Monday, 8 January 2018

The river basin of the Sûre - after the beavers moved in!

Now I am back to the vacation memories of last October.  We made a long walk through the Forest of Anlier and the views inspired my husband and me to make lots of photographs. I have been making several paintings yet and this is the next in that line. 
After we had been walking over the hills and descended into the forest area we found traces of beaver activities. First we saw the trees that were gnawed at and had fallen down, later we had to leave the path because it was flooded. We could continue our walk easily because we only had to step a little higher on the hillside to pass by the flooded area. 
This scene is where the small brook was flooded and some of the trees were 'with their feet in the water'. This brook is part of the river basin of the river Sûre and we could not find a name for it on the maps. We were still close to Fauvillers at this point of our walk.

The scene was quite a challenge as the water was standing still, but there was not much light to be reflected. The colour of the water is really muddy here and only the trees standing in the water have a bit of reflection. In the middle of the water is a row of stones that might have been the river bank but now is surrounded by the muddy water.
The day we were walking there the sky was not clear because of pollution from forest fires in Portugal brought here by the wind. We did not see much of it, more to the west the sky was yellow that day. I think we had a much lighter version of that - in some of our photographs the discolouration of the sky can be seen.

In the reference picture I used (made by my husband Peter) for this painting the water was not 'standing out' very well, still I have tried to make the most of it. This was the best picture of that watery scene we could make and even though I am not completely happy with the result, my husband tells me the painting shows the atmosphere of that scene very well.  
I have made some finishing touches with the Iridescent Medium my daughter gave me, hoping that it would give some sparkle to the water and some of the leaves in the foreground. Maybe I was too careful or the medium simply does not reflect enough light for my camera to see the effect in the picture. More experiments will have to follow.

More information about this watercolour painting (paper and paints used, size, availability, etc) can be found at my website 

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