Whilst visiting my daughter we were walking along the river Chelmer – near Chelmsford in Essex – on a bright autumn day. I saw a swan bathed in sunlight and was hoping for it to open its wings as it preened itself. Unfortunately it was disturbed by a couple of fishermen, so for this painting I had to make something up, but I managed to capture the lighting effects against the darkness of the background which had first caught my eye.
One morning, a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on the canal edge painting when this entourage drifted by. They came up from behind me and I had to drop the painting, brushes and palette and scramble around in my bag for the camera, all without upsetting the group. I crept along the bank taking a number of shots from which
I compiled this painting.
I think that these are Bewick’s swans that I photographed at a local bird sanctuary. In hindsight I should have done this in a landscape format, but I wanted to really focus on the birds and then one thing led to another and I included extra birds and well… here we are.