THE IRISH YEAST COMPANY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

When I first walked past this shop in Dublin I was intrigued by the title – it even passed my mind that it was an anagram of Yeats, their famous poet, as I couldnt work out why a business would be based on such a singular product. I also was taken by the warm and cool colours and the rundown nature of it all.

On a subsequent occasion, when I passed, the sun was out and the shadows cast by the projecting walls and decorative mouldings added to its intrigue, so out came my camera. Impulsively I decided to paint it, just for the challenge. Despite its apparent intricacy it was fairly straightforward and painting the linear forms of the piece proved quite therapeutic. I added a fellah just to balance out the cluster of bikes. I hope the worn down nature comes through. It was good to have a little play.

Sticking with our recent Dublin trip, I modified the painting I posted of St Stephen’s Green. I now have all the people all moving in the same direction. Previously I had a few slipping off to the right and upon reflection it seemed to unbalance the piece.

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

ST STEPHEN’S GREEN, DUBLIN – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Readers of my ramblings may remember I was in Dublin last weekend. The weather was glorious. We walked around the city to visit many of the sights. In St Stephen’s Green we strolled down the tree cooled avenues of the park. In the shade, I was struck by the brightness I could see in the distance, in the open spaces all around.

I’m thinking of doing another version of this but in a more abstract form, exploring the starker contrasts of light and shade that seemed to engulf me at the time – but then again it might have just been the Guinness.

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

CRESCENT ROAD, BIRKDALE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Most mornings I cross Crescent Road and see this view. It is close to where I live and on a sunny morning the glow of the red bricks complementing the verdant hedges and other foliage as well as the patterns of light and shade always captures my attention. So I thought I would paint it and add it to my small collection of local paintings. And here it is for you, a small snapshot of where I live.

Other local paintings are available for sale 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

WAITING TO CROSS THE STRAND 2 – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I read an article by the artist, Colin Brown, detailing his approach to cityscapes. I thought that it could help energise my own work. As with many such demonstrations, there were aspects that I didn’t like, but his starting point seemed interesting. I suppose I had unconsciously used a similar approach in my life painting, but Brown provided a coherent structure that I felt was worth investigating.

So here is my first attempt, applying some of his methodology. The subject is the Strand on the Liverpool waterfront. Here you need to cross this very busy road to get from the city centre to the old dock buildings which have now been converted to shops, restaurants, apartments, arenas, art galleries and museums.

I wanted to contrast the people waiting at the crossing to the heavy traffic and the business of the early evening activities going on around and of course reference part of the Liver Building.

I originally did a version in pastel and it got used in a book on Liverpool, published a few years ago.

But despite being published the painting never sold. So this time I changed the angle and featured the highrise, which is supposed to reflect an ocean liner, and also pushed more colour into the piece.

As I’ve said many times before – you can but try.

Other townscapes and paintings of Liverpool are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUNDAY MORNING, LITTLE CROSBY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

As I said in my previous post, I am preparing for two watercolour demos and getting them to run smoothly has taken a bit longer than I thought – but we’re there now.

Unfortunately I am halfway through a new painting because of this delay, so I thought I’d show an old painting of mine of a small village on the outskirts of Liverpool. It was done a long time ago and it quickly sold. I have kept an image of it on the internet and it has bought many enquiries and quite a few commissions and sales. I was proud of it at the time, still am, and it surprised me that I hadnt shown it on this blog before.

Normally, in the morning this road is very busy, as it serves as a short-cut. Sunday morning allows you to stand in the middle of the road. Though, I didnt paint it plein-air, as even on a Sunday there would be a few objections from motorists if I tried that stunt.

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

LORD STREET, SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

It’s been an unusually busy week, so I am showing an old painting that I havent posted before. It is of part of Lord Street, in Southport, where I live. It depicts busier times. Yesterday and today I’m doing a double stint at the pop up gallery which is feet away from where this painting was painted from. In fact, this painting was sold at the same pop-up around 10 years ago when sales were much better.

Having said that, I sold a painting at the shop this Thursday. It was of the canal, a painting I posted recently. I think the low sun clinched the deal, as you can see below.

Yesterday we had 13 people visit all day – life can be very lonely as a gallery worker and we only managed to sell 4 cards.

I took a painting to work on, but only managed to do a bit as I left my glasses at home. I’m clearly in need of an assistant

On Wednesday this week, I did a watercolour demonstration at a small town just north of Blackpool, it was my first demo since the first lockdown in March 2020. It seemed to go well. The painting I demonstrated was the puddles on Back Street South which I sold the last time I was at the pop up gallery – but that was the only one I did sell all month. I think I posted that very recently, but I still like it, so here it is again.

Well it’s Saturday, today, so we might get a few more punters at the gallery. I left my quarter completed painting there overnight, so I will try and remember my spectacles today and then I might have something to show for my next post.

Other townscapes, landscapes and anything else you can imagine are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUNSHINE IN KING’S GARDENS, SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I hate sitting doing nothing, so as I manned our exhibition the other day, I started this painting. I got all the drawing completed and put in the initial washes and background details in, between greeting the 30 or so visitors who dropped by. Some of the visitors are interested to see someone painting and it can be an ice-breaker. For this reason I left the wall until I had a quiet moment at home, as it took a bit of concentration to paint.

The park is quite near to where we are holding the exhibition and the painting also features some of the town’s buildings. There is a tower behind the couple, that I painted in an earlier session at the exhibition, I posted the result a couple of weeks ago. That painting is now hanging in the gallery.

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

CAFE LIFE ON LORD STREET, SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I joined in a group exhibition in Southport where I live, and have been manning the gallery for a couple of days this week, as I am going on holiday the week after next. The shop is in a beautiful Victorian arcade, but unfortunately most of the shops are empty and footfall is low. To occupy my time between visitors, I painted this scene which is about 200 yards from the exhibition intending to put it in the exhibition. I have done quite a few of this street, called Lord Street, in the past and they have sold. The exhibition is on for six weeks and I have done quite well at this venue previously, though this time I am not holding my breath. I may try and get this painting in next week as there is still a bit of wall space available.

I put up a couple of Liverpool Street scenes, shown on the right, and the Southport street scene may fit in amongst them.

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

BIRKDALE VILLAGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I posted a sunlit painting of a snicket along the railway track a few days ago. If you continue down that snicket, it comes out on the right, in what they call Birkdale Village – part of Southport, where I live. Here you are actually standing on the rail track with part of the station, the building on the far right.

I think it was the old phone box, lit by the early morning sun that caught my eye and the fact that the sixties carbuncle, on the left – the Spar supermarket – is mellowed and put in the shade by the light coming in over it. Colours are subdued with hints of spring leaves in the background.

A quiet scene of morning stirrings in the suburbs.

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