I started drawing around 1992 in order to occupy myself
on holiday. With a young daughter wanting to
spend her days on the beach, exploring rock pools and
building sandcastles, I found that I had a little
time on my hands.
Drawing and painting had always interested me, even at school. However, at that time it was science and mathematics which preoccupied me. I did opt to select art, but when told that the subject was over subscribed I had no hesitation in volunteering for woodwork instead.
So I left school with no qualifications in art and went on to read Chemistry at University. Whilst working in the Chemical industry I started to collect paintings and was particularly interested in watercolours. It was therefore natural that this beach hobby of drawing led me to paint in watercolours.
Eventually I realised that watercolour painting
was not as easy as I had first imagined. This made me sign
up for evening classes. In those days classes allowed
students to pursue whatever media they liked and I
slowly made progress in watercolour. However, after a
year or so the government decided to only fund courses
which led to a qualification. Now it meant that
students had to flit between watercolour, pastels,
acrylic, collage and any other media that the
examiners chose. At this stage I was still struggling with
watercolour. I could see that by taking on all these
other challenges I would end up as a jack of all trades
and barely competent in any. Initially I resisted the changes,
but in the end decided that it was easier to leave the
I joined a local painting group, The Ainsdale and Birkdale Art Club which was a self financed group of artists who painted in any media they wanted. I was also fortunate to join a watercolour class run by Jeremy Ford, the Society for All Artists President, who taught locally in Southport. At last I was able to develop unhindered in watercolour.
I slowly developed my skills, helped by going off
annually on week long courses with painters such as Ron
Ranson, Jerry Pine, Andrew John, Joe Dowden and Alvaro
Castaganet. By sticking with watercolours and being
helped by such great exponents of the craft I started to
enter my work for exhibitions and found people were even
prepared to purchase some of it. Having achieved a level
of confidence I now felt able to experiment in other media.
Life drawing classes provided a great opportunity to play
with acrylics, pastels charcoal and graphite.
I was Chairman of the Ainsdale and Birkdale Art club for thirteen years. I am now focussed on painting and occasionally demonstrate as well as running art classes on demand.
At the end of 2006, Kodak, the company I was working for, closed its factory in Liverpool. I took redundancy and decided to start a degree in Fine Art at the Liverpool School of Art which I completed in 2010. On this course I developed oil painting and drawing skills, particularly focussing on the landscape. In 2010 I became a founder member of an artist's collective which set up the R Gallery in London Road, Southport. This allowed the members to show their work in a space run by the collective. Unfortunately this Gallery has since closed, but working with other artists on this project was very stimulating and quite eye-opening.
My work presently is heavily influenced by the landscape around
me. The shifting shoreline around the Mersey and Ribble Estuaries
features in my painting. I am also drawn
to the streets of Liverpool and the run-down charms of Southport.
Other interests are the quiet scenes found on the Leeds-Liverpool
Canal which wends its way over the Lancashire plain close to
Southport. The narrowboats and barges make great subjects
In the morning, crossing the Moss towards the canal there are
evocative scenes, particularly in the autumn
and winter months when the mists are slow to clear.
I continually practise my life drawing skills
as well as working in clay and wood.
However, I still love watercolours. There is nothing like sitting
painting on a warm, sunny morning with the French landscape, or any
any other landscape, before you. The only time I draw
the line is when the water starts to freeze on my
palette, which it has once, painting in the Lake
Anyway, thank you for taking time to look at my paintings and please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information.
Below you will find a revolving gallery of previously SOLD paintings. if you like a particular one have a look for similar style in the main gallery of paintings for sale or contact me and I may be able to replicate it for you.
ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT AND MAY NOT BE USED BY ANY PERSON, CLUB OR ORGANISATION.
Contact Graham McQuade if you need advice or require images.