Grey wagtail


Oil on linen, 90cm x 75cm

I have a fascination with water and I am often drawn to the subject. It presents unlimited patterns, effects and colours and is different every time you look at it. From mirror-like reflections on still lakes to the foaming waters of a turbulent sea there is always interest.

This was a complicated painting to execute and, unusually for me, the acrylic field painting had to be completed in three, two-hour sessions on consecutive afternoons, while the sun was in the same place. I was captivated by the swirling patterns on the reflective surface of the water, beneath which were rocks with patterns of dappled sunlight and edges distorted by the refractive effects of surface turbulence. A grey wagtail flitted (and wagged) from stone to stone and balanced precariously on submerged rocks before darting up to catch flying insects. The bird’s vivid yellow vent flashed in the sunlight, providing a perfect colour accent against the blues and browns of the river.


Select an original below

  • Redshank
  • Jewels of sunlight
  • Grey wagtail
  • Shallow waters
  • Snow charm
  • Snowy birches and ermine
  • Avocet
  • Moorhen and bulrushes
  • Melting away (snipe)
  • At the waterline
  • Winter fox
  • St Mary’s seals
  • The Gathering
  • Short-eared owl
  • Abernethy Forest pool
  • Redshank alarm
  • Evening pools – wigeon
  • Silver light
  • Aberlady Bay
  • Fishing in the flow tide – Little egret
  • Long-eared owl
  • Shrimping
  • Purple sandpipers
  • Morecambe Bay waders
  • Storm surge – gannets at Bamburgh
  • Sandpiper flight
  • Lindisfarne Bay
  • Heading north – migrating dunlin
  • Redshank
  • Against the light
  • Spring tide
  • Marsh grass
  • Warming up
  • Snow petrel
  • Smiling at the sun (rock martins at Abu Simbel)
  • Salt marsh sentinel
  • Making waves
  • Log pile
  • The sand martin and the jellyfish
  • Humpbacks in the Gerlache Strait
  • Dipper
  • Beachcombers
  • Run-off

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