paintings of my mind’s wanderings – some more representational than others.

This was influenced by my visit to Marrakesh some years ago.

This is where it starts to get more representational, with an estuarine feel, but it was driven by the way I applied the paint and then removed it with a palette knife. I made a dark mix from a orange red and blue green, but only partially completed the mix before applying the paint onto pre-prepared paper. Once applied I started to remove some of it in a variety of ways.

I finally arrived closer to home with a similar approach to the estuarine one above with an image shaped by the beach at Southport, where I live.

There are other paintings, but I wont bore you further: I’m still searching. Though I may have discovered a few possibilities with the above and my sketchbook has many other snippets.

Other abstracts and landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUNSET ON LORD STREET – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A view I’ve done before, but this time I thought I would make more of the sunset and it’s effects. I’ve used the woman crossing the road with her shopping bags in another painting, but she fits in well here.

I think I’ve mentioned before, in earlier blogs, how the sunset in winter months is quite spectacular on Lord Street, the main street in Southport, where I live. I also spotted the light reflecting off the surface of a puddle in the gutter and, if nothing else, that was reason enough for me to do a painting.

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

CHRISTMAS WALK PART 2 – PASTEL PAINTING

In my last post I showed a painting taken from our post Christmas walk. Here is another one from earlier in that same walk. It shows the route of a long defunct railway track called the Cheshire Lines which served Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and this line ran out to Southport, where I live.

Now it’s a walking and cycling path which crosses the moss from Southport to Maghull, north Liverpool.

I thought it might be worth doing in pastel. The greens were vivid in the low winter sun and the passing rainclouds in the background heightened this effect – and, of course, there are some puddles.

Now I have the pastels out I have started a couple more from the same walk, so there will be a small series from the same day – I give you fair warning.

I like this area and have done quite a few plein air paintings and studio paintings from around this path. Here are some of the watercolours I have posted in the past of scenes from the Cheshire Lines:

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