The good weather continues so I have been getting up early and heading for the canal. This one is at Burscough that has a few pleasant buildings along the canal which I have painted in the past.
This one is near the first painting. Whilst I sat in the warm morning sunshine painting away a fledgling magpie hopped over to me and sat on my knee. It then wandered off, probably looking for its nest. Then later it came back and tried to get into my bag – probably the next best thing to the nest.
This morning started off sunny and enticed me from my bed but by the time I sat down to paint the mist was rolling in. I persisted with this one painting, below, but I do find that when the watercolour doesn’t dry, or dries slowly it gives you problems and I finish up waving the paper around in the air to get it dry. Wears me out!
The project of doing some local scenes has once again taken another backward step, in a similar way as with the last two paintings I posted.
I went down to the beach to observe the local shrimpers coming back from the sea with their harvest and decided on a scene to paint, but I was disappointed with the result and abandoned it at the sketching stage.
I then cobbled together the scene which I painted above, but I made so many changes and additions as I progressed, that I would need to do it again if I were to contemplate trying to sell it. At least the exercise crystallised my thoughts as I dragged parts from six photos but even then I had to make up bits.
In the end I got something which might work and I can now go back and get some more reference material, aware of what it is I’m looking for.
Another medium term project I have set myself is to assemble a set of paintings from around the vicinity where I live to show in my framers shop window around Christmas. The framers is almost opposite the end of this church. This was a first go at St Peter’s Church which I feel is a little stilted.
Another painting which didnt come out as well as I would have liked is a view of Duke Street Cemetery which is an old municipal cemetery started in Victorian times.
I was working from a number of photos, trying to get the best view through the trees along with the turn of the path. What I have done is getting the tombstones on a different scale to the chapel building. I did wonder why I needed to slip in memorial stones to fill the gaps. So here is another one for rework – though I am not sure of the commercial value of a graveyard, I do love the spring sunshine working through the unfolding leaves.
This view is from an early morning outing I did at the end of April and from which I’ve already posted a number of paintings, around 6 I think so it was a productive morning although I paid the price as my bike got a puncture and I had to walk the last 4 miles home.
This view allowed me to play around with some textural work, something that I am experimenting with watercolour at the moment.
I decided to work up a couple of paintings I did as plein air sketches and posted a few weeks ago. I was a bit disappointed with the results and am trying to work out why I feel this way. I think this one could have been done with more textured foreground and less of the ploughed field although I do have a problem with the large amounts of green that that might produce.
This second one might do with increasing the contrasts but again I am concerned with masses of green. I will leave both in the studio and mull over them whilst I get on with something new.
Other landscape paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
Before my hip operation I tried to get out and about and do some plein air painting whilst I still had my mobility, but the weather quickly deteriorated towards the end of May so here are my only offerings. Ironically just over the hill and trees in this painting is the hospital I had my operation in.
Actually when I came out here I thought that there were some better views, but as I walked about, what I thought could be subjects weren’t that good. This seems to be one of my problems with painting outdoors. Eventually I settled on this view, though I did enjoy painting in the late evening sun.
I walked over the bridge and came down onto the canal bank and saw this narrowboat that I thought was mooring for the night. The low sun on it against the dark background was very alluring, so I set up to paint it. I got my initial drawing done, catching the owner on the back of it. I hadn’t even finished the drawing when the guy opened up the throttle and my subject sailed away. So I had to make it up and in so doing I think I lost a lot of impact. If only I had taken my camera. Another of plein air painting’s perils.