By the River

by maggie

So a New Year, and New Year Resolutions.

I’ve just one. Leave the house every day. Everything else will grow from these foundations

Don’t worry I haven’t been sitting around moping – you know I have plenty to do all day.

But getting out, getting some exercise, getting a new perspective is what 2015 should be about.

Where to go though when I don’t have an errand to run? Where to go what ever the weather?

By the river – 1/2 a mile of nature and activity, 1 1/2 miles of suburban back streets.

Don’t over think it: just watch the ideas come and go by.


down river towards Ham

down river towards Ham

So I thought I’d do some drawings because although you can pin a scene in your head you can’t easily pass it along – and who wants a bag of words about a short stretch of river.

And then I thought I’d make a big long composition in a folding sketch book: how many pages how many little scenes, how to get them to flow together.

But there’s no hurry. It’s the walk that counts.

the end of the fence around the coal wharf

the end of the fence around the coal wharf

This stretch of river has the great mix of sights that typifies London. Mansions and sweeping lawns, Egyptian and Canadian Geese, sculls and eights and houseboats; the ghost of a coal powered power station, a rail bridge, a bandstand and a tennis club.

So I want to capture the fishermen, the kayakers, the toddlers feeding the birds, but there’s time to put all this together to take care and too look.



Making more pebble paper I bleached something that shouldn’t have been bleached. So I got some Dylon fabric paints to cover up the mark. And being sensible I did some test before hand using deep pink, turquoise and yellow.

So I painted on a cotton sheet, then steamed it for five minutes, and washed it. It came out paler than I had hoped. You are meant to iron the fabric paint to set it, but you can’t iron velour.image

On the left are the plain colours – I was hoping that repeated applications would add depth of colour – but no over painting is the only why to go.
On the right is the start of a colour wheel – mixing the primary colours together in fixed ratios to find where the purple and oranges are.
Along the bottom are tertiary colours – reds and purples to find the right colour to match the original fabric. Pink, little yellow, less turquoise.
Almost there – repeat applications are building depth of colour. What a relief.