Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Paintings of Barges on Yorkshire Waterways.

"Comrade and Audrey on the Humber" oil 

I recently sold a small oil painting 'Freight for Rotherham" and memories of a time in the 1990s came flooding back. At that time in my narrowboat 'Sprotbro' Painter'  I had a wonderful time cruising around the canal system painting all sorts of waterway craft, these are just a few.

"Afternoon Sailing, Comrade and Audrey off Spurn Point" oil on board 24"x18"

I am a member of the Guild of Waterway Artists and we used to meet up every year and hold an exhibition of our work at Stoke Bruerne, the trip down in our narrow-boat took a considerable time and there were many interesting things I wanted to paint. This next painting, a small oil, was the result of a view I recorded on the River Trent as we passed a barge loading gravel.

"Loading gravel on the River Trent" small oil on board.

To get to the River Trent from Sprotbrough we had to go through Bramwith Lock which lies east of Doncaster. Thorpe Marsh power station which is shown in the background of the next painting is now partly demolished and I am not sure if all the cooling towers remain.

"Littlebeck at Bramwith Lock" oil on board.

An example of the results of heavy rain and floods, seen every so often  on our local waterways, these two barges, moored above the
weir, had come adrift, and had a 'coming together' by the bridge at Aldwarke near Rotherham. (sometime in the 1990s) 

"Floods at Aldwarke" oil on board.

I must say I do miss seeing the old barges carrying freight on our local waterway, the only freight on the river at present is Humber Princess on a twice weekly trip from Hull to Rotherham with fuel. 

She is a very impressive 60 meters long by 6 meters wide and bright red, I think a winter painting of her passing Levitt Hagg could be 'on the cards' !!

"Sprotbro' Painter" 1989-2003 

Friday, September 2, 2011


A heron flew overhead as I took  my morning coffee in the garden today, an hour later I walked up the towpath and saw five herons standing in the field of stubble on the opposite bank of Sprotbrough Flash vole hunting. It is a very large bird, fully grown around 36 inches tall, they can usually be seen standing in shallow water   patiently stalking the fish, I have also seen them in the winter, on the rocks below the falls.

"Herons Fishing below Sprotbrough Falls"
acrylic on canvas 14"x10"

"Winter Fishing at Sprotbrough Bridge"
acrylic on canvas, small section of a larger painting.

I got to thinking how many times I have painted herons and also included them in my paintings of the local landscape and waterways. They are so much part of the local scenery and such a beautiful bird.

On Sprotbrough Cut last winter.

Herons can off course be seen on  many of our waterways and this next painting is of herons at Aysgarth Falls, in acrylic, painted some time ago.

Herons at Aysgarth Falls 
For me, the most entertaining time to see our local herons is early on a summer morning before there are people around, and if there are boats moored up overnight sometimes a heron can be seen fishing from the roof of one.

"Heron on the Rocks"