Oil on Canvas, 14 x 20 inches
Ah, back to oils again! I usually paint predominantly with Griffin Alkyds - fast-drying oils - but for this one I used Titanium White and Sap Green standard oil paint, so the surface remained wet throughout, more useful for manipulating the paint, but for my technique, I don't think I could use all standard oil colours to get the same results. I like the paint to dry a little quicker, but don't like the instant drying qualities of acrylic paint. Alkyds just suit my style, especially for small panels.
Using a bit of artistic license, I shifted a few things around a bit in the background for this one to give a more pleasing composition to include the tree silhouetted against the distant hazy hills on the far left, and shifted the farmstead to the right. I liked the way the river wound its way left and right to lead the eye through the picture plan.
The showy pink flowers are Himalayan Balsam which have pretty much taken over the vegetation on this stretch of river, and are more red in colour than the flowers that grow in my local river in Rutland. They are treated as weeds in many places in England, being a foreign invader, and have swamped the native waterside plants, like the more delicate pink Greater Willowherb. Balsam has an ingenious and very effective way of propogating, the ripe seedheads dangling in a spring-loaded, plumed case, waiting for any human or animal or just a gust of wind to touch them, then audibly ping the seeds several feet, rather like a spray of shotgun pellets, thus quickly spreading themselves along a river bank.