Yep, another of the local series. Perhaps it was the pollarded tree, spearing its overgrown branches heavenward, emphasising the outpouring of spring growth, that caught my eye as I walked to the newsagents this early May day. It foretold days of promise with summer yet to come.
Fresh greens and yellows against purpled shadows – it was pleading to be painted – I couldnt refuse.
Back to my build up of local paintings for the Christmas exhibition. This is just around the corner from the location of some of the previous ones I have posted recently. In fact, I posted a version of this particular view on one of my first blogs in November 2013. It sold and later I found out is was my next-door neighbour who bought it. That was a bigger painting in acrylic.
Since then things have changed and the grasping claw of big business has pushed itself amongst the rows of independent traders that make up the commercial community. A Sainsburys opened a convenience supermarket on the other side of the road. The newsagent – next to where the two figures are standing – diversified and became a very popular real ale/cider/coffee shop ( you can see the segregated, outside seating area) when Sainsburys proposed the selling and delivery of newspapers. The cafe/bar still sells newspapers and runs delivery rounds, but now you can get a coffee, or something stronger, if you, like me, pick up your paper. It was a very shrewd move by the owner.
Continuing with my painting of the locality. This one is again of the ‘Village’ with the train station behind the two figures and the level crossing behind the central car. A previous post ‘ Sitting Pretty in Birkdale’ is situated in front of the last house in the main grouping. I did like this mass of buildings with all the internal shapes and the early morning sun shining on one of the faces. I added the two figures and was quite pleased with the outcome.
Another in my series of local paintings I am doing for a show later in the year. This one is of Birkdale Village, a vibrant cluster of shops and restaurants, some under a Victorian- style veranda. I frequently walk around here in the mornings and, on one occasion, the early summer light shining on the newly unfurled leaves played well against the buildings in shadow. I populated the bench with a figure sitting in the sunshine. There is a beauticians called Sitting Pretty on the corner – you can see the name board in the background – so I thought that might give it a bit of a hook.
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.
I was asked to do a painting demonstration of a townscape in watercolour which I delivered on Friday night. This picture above was a dry-run I did just to check timings and jot down a running order. I gave the actual painting I did on the night to the club which is why I’m posting this.
I did the original version and posted it on this blog in October last year, so this image might appear familiar.
The demo seemed to go well, though the tree I did by throwing various autumnal colours onto water sprayed paper ran a bit more than I had anticipated as I had the painting at a steeper angle than I normally work at and the paint escaped across the paper.
Just a bit of fun with this one. I saw some of this as I came out of life drawing in Liverpool and added more bits to it to supply a narrative and add to the pun. I had a bit of a battle with the loose style and all the detail and the detail seems to have won out.
Returning to the station from a life painting session I was struck by the reflections on the pavement and took a few photos. The street has some interesting buildings, but the light never seems to be in the right position to bring out their beauty. So I guess this as near as I get to something I find satisfying.
I also had another go at the pastel I posted a week or ago, entitled ‘Crossing the Strand’ – another snapshot of Liverpool. I agreed with a reader’s criticism that the figures seemed to form a queue across the picture, so have bunched them up a bit and spread the rest out. I did it on a lighter paper which meant I had to fight to get the feel of the early evening gloom.
I was doing another painting of our local beach but things got out of control and I washed off what I had done with the intention of starting again, but when I got the paper dry again my heart had gone out of the project and as it was a piece of reclaimed paper I thought that I would try out an idea I had been carrying around in my head.
I am quite happy with the result and though a few of the panels could be improved I think that there is scope for further development and I might even be able to create a small series on the idea. Anyway, I’ll post any further work here.
I wanted to try some more townscapes and get a little more rawness into the image. This is one of Liverpool with the Liver Building silhouetted in the background. I have done this view before and put it on the blog, but getting figures in this time and making them prominent gives the image more depth and vitality.