Water ways . . . .


For want of anything better to paint, and rather lacking in inspiration at art group last Friday, I resorted to doing a watercolour of the Usk from a photograph.  A friend had mentioned in passing she thought I should try another painting of the river.  In the end I was quite pleased with the results as it was only done on poor quality practice paper.  (The surface will lift a bit if you work “wet in wet” and are not very careful.)

river scene
Upper Usk 

The rain as been pretty unrelenting lately and the rivers, including the Usk, have been running very high.  I had an appointment in Hereford last Monday and  we could see as we drove along that the “Wye” was skimming the tops of the river banks – not quite brimming over yet.  Unlike the photo, which I worked from,  which  was taken in high summer and with low water  levels when you can see all the beautiful rock formations in the upper reaches of  both the Usk and Wye.  These rivers are renowned for their wild salmon fishing.  In summer we sometimes walk out on to the flat beds of the protruding rocks in the Wye and look down into the deep pools beneath  where you can see a myriad of tiny fish darting about.  It all reminds me of  seemingly, endless, childhood days spent on the river back home in the Cotswolds.  Catching minnows or poking at caddis larvae and then bringing them home in jam jars for “pets”.  That was back in the day all the rivers and streams were teaming with life.  Now the conservation groups are endeavouring to rewild and restock the poor beleaguered waterways.

I found this wonderful,  discriptive,  Elizabethan poem  about salmon on the internet. (The Tivy is  another Welsh river).  I hope you enjoy  it  . . .

And when the Salmon seeks a fresher stream to find;

(Which hither from the sea comes, yearly, by his kind,)

As he towards season grows; and stems the watry tract

Where Tivy, falling down, makes an high cataract,

Forc’d by the rising rocks that there her course oppose

 As tho’ within her bounds they meant her to inclose;

Here when the labouring fish does at the foot arrive,

And finds that by his strength he does but vainly strive;

His tail takes in his mouth, and, bending like a bow

That’s to full compass drawn, aloft himself doth throw,

Then springing at his height, as doth a little wand

That bended end to end, and started from man’s hand,

Far off itself doth cast, so does that Salmon vault;

And if, at first, he fail, his second summersault

He instantly essays, and, from his nimble ring

Still yerking, never leaves until himself he fling

Above the opposing stream.”

Michael Drayton


Back to it, enough skiving  . . . . . mince pies are the next job on the Christmas to do list  . . .



4 thoughts on “Water ways . . . .

  1. Nice shadows and depth! Painting water is hard!


    1. Thanks so much for your comment 🌼


  2. Beautiful painting, they are lovely rivers with lots of inspirational sections along them, you have captured it well..


    1. Thank you very much, very kind words. Have a happy Christmas.🎄


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