Shallow waters


Oil on linen, 72cm x 110cm

A long dry spell had left the river Tweed, near my home in the Scottish Borders, very low. River stones became exposed and wore skirts of dark green algae that would ordinarily be submerged. A pair of goosanders threaded their way through the rocks, trying to find channels deep enough not to hinder their paddling feet.

The scatter of rocks formed an interesting, abstract pattern, with each stone linked to the next by v-shaped riffles in the shallow water. An acrylic field painting accurately recorded the scene but for compositional harmony the exact positioning of the rocks in this studio painting required very careful consideration.

Goosanders are striking-looking birds but I liked the way their colours and shapes harmonised with, and almost blended into, this small piece of their landscape.


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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Hawfinches &
Winter Thrushes
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