On a recent walk with Carole, our route took us along a stretch of riverbank by the River Wandle, near Carshalton. In years past, this stretch of the river was pretty grotty, with lots of litter and rubbish floating around, along with the archetypal abandoned shopping trolley or two. More attention is paid to the river now, and thankfully it now looks and feels in better shape. We noticed this as we strolled along – and then something special caught my eye. Something which really signalled to me that the river is now healthier.
An unmistakeable flash of electric blue fizzed past us parallel to the bank, a kingfisher! This beautiful bird darted downstream almost too fast to see, but when you are as striking as that, you’re almost impossible to miss. I didn’t have a camera on me and even if I had – there would have been no time to photograph this wonderful kingfisher in flight, but the flash stayed in my mind, and when we got home, I tried to recall it on paper as best I could.
Santa had given me some new tools for Christmas, in the form of these silicone tipped paint appliers. I used them to push some acrylic paint around, over a pale blue water colour base which I had first allowed to dry. It felt unusual using a tool that doesn’t absorb the paint, you have to work the material quite differently. I think I’ve managed to capture the flow and movement of the bird quite well. Update July 2015 – this picture has been sold.